7.1/10
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Testament (1983)

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

Director:

Lynne Littman

Writers:

Carol Amen (based on the story "The Last Testament" by), John Sacret Young (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Alexander ... Carol Wetherly
William Devane ... Tom Wetherly
Rossie Harris ... Brad Wetherly (as Ross Harris)
Roxana Zal ... Mary Liz Wetherly
Lukas Haas ... Scottie Wetherly
Philip Anglim ... Hollis
Lilia Skala ... Fania
Leon Ames ... Henry Abhart
Lurene Tuttle ... Rosemary Abhart
Rebecca De Mornay ... Cathy Pitkin
Kevin Costner ... Phil Pitkin
Mako ... Mike
Mico Olmos Mico Olmos ... Larry
Gerry Murillo Gerry Murillo ... Hiroshi
J. Brennan Smith 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It happened in an instant. The televisions went blank, the radios - silent. The cities were gone, the future abandoned. And the only thing they have left to hold onto, is the people they love. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 January 1984 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Testamento See more »

Filming Locations:

Sierra Madre, California, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$317,996, 6 November 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,044,892
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

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 »

Connections

Features One Froggy Evening (1955) 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 William Roberts
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I saw this once 20 years ago; I've never forgotten it.
14 July 2003 | by SardonySee all my reviews

It's been TWENTY YEARS (!) since I've seen this movie in a theatre, and I've never yet forgotten it. If any movie can be said to be life-changing, this is it. TESTAMENT was first shown in theatres, and the film's power became front page headlines for quite some time. People were crying in theatres, and article after article told of how this extremely powerful film affected people. This was not hype; the emotional strength of this movie is genuinely powerful.

For myself, I held back as best I could from crying in the theatre (me being a 23 year old guy seeing it with two (married) friends). But the effect on me was apparently visible immediately: when I walked out of the theatre and passed thru the line of people waiting for the next showing, a woman, who was laughing with her friends, happened to look at me and her face went completely serious. I very nearly hugged her right there, this stranger. When I got home, I cried for about two hours. The film's themes affected my, at the time, concerns about love, relationships, and such like.

One scene I'll never EVER forget, the most devastating: the 13-ish year old daughter asks her mother, "What's it like?" MOTHER: "What's what like?" DAUGHTER: "Making love." The mother (Jane Alexander -- my God, what a performance!) tells her in a very frank and beautiful speech, and the daughter caps off that scene with a devastating remark that just kills you and got my tears flowing (I probably couldn't hold back at that point).

Before making TESTAMENT, director Lynne Littman had made only documentaries, so maybe that "realism" style added to the power and believability of this movie. One of my all time favorite supporting actors is in this film, and he does a fantastic job: Mako. He and the young retarded (Down Syndrome?) boy who plays his son make a phenomenal team. They're my favorite characters: so full of innocence, father so full of love, strength and pain. Agh... my god my god... what a movie. Whew.


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