Film History of the National WWI Museum & Memorial
The National WWI Museum and Liberty Memorial—iconic landmarks in Kansas City—have been featured in countless television programs and films.
The Day After
Some films focus on the Liberty Memorial’s history, while others, like The Day After, used this KC landmark for a far more cinematic purpose. The movie, which was about a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia, is to this day the most watched and highest rated TV movie of all time.
While much of the film was shot in nearby Lawrence, the production made its way eastward for vital scenes in which Liberty Memorial and Kansas City are reduced to rubble. In the final scene, actor Jason Robards walks through the fallout of the attack and witnesses what’s left of Liberty Memorial and the city in a dramatic end to the film.
The memorial also features prominently in the Howard Deutch film, Article 99, which follows a group of doctors at a veteran’s hospital as they fight the bureaucracy and belt-tightening of hospital administrators in order to care for and protect their patients.
The film was set in the now-demolished St. Mary’s Hospital, which once overlooked Liberty Memorial and KC’s Downtown skyline, and featured an incredible cast, including Ray Liotta, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker, Lea Thompson and John Mahoney.
- The tragic events of the First World War have been explored through countless films and television programs since it took place 1914–1918. But, coincidentally, the first film ever to win an Oscar for Best Picture was William A. Wellman’s WWI aviation spectacle Wings, which starred KC native—and KU graduate—Charles “Buddy” Rogers.
- Opened November 11, 1926
- The nation’s only World War I museum
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