7.1/10
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96 user 30 critic

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 »

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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

Movie posters for this film featured a number of different preambles that read: (1) "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"; (2) "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" and (3) "They never had a chance to see their children grow up. To watch each other grow old. To fix up the house, to take that vacation. Because it only took an instant to shatter their dreams". See more »

Quotes

Father Hollis Mann: I'm sorry I'm late. Let's begin.
Carol Wetherly: Not yet!
Father Hollis Mann: God said...
Carol Wetherly: [hysterical] Forget God! No one is touching him! No one is burying him until I find his bear! Do you hear me? You understand?
[Carol runs back to the house, pause]
Father Hollis Mann: ...whosoever believeth in me shall never die.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sex Violence & Values: Changing Images (1986) 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

Powerful, gripping look at nuclear hell
14 March 1999 | by Ace-38See all my reviews

1983..The cold war was in full swing and the fear of nuclear armageddon hung over all our heads. ABC released "The Day After", (which I have already commented on) but in all the furor around that, "Testament" was released. This is THE 1980's nuclear war film. It doesn't deal with the effects on an entire community, but rather on one small, close knit family in California. Jane Alexander's performance was one of legend, and is possibly one of the classic dramatic performances of all time. The day begins innocently enough, dad heads off to work, the kids watch "Sesame Street"..then the Emergency Broadcast System cuts in and the world stops. Ignore all the Y2K mumbo-jumbo and put yourself back in 1983 (most of us know where we were) and watch this film. You may not be "entertained", but you will appreciate what you have just a bit more.


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