Testament (1983)

PG  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  5 January 1984 (Argentina)
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Reviews: 87 user | 30 critic

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



(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 overview, first billed only:
Carol Wetherly
Tom Wetherly
Brad Wetherly (as Ross Harris)
Roxana Zal ...
Mary Liz Wetherly
Scottie Wetherly
Henry Abhart
Rosemary Abhart
Cathy Pitkin
Phil Pitkin
Mico Olmos ...
Gerry Murillo ...
J. Brennan Smith ...


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 | Add Synopsis


Testament...to a nuclear holocaust See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 January 1984 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Testamento  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,500,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When one of the original backers from American Playhouse reneged on their commitment, PBS could only come up with $500,000 for the projects. Scrambling to come up with backing at the last minute Littmam sold all her rights away to a U.K. investment company called Entertainment Events. Quoting Littman: "And you know something... I would have paid them. See more »


Mary Liz Wetherly: [Remember] the morning I walked in on you and Dad?
Carol Wetherly: Yes.
Mary Liz Wetherly: What's it like?
Carol Wetherly: What's what like?
Mary Liz Wetherly: Making love. Don't play mother with me.
Carol Wetherly: That's what I am.
See more »


Features One Froggy Evening (1955) See more »


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

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User Reviews

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.

43 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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