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Testament (1983)

PG  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  5 January 1984 (Argentina)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 4,271 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 30 critic

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

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(based on the story "The Last Testament" by), (screenplay)
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Title: Testament (1983)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Carol Wetherly
...
Tom Wetherly
...
Brad Wetherly (as Ross Harris)
Roxana Zal ...
Mary Liz Wetherly
...
Scottie Wetherly
Philip Anglim ...
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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Testament...to a nuclear holocaust See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cast and crew reunited around twenty years after this picture was made to film the making-of documentary of this movie entitled Testament at 20 (2003). It is available on the DVD. See more »

Quotes

Brad Wetherly: [after finding Hiroshi abandoned at home] I'd better take you home with me, Hiroshi... because I don't think your dad is coming back.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Between Two Worlds: The Making of 'Witness' (2005) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful... and horrific
3 February 2006 | by (Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

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.


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