Based on true events surrounding the creation of the atomic bomb, this drama follows the complicated relationship between physicist Leo Szilard, scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and Gen. ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Arthur Compton
Anne Twomey ...
Ron Frazier ...
Bernie McInerney
John Pielmeier ...


Based on true events surrounding the creation of the atomic bomb, this drama follows the complicated relationship between physicist Leo Szilard, scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and Gen. Leslie Groves. Assigned to oversee the project, Groves chooses Oppenheimer to build the historic bomb. But, when World War II inspires the government to use the weapon, Szilard reconsiders his opinions about atomic warfare. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History






Release Date:

5 March 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nap  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the time this film was made, Michael Tucker and Richard Dysart were well-known for their roles in L.A. Law (1986). See more »


Near the first of the film, where General Groves is observing some of the chemistry and physics put on the blackboard by Enrico Fermi, an error is shown with Fermi making several entries, two to be culminating: ten to the 23rd power, only supposedly Fermi makes an error and shows in the second equation put up in rapid succession, "10 to the 24th." This was done seemingly by the filmmakers so General Groves could then point out that he had been following the mathematics and as a show of his prowess, he announces that he did not see "How in the second equation the formula shows ten to the 24th." This then permits his speech about having ten years of postgraduate education which he believes is equivalent to two PhD's. The mathematical equation Fermi is citing is the factor of Avogadro's Law relating to the mass of a gas which is 6.023 X 10 to the 23rd. This is a factor taught in Chemistry 101. See more »


[University of Chicago December 2 1942 - the first controlled chain reaction in an atomic pile]
Leo Szilard: This day will go down in history as a black mark against mankind.
See more »

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User Reviews

Military & Scientific War Rooms...Producing & Delploying The First Atomic Bomb
6 October 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Brian Dennehy's Commanding Performance as Brig. Gen Leslie Groves drives this TV-Docudrama about "The Manhattan Project", the Scientific/Militaristic Collaboration to Design and Build the First Atomic Bomb.

But Producing the "Super Weapon" opens up a "Pandora's Box" of Conflicting Philosophies and Strategic Questions that Human Beings were Forced to Answer, and Answer Quickly.

History is Played Out quite Accurately, or as Accurate as something like a TV-Movie is Capable. It's an Astonishingly Detailed Account of the much Talked About Event.

"The Manhattan Project, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Trinity, Fat Man & Little Boy, Oppenheimer, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fall Out", and other Terms enters and remains in the Lexicon of Nervous Language to this Day.

This is a good Dramatization. David Strathairn is Excellent as Robert J. Oppenheimer, "Oppie", to His Friends and Colleagues. He is more of a Complex Person than Groves and it wasn't as Easy to Flesh Out, but is given His Due and enough Screen Time to be a Fair Account of the Man.

Overall, the Movie is a Must Watch for Historians and for Anyone Interested in War Room and Laboratory Intrigue where America's "Hawks and Doves" Mated and the "Love Child" and its Offspring are Still Alive and the Biography is Not Yet Complete.

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