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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Cast

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

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 <browna@ohsu.edu>

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Drama | History

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5 March 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nap  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[before the Trinity test, to Oppenheimer]
Gen. Leslie Groves: Robert - don't you ever worry the war will be over before the bomb is ready to drop?
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User Reviews

 
The Manhattan Project
2 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a very good film on the Manhattan Project, the building of the atomic bomb. It is especially a faithful adaptation of the book, DAY ONE, by Peter Wyden. Other reviews here have done a good job of description--I will add that it is far superior to the Paul Newman film on the same topic: FAT MAN AND LITTLE BOY.

In addition, this film is a good teaching tool. I used to show clips from the movie to my U.S. History classes, particularly the latter portion of the film where multiple viewpoints are given of the reasons for and against the dropping of the bomb, whether or not it was necessary, and what would be the moral consequences if such a weapon was used. These viewpoints, from the military and civilian leaders in Washington and at Los Alamos, are not conjured up from the mind of some scriptwriter--they are historically accurate.


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