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Day One (1989)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | History  -  5 March 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 287 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard leaves Europe, eventually arriving in the United States. With the help of Einstein, he persuades the government to build an atomic bomb. The project is given... See full summary »



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Title: Day One (TV Movie 1989)

Day One (TV Movie 1989) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins. See more awards »




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


Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard leaves Europe, eventually arriving in the United States. With the help of Einstein, he persuades the government to build an atomic bomb. The project is given to no-nonsense Gen. Leslie Groves who selects physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer to head the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico, where the bomb is built. As World War II draws to a close, Szilard has second thoughts about atomic weapons, and policy makers debate how and when to use the bomb. Written by Allen Brown <>

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Drama | History






Release Date:

5 March 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Day One  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the flight to Hiroshima, the footage alternates between a B-29 and a B-17. The B-17 engines are staggered on the wing from the fuselage, while the B-29 engines are straight on the wing. See more »


[after an experiment proving the feasibility of a chain reaction in uranium]
Leo Szilard: The world is headed for trouble. The world is headed for grief.
See more »

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User Reviews

The world is headed for trouble.
15 October 2010 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Day One" feels like a portrait of the longest pre-meditated murder in the history of mankind. There are the killers, the unwitting accomplices, and the witnesses. It's all so well-documented, so perfectly arranged. This is the coldest kind of tale imaginable. Given the opportunity to put a distance of emotion and miles between the countless innocent dead and some perceived military victory, a country at large was deceived into believing that some great good or justice was being served.

In spite of how you or I might see the results of the design, construction and eventual detonation of the first nuclear devices, this film doesn't take sides. Brian Dennehy and David Strathairn (two of my favorite actors) create incredibly believable characters. Michael Tucker, who looks very much like Leo Szilard, is excellent as well. I enjoyed Joseph Sargent's directorial work, a sort of off-hand realist quality he brings to nearly all his films. It serves the story well. "Day One" is a good film, just not the most engaging or tightly woven one. Your interest should depend directly on your familiarity with the subject matter.

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