7.1/10
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93 user 29 critic

Testament (1983)

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

Director:

Writers:

(based on the story "The Last Testament" by), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
Brad Wetherly (as Ross Harris)
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...
...
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Fania
...
Henry Abhart
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Rosemary Abhart
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Cathy Pitkin
...
Phil Pitkin
...
Mike
Mico Olmos ...
Larry
Gerry Murillo ...
Hiroshi
J. Brennan Smith ...
Billdocker
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Storyline

Nuclear war in the United States is portrayed in a realistic and believable manner. The story is told through the eyes of a woman who is struggling to take care of her family. The entire movie takes place in a small suburban town outside San Francisco. After the nuclear attack, contact with the outside world is pretty much cut off. Written by Mark Logan <marklo@west.sun.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Imagine a day like any other. The children are fighting, the refrigerator is humming. Highways are jammed, playgrounds are filled. Everything is perfectly normal... For the very last time. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 January 1984 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Testamento  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$317,996, 6 November 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,044,892
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Since the film was made, lead actress Jane Alexander has been a dedicated anti-nuclear activist. See more »

Quotes

Brad Wetherly: Doesn't radiation get into water?
Carol Wetherly: Well, it can. Maybe it won't be so bad here. But we'd better be careful.
Scottie Wetherly: What's "radation"?
[pause]
Mary Liz Wetherly: Here, have a banana.
Scottie Wetherly: You never gave me one before.
Mary Liz Wetherly: I did now.
Carol Wetherly: There may not be any... more for a while.
See more »

Connections

Features The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

All My Loving
(1963)
By John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Produced by Andrew Dorfman
Performed by Mitch Weissman
Courtesy of Mac Len Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a distictly female look at Nuclear War
11 October 2002 | by See all my reviews

All of the comments i have read about this film focus on it's bleakness, on it's difficultly - due to subject matter, and many of them also quite rightly applaud the performance of Jane Alexander in the Central role. What none of them mention, and what seems so clear to me, is that this is a film that could only have been made by women.

There is no BIG EVENT here. No mass hysteria, violence, rape, disfigurement or any of those other factors that are paraded as horrifying in the majority of Nuclear War films - I am thinking specifically of Threads and The Day After Here.

In Testament we actually see humanity. We see how one family, one community copes with the devastation of just that - their family and their community.

This is what is so tragic, compelling and ultimately horrifying about this film. It is not a panache, it is not a broad canvas. It is about people not about issues and as such the humanity shines through.

I am not saying the other films aren't powerful in their way. They are - and both Threads and The Day After gave me nightmares. But Testament was so far beyond them in terms of simple courage and purpose. There was no grandiose, no glamour or tacked on love story. This was not hollywood, was life or the end of it, and all the more frightening for it.

Testament is one of the main reasons why we should see more women making politic films - and perhaps running a few more countries.


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