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

Director:

Writers:

(based on the story "The Last Testament" by), (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Day After (TV Movie 1983)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A graphic, disturbing film about the effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg
Threads (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Documentary-style account of a nuclear holocaust and its effect on the working class city of Sheffield, England, and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly
By Dawn's Early Light (TV Movie 1990)
Drama | Thriller | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones
Miracle Mile (1988)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young man hears a chance phone call telling him that a nuclear war has started and missiles will hit his city in 70 minutes.

Director: Steve De Jarnatt
Stars: Anthony Edwards, Mare Winningham, John Agar
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

A detective investigates a series of killings committed by a serial killer known as "The Black Angel." He begins to suspect that it might not be just a random group of murders.

Director: Howard Heard
Stars: Elizabeth Trosper, William J. Kulzer, Shea Porter
Fandango (1985)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Five college buddies from the University of Texas circa 1971 embark on a final road trip odyssey across the Mexican border before facing up to uncertain futures, in Vietnam and otherwise.

Director: Kevin Reynolds
Stars: Kevin Costner, Judd Nelson, Sam Robards
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Disturbing collection of 1940s and 1950s United States government issued propaganda films designed to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was not a threat to their safety.

Directors: Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Paul Tibbets, Harry S. Truman, W.H.P. Blandy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jim Wilson
Stars: Kevin Costner, Andra Millian, Eve Lilith
Special Bulletin (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Ed Flanders, Kathryn Walker, Roxanne Hart
The War Game (1965)
Documentary | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Michael Aspel, Peter Graham, Kathy Staff
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man named Zac Hobson awakens to find himself alone in the world. In a desperate attempt to search for others, he finds only two who have their own agenda.

Director: Geoff Murphy
Stars: Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, Pete Smith
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3/10 X  
Directors: Therese Conte, Sean Roche
Stars: David G. Brown, Kevin Costner, John Fife
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Carol Wetherly
...
Tom Wetherly
...
Brad Wetherly (as Ross Harris)
Roxana Zal ...
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
Edit

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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Testament...to a nuclear holocaust See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie features actors Rebecca De Mornay and Kevin Costner in early film roles. The two then emerging actors actually played a married couple. See more »

Quotes

Carol Wetherly: [crying] Who did this, God damn you!
See more »

Connections

Features Workout (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Hello! Ma Rag Time Gal!
(1899) (uncredited)
(Also called "Hello! Ma Baby")
Written by Joseph E. Howard and Ida Emerson
Performed by Bill Roberts
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A small, brilliant gem of a film that still holds up after 20 years
4 August 2004 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

I first saw "Testament" when it came out in 1983. At the time, I was 30 years old and the mother of a two year-old son. As a child of the Cold War years, I have always been interested in films about that most unthinkable event: the detonation of a nuclear bomb or bombs somewhere on our fragile planet. If you are, too, you must watch "Testament" (and another small gem of a slightly earlier era called "Fail-Safe.")

This is a wonderful film that slowly, unbearably reveals what happens in the small, idyllic town of Hamlin after a full-scale nuclear exchange between the superpowers wipes out a large part of America. The town and its citizens, including the Weatherly family, escape initial destruction. But slowly the bonds that hold western societies together (electricity, communication, fresh food, medical help) begin to fray and ravel. There is no television. Batteries to power transistor radios suddenly become more valuable than $20 bills in a town where, suddenly, there's nothing left to buy.

The story and scenes are permeated with a sense of enormous loss. A family loses its husband and father who simply walked out the door, waving a breezy goodbye one morning, and disappeared into the holocaust. All his wife, Carol, and two children have left of him are their memories and some flickering images on home movies, glimpses not just of a lost loved one, but of a lost -- and loved -- world.

A school play about the Pied Piper was in rehearsal before catastrophe hit, and, desperate to recapture some normalcy and to divert the children's attention from a reality to horrible to contemplate, the town decides to go on with the show.In the earlier rehearsal scenes, life was normal, the future shone brightly in the children's faces. Now, as the parents watch the performance, they see no future for these beautiful innocents. To me, this is the key scene of the film: the contrast between what these people once had and what has been lost is staggering. It makes you want to go outside, smell the air, marvel at the full supermarket shelves and the working telephone lines. (This is a gift that the movie gives its audience which goes far beyond entertainment and approaches enlightenment.)

Beyond the wonderful writing, direction and performances, I love the tiny touches in the story. For example, there's the foreshadowing, the implicit warning contained in the presence of a minor character, a little Japanese boy with Down Syndrome who is cared for by the town after his father dies. The child's name is Hiroshi. Pay attention, the script commands us in a whisper: Hiroshima happened once, but it can happen again, and it can happen to you as well as "them."

In the end, the movie is a testament to this undeniable fact, a testament to the stupidity of men who continue building ever-larger, more lethal means of mass destruction, and finally, a testament to the strength of mothers like the character of Carol Weatherly who have no choice but to love and protect their children no matter what comes.


50 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
this movie terrified me as a child of the 80s.. eightbitsofhorror
Im sooo disappointed... gobe-2
Why didn't they leave? overfloden
Most Depressing Scene nWo4-LIFE
DVD release? matt_the_melon
'This is San Francisco..... xabat77
Discuss Testament (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?