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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Why can't we get copies of this excellent series?

Author: uca1512 ( from Connecticut
10 December 2004

Has anyone found a way to purchase copies of this series yet? I can see that a lot of people have inquired but I can't tell if any of them have been successful. It's hard to believe that a series this good cannot be viewed by people today, especially one based on real issues faced by real people during what were both tense and exciting times in our country. How can this be true and what can we do to change it? As an aside I agree with all the comments other writers have made about this series on this web site. This is an excellent story about events that everyone should be aware of and know something about today. Lots of us saw this series when we were in college or around that time anyway. Now we want to share it with our children ... but we can't? If that is true what would some good written materials be that would relay the same information?

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

the best

Author: SBKnaack from kenosha, wi
28 October 2001

This is the best work i have ever seen on television. The story is compelling--all the more so because it is true. The writers did their homework--the accuracy of events is well documented. The acting is great. This has to be the best role Sam Waterston has ever had. And the black and white cinematography was exceptional. My only regret is that it is not available to buy. A few years ago I contacted someone involved with the production (either with PBS or in England) and was told they had no plans to release it on VHS (at the time). This was a BBC production and ran in the U.S. on American Playhouse. There is such an interest in seeing this--just hard to believe no one can make it available.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

BBC 1980 Oppenheimer coming on DVD!

Author: kk2840 from United States
8 March 2006

I posted on IMDb on this series recently, giving a snail mail address at the commercial arm of the BBD where one would write to appeal release. I wrote to that address, mentioning Sam Waterson and his popularity prominently. I just received the following reply:

From: Subject: Oppenheimer Date: May 14, 2006 1:44:00 PM MDT To:

Dear Kate,

I work for the BBFC, the British equivalent to the MPAA, and we classify DVDs and videos as well as films in this country. Anyway, I am currently in the process of giving a certificate to the 1980 miniseries 'Oppenheimer.' While researching the work on the IMDb, I noticed your post and thought you might like to know that the work is about to be released (hence the need for a certificate).

I don't know which company is distributing it, but keep your eyes peeled!

Kind regards,

Emily +++++++++++++++++


I also want to contact Netflix re purchasing this.

Kate Killebrew I emailed the BBC recently regarding whether their terrific series Oppenheimer had ever been released on video or DVD. I have not been able to find it. I received the following reply. If you do write the BBC, be sure to mention that Sam Waterston is very popular in the US. You can also enter "Oppenheimer (1980)" on, and find a box to check to request release by the owner (BBC) and be notified when it's released.

Kate Killebrew

Here's the reply from the BBC:

Dear Kate

Thank you for your e-mail regarding 'Oppenheimer'.

I was interested to read that you would like a copy of this programme which you have enjoyed. I have checked the BBC Shop and on-line retailers and can find no record of it being available. We are unaware of plans at present to release this programme on DVD. However, if you would like to make a suggestion, can I suggest you put it in writing to the commercial arm of the BBC:

Commissioning Editor BBC Worldwide Ltd Woodlands 80 Wood Lane London W12 0TT

May I thank you again for taking the time to contact the BBC.


Elaine Hunter BBC Information ______________________________________

-----Original Message-----

{Comments:} i am trying to find a copy of the terrific BBC production "Oppenheimer', a six part series made in 1980 with Sam Waterston from a book/script by Peter Prince. I watched parts of it then on PBS American Playhouse, but can't find it on video anywhere.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

It made me swoon with passion!

Author: Alissa Mower Clough ( from New Haven, CT
7 July 1999

...a true geek-girl's dream: high tech, high drama, smart guys, steamy sex, and large explosions. (VERY large explosions.) Sam Waterston is so natural in the role of Oppenheimer that tapes of the REAL Oppenheimer sound odd: apparently, he had a voice similar to Ronald Reagan! The triumph and tragedy of Oppenheimer is one of the 20th century's most stirring dramas, and this movie stands as a model of what docu-drama ought to be: the facts are allowed to speak for themselves, while the fictional parts are used to amplify and fill in the record, not to call attention to themselves. An interesting fact: some of the technical details used had only recently been declassified, and so are of special interest. A must-see!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Still unforgettable 20 years later

Author: databong from San Francisco, California, USA
3 July 2000

I saw this series on PBS in 1980 in college and I still can't get it out of my head, although I have never seen it since. I remember every cast member (the casting WAS perfect, as mentioned in other comments), the design, the lighting and, of course, the story, which is by itself is enough to keep you glued to the set. Probably the best TV series I ever saw next to the original "Roots."

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

An excellent mini

Author: statelineracer from United States
9 January 2006

I watched this mini in the early eighties. Sam Waterson proved himself to be a great actor. In fact when he began Law and Order I was disappointed in him as it was not as powerful a role. Unfortunately the good roles do not pay the bills. I wish I could find a copy of this rare series and review it. It is both factual and entertaining. Everyone should see it to know what really happened. I was so moved I purchased and read the book "Pppenheimer-Shatterer of Worlds". And saw how this man became an unlikely hero who was never rewarded for his insight. If you get a chance be sure to watch this movie and see what a performance Mr. Waterston can really provide an audience. Enjoy the movies!

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Oppenheimer miniseries was on of the best I have ever seen.

Author: Carey Vogt (cjvogt) from United States
14 January 2005

I can't remember the series, I believe it may have been "American Masters", but it was broadcast on PBS around 1980. Most people have some knowledge of the development of the A bomb, and those that have little, or none, probably think it is a pretty dry subject. Anyone who has viewed this 7 part series does not feel that way. You get to know the turmoil in Oppenhemiers mind, and how the development changed his life forever. You understand the tragic figure he became, and why. With 7 episodes you get to know the major players, and the intrigue and backstabbing. I have contacted PBS about the chance of obtaining a video, or DVD, but have never received a response. Too bad, I would love to see it again.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Great, how can I see it again?

Author: JLTKing from United States
6 July 2005

Absolutely the best thing I have ever seen on TV. It was both entertaining and informative. The reason I found this site is an attempt to find out how I can again see it.

In the light of present understanding of history we have to sympathize with Gen. Leslie Groves who was responsible for the nuts and bolts of running the Manhattan Project. Most certainly he was not as paranoid about security as most have thought in the past.

The casting for the real life people portrayed was outstanding. It was the first time that I noticed Sam Waterston as an actor. Except for height he looked very much like Robert Oppenheimer.

The early scene in which Oppenheimer is leading a class of graduate students was especially intriguing to me.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

When will it become available?

Author: rlosborne from Bloomington, IN
25 September 2004

My wife and I have never forgotten this series -- I was so impressed with its quality that I tried to view a second time as many as possible of the episodes when they were originally repeated. Despite the limitations of what was obviously a low-budget production, the acting and much of the writing remain vivid after almost 25 years. (I don't think Sam Waterston ever equaled his work in "Oppenheimer.") My hope is that eventually this series may return on DVD. It would be wonderful to give younger viewers the opportunity to see how well the human side of science can be portrayed. And to learn whether my fond memories of "Oppenheimer" still seem valid.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Great mini-series. Anyone know where I can find a copy?

Author: James B. Elliott ( from Berkeley, CA
21 May 2001

I saw the mini-series on PBS when I was in high school. I was a junior taking physics. The shows were so engrossing and inspiring I ended up doing every problem in my text book. I've gone on to become a nuclear physicist in no small part due to "Oppenheimer." I stumbled across this site in my attempts to obtain a copy of this mini-series on VHS or DVD. If anyone knows where I could get a copy, I'd be very grateful for the information. Thanks!

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