6.5/10
5,851
48 user 20 critic

Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)

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

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Blaze (1989)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A middle-aged Louisiana governor falls in love with a young stripper, which jeopardizes his political career and the radical policies which have made him a controversial figure.

Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Paul Newman, Lolita Davidovich, Jerry Hardin
City of Joy (1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hazari Pal lives in a small village in Bihar, India, with his dad, mom, wife, Kamla, daughter, Amrita, and two sons, Shambhu and Manooj. As the Pal are unable to repay the loan they had ... See full summary »

Director: Roland Joffé
Stars: Patrick Swayze, Pauline Collins, Om Puri
Vatel (2000)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Vatel is in charge of the reception to the king Louis XIV. With the prince's political ambitions at stake, its essential to please him. But when he falls in love with the king's lover, passion and duty seem to contradict each other.

Director: Roland Joffé
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In New York, South Bronx's main police precinct is nicknamed Fort Apache by its employees who feel like troopers surrounded by hostiles in a wild west isolated outpost.

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: Paul Newman, Edward Asner, Ken Wahl
True Colors (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Best friends from law school to election night, their friendship is sorely tested when one learns of another's betrayal.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: John Cusack, James Spader, Imogen Stubbs
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young writer goes to Wiesbaden to write about gambling and gamblers, only to ultimately become a compulsive gambler himself. Losing all his wealth, as well as his moral fibre, he commits ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Melvyn Douglas
Twilight (1998)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A retired detective accepts a simple task, unaware that it will tear open old, forgotten, but deadly wounds.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a prosecutor leaks a false story that a liquor warehouse owner is involved in the murder of a union head, the man's life begins to unravel.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Paul Newman, Sally Field, Bob Balaban
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The account of troubled relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and his eldest son.

Director: Feroz Abbas Khan
Stars: Akshaye Khanna, Darshan Jariwala, Shefali Shah
Tapeheads (1988)
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A couple of creative losers accidently become big shots in the video music industry.

Director: Bill Fishman
Stars: John Cusack, Tim Robbins, Mary Crosby
Fat Man Little Boy (Video 2013)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Directors: Robert Barocci, Kevin Heffernan
Stars: Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A member of British Intelligence assumes a fictitious criminal identity and allows himself to be caught, imprisoned, and freed in order to infiltrate a spy organization and expose a traitor.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Newman, Dominique Sanda, James Mason
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Schattenmacher  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,476,994 (USA) (20 October 1989)

Gross:

$3,563,162 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In real life, Paul Newman was a liberal and Dwight Schultz is a conservative. These political persuasions are the political opposites of the roles they played in this film as General Leslie R. Groves (See: Leslie Groves) and J. Robert Oppenheimer respectively. See more »

Goofs

The Battle of the Philippines ended on 8 May 1942, with the Allied surrender of the Philippines to Japan. By that point, US soldiers stationed in the Philippines were either evacuated off the islands, POWs in a Japanese prison camps, missing in action, or killed in action. Nearly a year later, in April 1943, John Cusack's character, Michael Merriman, arrives in Los Alamos. Shortly afterwards, he writes to his Dad that "I think of Jimmy, fighting in the Philippines". Later, when he mets Laura Dern's character, Nurse Kathleen Robinson, he explains that he has a brother, who "is a solider". By April 1943, it seems unlikely that Merriman would call his brother Jimmy "a solider" if he were a POW, missing in action, or dead. If Merriman's brother had been evacuated off the Philippines, it is unlikely that Merriman would say Jimmy is "fighting in the Philippines", rather than the past tense, or saying that he is now fighting a different battle, or "fighting the Pacific" or "fighting against the Japanese", etc. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Leslie R. Groves: Gotta come down out of the clouds gentlemen, and get into the business... of winning the war.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Sorcerer's Apprentice
By Paul Dukas
Performed by The Vienna Symphony
Edouard Van Remoortel, Conductor
Courtesy of The Moss Music Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Best Engineering flick in decades, great history and melodrama, too
22 June 2002 | by (Somewhere in Soho) – See all my reviews

It's rare for a movie to both encompass the process of problem solving and a fantastically far-reaching moral quandary AND be a fairly accurate historical movie, but Fat Man and Little Boy pulls off this trick.

It's the story of the Manhattan Project -- the World War II effort to build the atom bomb, told as the conflict between the two men who made it happen, Gen. Leslie Groves and Robert Oppenheimer.

The historical figures are a great study in opposites: military vs. civilian, practical vs. idealistic, emotional vs. scientific, brute force vs. consensus-based problem solving, immediacy vs. long-term vision. A fictional character, played by John Cusack, is added as a sort of synthesis of the two historical figures, to show the humanity that oddly escapes the real people (and of course the obligatory love interest, played by Laura Dern). One looking for a straight documentary might criticize the lapses into melodrama (and occasional looseness with the facts, but that's Hollywood for ya), but the purpose of fiction is to synthesize and galvanize events into more universal truths, so I think this can be forgiven.

One of the great visuals in the movie is when Oppenheimer witnesses the first atomic explosion: it's done entirely through his reaction, and considering the awesome visuals inherent in an atomic explosion, it's a brave and entirely effective way of describing in a single moment the ambivalent effect on humans of unleashing such power (the sort of thing lost in the typical Hollywood shoot 'em up version of history.) The use of music is particularly excellent in the last third of the movie.

Fairly accessible and highly recommended as both a historical movie and drama of the highest order.


31 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

"The IMDb Show": Alan Tudyk, His Top 5 Star Wars Droids, and Denzel's Dream Role

"The IMDb Show" Thanksgiving special: Alan Tudyk ranks his top five droids, we talk with the cast of Roman J. Israel, Esq., and we share our favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes.

Watch the show