Docudrama on the development of the first atomic bomb. Told from the perspective of a film recovered from a time capsule several hundred years into the future, the story is narrated by Robert Oppenheimer (Hume Cronyn) and Major General Leslie Groves (Brian Donlevy) beginning with the Nazis stated goal of developing an atomic bomb. Along with Britain and Canada, the U.S. reacts by beginning its own atomic program. The major developments are all presented: Fermi's successful atomic chain reaction; building the huge complex at Oak Ridge, Tenn.; the production of the first supply of plutonium; the testing in the Nevada desert; and finally the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Written by
The idea for the film came from atomic scientists and the first scripts raised questions about the use of the new weapon against Japan and all uses of nuclear energy in the future. By the time the Pentagon and the White House got through with it, the movie took a 180-degree turn. President Truman even got the actor playing him in the movie fired - Greg Mitchell author of 'Atomic Cover-Up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and the Greatest Movie Never Made'. See more »
I saw this movie years ago and hope that it still exists somewhere. I am not optimistic about this as it has never appeared on the History Channel or some other likely place.
This was the first of several films about the Manhattan Project and was perhaps the best one. It is the only one that shows the full scope of the project. The others are either about Los Alamos or the 509th Composite Group that dropped it.
This was also the only one that had some of the real people as advisers. General Groves was a technical adviser and Leo Szilard may also have been one (althought I'm not sure about Leo).
This is an important historical film and deserves preservation and re-publication.
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