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Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  20 October 1989 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 5,083 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 20 critic

This film reenacts the Manhattan Project, the secret wartime project in New Mexico where the first atomic bombs were designed and built.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Kathleen Robinson
Ron Frazier ...
Peer de Silva
...
Capt. Richard Schoenfield, MD
...
Ron Vawter ...
Jamie Latrobe
Michael Brockman ...
William 'Deke' Parsons
Del Close ...
Dr. Kenneth Whiteside
...
Robert Tuckson
...
Franz Goethe (as Alan Corduner)
...
Seth Neddermeyer (as Joseph D'Angerio)
Jon DeVries ...
Johnny Mount (as Jon De Vries)
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Storyline

In real life, Robert Oppenheimer was the scientific head of the Manhattan Project, the secret wartime project in New Mexico where the first atomic bombs were designed and built. General Leslie Groves was in overall command of it. This film reenacts the project with an emphasis on their relationship. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of the extraordinary people who changed our world.


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Schattenmacher  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$3,563,162 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one interview Joffe compared Openheimer to Hamlet and Groves to Iago. In another he compared the film to "the story of Faust told through the eyes of Mephistopheles." See more »

Goofs

In the opening scenes Lt. Col Boris Pash is seen wearing the silver oak leaves centered on the epaulets on his Class A uniform. (They remain there several scenes later in the security office) where they are listening to Oppenheimer talking to Jean Tatlock and the Lt. Col. is playing darts. This is a correct location for a General's single star. It was planned that way by the services so a General officer's distinction would be instantly recognizable at distance and no other officer's rank is located there. The costumer got a full Colonel's rank correct as well as a Major, and a Captain's; but a Lt. Colonel's oak leaves are never worn there. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Leslie R. Groves: We could give this country the biggest stick in the playground, and I intend to do that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Fat Man and Little Boy (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance of the Reed Flutes
By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (as P. Tchaikovsky)
Courtesy of TRF Production Music Libraries
By Arrangement with Kaleidosound
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User Reviews

 
We've Got The Bomb
8 April 2007 | by (Manitoba, Canada) – See all my reviews

It was a fascinating story waiting to be told. FAT MAN AND LITTLE BOY takes us inside the trials and tribulations of a group of top American scientists handed a lofty task during the Second World War: beat everyone else to the atomic bomb. Sequestered in a heavily-guarded New Mexico compound, the brainiacs slowly turn the idea from ambitious concept into immense reality.

FAT MAN AND LITTLE BOY is one of those films that requires your close attention. It's a real thinking person's movie, not only from the scientific aspect of developing a seemingly impossible weapon, but also the moral implications of contributing to killing on a massive scale. Characters are constantly torn between that reality and their wartime duty as Americans. The film is never preachy about, however, leaving us free to marvel at the enormity of the inner turmoil these men face. The performances deserve special mention as well. Paul Newman delivers one of his great, understated performances as the Pattonesque general in charge of delivering the ultimate big stick for the Allied Forces.

Where FAT MAN AND LITTLE BOY loses much of its traction is in the unnecessary romantic component. Dwight Schultz as the leader of the scientific team struggles with his affections for his family and his relentless obsession with his big project. Director Roland Joffe apparently felt the need to explore the more human angles of this story, but the romantic overtones serve primarily as a distraction. Besides, it's the interaction among the scientists and their military hierarchy that give us the greatest insight into the thoughts and feelings of these brilliant men.

Still, it's difficult not to recommend FAT MAN AND LITTLE BOY. It's a largely forgotten gem that puts a human face put on one of the most intriguing stories in human history.


23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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