Testament is an exceptionally powerful film dealing with the survivors of a nuclear war. Debuting director Lynne Littman brings an original approach to the grim material.
Based on Carol Amen’s magazine story The Last Testament, pic depicts a normal, complacent community in the small California town of Hamlin.
The town’s calm is shattered when a TV newscast announces that nuclear devices have exploded in New York and on the east coast, with the film proper suddenly going to yellow and whiteout, indicating blasts on the west coast as well. Ham radio operator Henry Abhart (Leon Ames) becomes Hamlin’s communications link to the outside world.
Isolated, Hamlin’s residents attempt to survive, but within a month over 1,000 people have died from radiation sickness. A young couple (Rebecca DeMornay and Kevin Costner), whose baby has died, drive off in search of ‘a safe place’.
Holding it all together as a tower of strength is actress Jane Alexander as Carol Wetherby, coping with the deaths of her family and friends in truly heroic fashion via an understated performance.
1983: Nomination: Best Actress (Jane Alexander)