7.1/10
4,952
93 user 30 critic

Testament (1983)

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 (SD) on Prime Video

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

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 7.1/10 X  

The effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg
Special Bulletin (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
Threads (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The effects of a nuclear holocaust 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
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 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
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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

J.P. Tannen takes his three children for a vacation cruise. They usually live with their mother and stepfather, but now J.P. feels capable of taking them. Emotional tragedy strikes, causing... See full summary »

Director: Robert Lieberman
Stars: Jon Voight, Richard Crenna, Marie-Christine Barrault
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 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
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A naive elderly British rural couple survive the initial onslaught of a nuclear war.

Director: Jimmy T. Murakami
Stars: Peggy Ashcroft, John Mills, Robin Houston
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

A young man (David G. Brown) is bogged down by his family, farm and school life, but after the baseball coach convinces him to play, he finds a bit of comfort in the sport and ends up excelling in it

Directors: Therese Conte, Sean Roche
Stars: David G. Brown, Kevin Costner, John Fife
The Gunrunner (1989)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Nardo Castillo
Stars: Kevin Costner, Sara Botsford, Paul Soles
The War Game (TV Movie 1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A docudrama depicting a hypothetical nuclear attack on Britain.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Michael Aspel, Peter Graham, Dave Baldwin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Carol Wetherly
... Tom Wetherly
... Brad Wetherly (as Ross Harris)
... 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 January 1984 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Testamento  »

Filming Locations:


Edit

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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two 1983 films about nuclear warfare and atomic bombs that were originally made for television but garnered a theatrical release in select territories. The other was The Day After (1983). See more »

Quotes

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"?
[pause]
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 »

Connections

Features Sesame Street (1969) 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

See more »

User Reviews

 
Beautiful... and horrific
3 February 2006 | by 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.


29 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 93 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial