7.1/10
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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:
...
Carol Wetherly
...
Tom Wetherly
...
Brad Wetherly (as Ross Harris)
...
Mary Liz Wetherly
...
Scottie Wetherly
...
Hollis
...
Fania
...
Henry Abhart
...
Rosemary Abhart
...
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:

It happened in an instant. The televisions went blank, the radios - silent. The cities were gone, the future abandoned. And the only thing they have left to hold onto, is the people they love. 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:


Box Office

Gross:

$1,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Lynne Littman, "I never worked in Hollywood. This one got picked up by Hollywood, bur probably would never have been made there. Cable would never have given me production money on a gamble; they're hiring Elizabeth Taylor and Carol Burnett, not Jane Alexander and Bill Devane. I'd never directed a film. I'm a woman. And the material is completely difficult." See more »

Quotes

Carol Wetherly: [final lines of the film] We should remember it all... the good, and the bad.
[it is implied that Carol, Hiroshi and Brad are the only people left in the United States, possibly the world, who haven't died yet from radiation poisoning]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sex Violence & Values: Changing Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

This Is It
(1960) (uncredited)
Written by Mack David and Jerry Livingston
Performed by Mel Blanc
Courtesy of Warner Brothers Television
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Devastating
5 October 2003 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

This small film from 1983 might actually be more emotionally devastating than "Schindler's List" because it presents us with a horrific "what-if" scenario that I imagine scared the be-jesus out of viewers in the Cold War era that it was made and will send shivers down the spine of anyone who watches it today. The threat of nuclear holocaust may not be so looming now, but the threat of bio-terrorism or any other level of terrorist attack or all out war is very real in the post 9/11 era. This film is so stark and intimate that it really doesn't matter what these people are dying from (it could just as easily be biological warfare as it is nuclear fallout). I was so deeply effected by this film's portrayal or one family in one small California town getting cut off from the rest of civilization (which we can only assume is in the midst of WWIII) and slowly falling apart while one by one loved ones succumb to nuclear radiation that I couldn't watch it all. I had to flip the channels to watch a few minutes of "The Simpsons" before I turned back to watch the end. This is possibly the most depressing film ever made. Jane Alexander running frantically around the house searching for her youngest son's favorite stuffed animal and refusing to bury his body (wrapped in bedsheets) in the backyard until she found it is so heartbreaking that it made me sick. As such, this is the film that every politician the world over should watch before declaring any kind of war. War is not about winning or losing or politics or doing what it right, war is about the death of our children. Everyone needs to be reminded of that before making the war cry. In the end we all die.


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