Films about the nuclear holocaust

by Westcliff | created - 1 month ago | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

Movies about the nuclear holocaust

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1. The Day After (1983 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 127 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

The effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

Director: Nicholas Meyer | Stars: Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, John Cullum

Votes: 13,004

2. On the Beach (1959)

Approved | 134 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

55 Metascore

After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins

Votes: 10,938 | Gross: $11.00M

3. The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
Episode: The Shelter (1961)

TV-PG | 25 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

A suburban dinner party is interrupted by a bulletin warning of an impending nuclear attack. As the neighbors scramble to prepare themselves, they turn against the one family that installed a permanent bomb shelter.

Director: Lamont Johnson | Stars: Larry Gates, Joseph Bernard, Jack Albertson, Peggy Stewart

Votes: 1,842

4. Testament (1983)

PG | 90 min | Drama

The life of a suburban American family is scarred after a nuclear attack.

Director: Lynne Littman | Stars: Jane Alexander, William Devane, Rossie Harris, Roxana Zal

Votes: 5,297 | Gross: $2.04M

5. Threads (1984 TV Movie)

112 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, War

92 Metascore

The effects of a nuclear holocaust on the working class city of Sheffield, England and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.

Director: Mick Jackson | Stars: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly, Rita May

Votes: 9,928

6. The War Game (1965 TV Movie)

48 min | Drama, War

A docudrama depicting a hypothetical nuclear attack on Britain.

Director: Peter Watkins | Stars: Michael Aspel, Peter Graham, Dave Baldwin, Kathy Staff

Votes: 5,752

7. Miracle Mile (1988)

R | 87 min | Action, Drama, Romance

A young man hears a chance phone call telling him that a nuclear war has started and missiles will hit his city in 70 minutes.

Director: Steve De Jarnatt | Stars: Anthony Edwards, Mare Winningham, John Agar, Lou Hancock

Votes: 8,166 | Gross: $1.15M

8. The Atomic Cafe (1982)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, History

Disturbing collection of 1940s and 1950s United States government-issued propaganda films designed to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was not a threat to their safety.

Directors: Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty | Stars: Paul Tibbets, Harry S. Truman, W.H.P. Blandy, Brien McMahon

Votes: 3,672 | Gross: $0.02M

9. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 197,766

10. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

PG | 95 min | Comedy

97 Metascore

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a War Room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 415,911 | Gross: $0.28M

11. Fail-Safe (1964)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Thriller

75 Metascore

American planes are sent to deliver a nuclear attack on Moscow, but it's a mistake due to an electrical malfunction. Can all-out war be averted?

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Fritz Weaver, Dan O'Herlihy

Votes: 17,634

12. When the Wind Blows (1986)

84 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

A naive elderly British rural couple survive the initial onslaught of a nuclear war.

Director: Jimmy T. Murakami | Stars: Peggy Ashcroft, John Mills, Robin Houston, James Russell

Votes: 8,849 | Gross: $0.01M

13. Barefoot Gen (1983)

TV-PG | 83 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

A powerful statement against war, Barefoot Gen is a disturbing story about the effect of the atomic bomb on a boy's life and the lives of the Japanese people.

Director: Mori Masaki | Stars: Issei Miyazaki, Catherine Battistone, Yoshie Shimamura, Iona Morris

Votes: 6,465

14. Dead Man's Letters (1986)

87 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

The world after the nuclear apocalypse. Pale light lits the scenery of total destruction. The surviving humans vegetate in wet cellars under the nuclear winter. But somehow human spirit ... See full summary »

Director: Konstantin Lopushanskiy | Stars: Rolan Bykov, Iosif Ryklin, Viktor Mikhaylov, Aleksandr Sabinin

Votes: 2,235

15. The China Syndrome (1979)

PG | 122 min | Drama, Thriller

81 Metascore

A reporter finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant.

Director: James Bridges | Stars: Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas, Scott Brady

Votes: 24,405 | Gross: $51.72M

16. Silkwood (1983)

R | 131 min | Biography, Drama, History

64 Metascore

A worker at a plutonium processing plant is purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing worker safety violations at the plant.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher, Craig T. Nelson

Votes: 16,734 | Gross: $35.62M

17. WarGames (1983)

PG | 114 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

77 Metascore

A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

Director: John Badham | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood, Dabney Coleman

Votes: 83,563 | Gross: $79.57M

18. The Manhattan Project (1986)

PG-13 | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

61 Metascore

A high school prodigy builds an atomic bomb with stolen plutonium to win the 45th National Science Fair and expose a nuclear weapons lab posing as nuclear medicine in Ithaca NY.

Director: Marshall Brickman | Stars: John Lithgow, Christopher Collet, Richard Council, Robert Schenkkan

Votes: 5,054 | Gross: $3.90M

19. Whoops Apocalypse (1982– )

30 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

A light-hearted look at the final week before doomsday. American President Johnny Cyclops is trying to run a re-election campaign while dealing with the Russians, a deposed Shah needing to ... See full summary »

Stars: Barry Morse, John Barron, Ed Bishop, Bruce Montague

Votes: 209

20. Special Bulletin (1983 TV Movie)

103 min | Drama

A TV reporter and cameraman are taken hostage on a tugboat while covering a workers strike. The demands of the hostage-takers are to collect all the nuclear detonators in the Charleston, SC... See full summary »

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Ed Flanders, Kathryn Walker, Roxanne Hart, Christopher Allport

Votes: 912

21. Ground Zero (1987)

PG-13 | 109 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

A second generation cameraman in Australia finds evidence that his father had filmed a nuclear test that allowed aboriginies to be exposed to and killed by radiation. He begins a search for... See full summary »

Directors: Bruce Myles, Michael Pattinson | Stars: Colin Friels, Jack Thompson, Donald Pleasence, Natalie Bate

Votes: 416 | Gross: $0.20M

22. Rules of Engagement (1989)

50 min | Thriller

Political intrigue and murder occurs when the English town of Portsmouth is sealed off by the military during the eve of World War III.

Stars: Anna Calder-Marshall, Kenneth Cranham, Amanda Fawcett, Derek Fowlds

Votes: 13

23. Memoirs of a Survivor (1981)

115 min | Sci-Fi

Set in a bleak future where roving gangs of children terrorize city streets, and reality is often an illusion.

Director: David Gladwell | Stars: Julie Christie, Christopher Guard, Leonie Mellinger, Debbie Hutchings

Votes: 230

24. The Chain Reaction (1980)

92 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

An earthquake in rural Australia causes a dangerous leak at WALDO, a nuclear waste storage facility. Heinrich Schmidt, an engineer badly hurt in the accident, knows that the leak will ... See full summary »

Director: Ian Barry | Stars: Steve Bisley, Arna-Maria Winchester, Ross Thompson, Ralph Cotterill

Votes: 705

25. The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
Episode: Time Enough at Last (1959)

TV-PG | 25 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

A henpecked book lover finds himself blissfully alone with his books after a nuclear war.

Director: John Brahm | Stars: Burgess Meredith, Vaughn Taylor, Jacqueline deWit, Lela Bliss

Votes: 4,506

26. The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

Unrated | 99 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Romance

When the U.S. and Russia unwittingly test atomic bombs at the same time, it alters the nutation (axis of rotation) of the Earth.

Director: Val Guest | Stars: Edward Judd, Janet Munro, Leo McKern, Michael Goodliffe

Votes: 4,123

27. Chernobyl (2019)

TV-MA | 330 min | Drama, History

In April 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics becomes one of the world's worst man-made catastrophes.

Stars: Jessie Buckley, Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Adam Nagaitis

Votes: 243,132

28. The Day After Trinity (1981)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Biography

Scientists and witnesses involved in the creation and testing of the first ever atomic bomb reflect on the Manhattan project and its fascinating leader, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who upon ... See full summary »

Director: Jon Else | Stars: Hans Bethe, Holm Bursom, Haakon Chevalier, Stirling Colgate

Votes: 433

29. The Divide (2011)

R | 112 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

28 Metascore

Survivors of a nuclear attack are grouped together for days in the basement of their apartment building, where fear and dwindling supplies wear away at their dynamic.

Director: Xavier Gens | Stars: Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Courtney B. Vance

Votes: 33,617 | Gross: $0.02M

30. How I Live Now (2013)

R | 101 min | Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller

57 Metascore

An American girl, sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives, finds love and purpose while fighting for her survival as war envelops the world around her.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, George MacKay, Harley Bird

Votes: 26,177 | Gross: $0.06M

31. By Dawn's Early Light (1990 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 100 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Sholder | Stars: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones, Martin Landau

Votes: 2,498

32. Fail Safe (2000 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Thriller

Cold War tensions climb to a fever pitch when a U.S. bomber is accidentally ordered to drop a nuclear warhead on Moscow.

Directors: Stephen Frears, Martin Pasetta | Stars: Walter Cronkite, Richard Dreyfuss, Noah Wyle, Brian Dennehy

Votes: 5,322

33. Day the World Ended (1955)

Approved | 79 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

In a post-Apocalyptic world after an atomic war seven disparate people find themselves in a protected valley in the home of a survivalist and his beautiful daughter.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Richard Denning, Lori Nelson, Adele Jergens, Mike Connors

Votes: 1,614

34. Chosen Survivors (1974)

PG | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A group of diverse individuals are suddenly taken from their homes and flown via helicopter to a futuristic bomb shelter in the desert, one-third of a mile below the surface of the Earth. ... See full summary »

Director: Sutton Roley | Stars: Jackie Cooper, Alex Cord, Richard Jaeckel, Bradford Dillman

Votes: 640

35. Countdown to Looking Glass (1984 TV Movie)

90 min | Drama

Dramatic doomsday scenario in which the Cold War fully escalates. The story is told through a live news report that follows the apocalyptic world-ending nuclear exchange between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.

Director: Fred Barzyk | Stars: Scott Glenn, Michael Murphy, Helen Shaver, Patrick Watson

Votes: 396

36. The Noah (1975)

R | 107 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

After a nuclear attack kills everyone, the last man on earth, going mad from loneliness and isolation, creates a companion in his mind. He soon finds himself living a lie when his imaginary world builds up into something complex.

Director: Daniel Bourla | Stars: Robert Strauss, Geoffrey Holder, Sally Kirkland, Jim Blackmore

Votes: 302

37. One Night Stand (1984)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

In Australia, four teenagers in a Sydney theater are astounded to hear the news that a nuclear war has broken out in Eastern Europe. They try to figure out the best way they can survive the coming conflagration.

Director: John Duigan | Stars: Tyler Coppin, Cassandra Delaney, Jay Hackett, Saskia Post

Votes: 135

38. Population: 1 (1986)

72 min | Fantasy, Music, Musical

After the nuclear annihilation of the planet, the last member of a small society of survivors finds himself trapped in an underground control room, where he recounts the history of his world through musical numbers.

Director: Rene Daalder | Stars: Tomata Du Plenty, Dino Lee, Helen Heaven, Sheela Edwards

Votes: 68

39. If You Love This Planet (1982)

26 min | Documentary, Short

An Australian pediatrician gives a speech on the consequences of a nuclear war.

Director: Terre Nash | Stars: Helen Caldicott, Vannevar Bush, Winston Churchill, Leslie Groves

Votes: 116

40. La città dell'ultima paura (1975)

73 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

Aldo is an introverted boy who loves photography and exploring caves. An earthquake strikes while he is exploring a cave, probably caused by an atomic explosion. Reaching the surface, Aldo ... See full summary »

Director: Carlo Ausino | Stars: Marisa Solinas, Emanuele Cannarsa, Mario Valdemarin, Paul Teitcheid

Votes: 14

41. Race to Oblivion (1982 Video)

27 min | Documentary, Short

Documentation about the dangers of the nuclear arms race, including an interview with an witness of the bomb drop of Hiroshima and scientific statements describing the devastating consequences of a nuclear war.

Director: Robert B. Churchill | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Shigeko Sasamori, Gene R. LaRocque, Kosta Tsipis

Votes: 6



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