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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Imagine a day like any other. The children are fighting, the refrigerator is humming. Highways are jammed, playgrounds are filled. Everything is perfectly normal... For the very last time. See more »




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?


Kevin Costner has said that he has never forgotten this film and the powerful influence it has had on him. Costner would later star during the 1990s in such post-apocalyptic movies as Waterworld (1995) and The Postman (1997). See more »


Throughout the story, Carol watches her favorite family moments on super 8 home movie film, and even weeks after the nuclear disaster she watches the home movies with Hiroshi and Brad on a projector. If the radiation was really at a high enough level to kill off the other townsfolk, then it would have been so strong that the films would have deteriorated upon exposure to it, destroying the images on the celluloid so that nobody could view them. See more »


Brad Wetherly: Doesn't radiation get into water?
Carol Wetherly: Well, it can. Maybe it won't be so bad here. But we'd better be careful.
Scottie Wetherly: What's "radation"?
Mary Liz Wetherly: Here, have a banana.
Scottie Wetherly: You never gave me one before.
Mary Liz Wetherly: I did now.
Carol Wetherly: There may not be any... more for a while.
See more »


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


All My Loving
By John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Produced by Andrew Dorfman
Performed by Mitch Weissman
Courtesy of Mac Len Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Revenge of the 80's "I Love the Bomb": Testament
26 February 2009 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

Testament (1983) was one of the few films that came out during the 80's that dealt with the Nuclear War scenario seriously. Jane Alexander stars as the matriarch of your typical middle class family. One day when the father (Bill Devane) is on a business trip, life as we know it was ended when the missiles were launched. Who or what caused this holocaust was never explained. But the only that thing that matters now is survival and trying to keep the family together. What tragic world lies ahead for the family now that life as they knew it was changed forever?

A real heartbreaking film that shows the side of the human condition that we all have deep within us. There's no big budgeted effects or over the top acting in this film. Just raw emotion, great acting and a real good script and direction that fuels this drama. I strongly recommend this movie for all the reasons I have stated.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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