Everyone has a talent, and dreams do come true. Stacy Lancaster has an incredible knack for Blackjack. Once she joins up with daring Will Bonner the two young gamblers are on a non-stop ... See full summary »
J. P. Tannen takes his three children for a vacation cruise. They usually live with their mother and step-father, but now J. P. feels capable of taking them. Emotional tragedy strikes, ... See full summary »
1926. The Chinese Civil War. Drifter Ted Beaubien is captured and forced to witness his girlfriend's execution. He finally escapes and vows to avenge her death by taking on a deadly mission... See full summary »
John Logan is a poor little rich boy. He learns to love from three nubile L.A. newcomers that will do anything to be introduced into the sizzling nightlife of the City of Angels. Portraying... See full summary »
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 »
Twelve years ago, a plague swept through, wiping out most of the population; in San Francisco, only 186 people remain. Two of them use jury-rigged batteries to power a camera and make a ... See full summary »
Interviews with crew and cast look back 20 years to the filming and release of "Testament" in 1983. Like the 1959 classic "On The Beach", this film focuses on nuclear conflict as it affects... See full summary »
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 »
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 <email@example.com>
I never thought a film about nuclear war could be more moving than "The Day After" or "Threads". Now that I've viewed "Testament", I know I was wrong.
Frankly, I thought the film would seem mild in comparison with the former two, which are very graphic and horrific. In fact, it was even more disturbing and difficult to watch. Several times I considered shutting the film off, thinking "What good is it doing me to watch this depressing movie?" But each time I convinced myself to stick it out, and I'm glad I did.
I don't know what it was; the strength of Jane Alexander's performance, the combined performances by the younger actors playing her children, the excellent and artistic (yet remarkably matter-of-fact) cinematography, the haunting beauty of James Horner's score, or all of the above, but "Testament" just got into me and tore my very soul apart. There's no graphic "ground zero" scenes like in the other two films, just the story of a family struggling to survive, trying to stay hopeful beyond all hope.
The scene that I think will stick with me forever is the shot of Jane Alexander tearing apart bedsheets. That's all I'll say about this scene for now since I don't want to give anything away, but watch the film and you'll know what I'm talking about.
As other reviews have alluded to, "The Day After" and "Testament" both came out around the same time, yet "Testament" is far less known and remembered among the two films, even though most consider it the better of the two. I think the reason for this is that "The Day After" was presented on television, while "Testament", though originally made for public television, was instead released to theaters. With a movie like this, I think it's easier to just watch it on TV than to bring yourself to actually go out to a theater to experience this type of film.
"Testament" is one of those films like "The Hours". It's beautiful, breathtaking, unforgettable... and so heartrending I'm not sure I can ever bring myself to watch it again. But if you haven't seen it, you should. Trust me, it will be worth it.
19 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?