7.1/10
5,256
97 user 31 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 »

Photos

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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:

Testament...to a nuclear holocaust 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

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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

The name of the TV show airing on television when the atomic blast occurs was Sesame Street (1969). See more »

Quotes

Carol Wetherly: [Carol recalls in her diary how she and the kids found Scottie's maple sapling dead from radiation exposure] ... Scottie's tree... I can't write today.
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Connections

Features The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show (1978) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

a distictly female look at Nuclear War
11 October 2002 | by vampiresanSee all my reviews

All of the comments i have read about this film focus on it's bleakness, on it's difficultly - due to subject matter, and many of them also quite rightly applaud the performance of Jane Alexander in the Central role. What none of them mention, and what seems so clear to me, is that this is a film that could only have been made by women.

There is no BIG EVENT here. No mass hysteria, violence, rape, disfigurement or any of those other factors that are paraded as horrifying in the majority of Nuclear War films - I am thinking specifically of Threads and The Day After Here.

In Testament we actually see humanity. We see how one family, one community copes with the devastation of just that - their family and their community.

This is what is so tragic, compelling and ultimately horrifying about this film. It is not a panache, it is not a broad canvas. It is about people not about issues and as such the humanity shines through.

I am not saying the other films aren't powerful in their way. They are - and both Threads and The Day After gave me nightmares. But Testament was so far beyond them in terms of simple courage and purpose. There was no grandiose, no glamour or tacked on love story. This was not hollywood, was life or the end of it, and all the more frightening for it.

Testament is one of the main reasons why we should see more women making politic films - and perhaps running a few more countries.


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