6.5/10
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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.

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Kathleen Robinson
Ron Frazier ...
Peer de Silva
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Richard Schoenfield
...
Ron Vawter ...
Jamie Latrobe
Michael Brockman ...
William 'Deke' Parsons
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Dr. Kenneth Whiteside
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The meaning of the films "Fat Man and Little Boy" title, as outlined by show-business trade-paper 'Variety', is that "'Fat Man' and 'Little Boy' were the [code names or] nicknames given to the [atom] bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki [in Japan in August 1945 during World War II]". See more »

Goofs

At the party, Dr. Schoenfield (John C. McGinley) is wearing his Captain's bars 90 Degrees off. They should be parallel to the lower edge of the shirt collar not the edge that touches his neck, as is shown. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Leslie R. Groves: I want three stories. The first, if we succeed. The second, if we fail. The third, if we disintegrate.
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Soundtracks

Brown Jug Swing
Written by Joseph Winner (as J.E. Winner)
Arranged by Garnett Brown
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User Reviews

 
Lazy and simplistic
26 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Fat Man & Little Boy plays like the Cliff's Notes version of an important period in history and science. The first moment we see a carefree, laughing Oppenheimer, it is obvious that the film is going to take quite a few liberties with characterization. When Paul Newman strides onto the scene, accompanied by "Patton"-like music, all credibility is immediately destroyed. My major problem with Fat Man & Little Boy is the character of Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer was a complex character, a misfit, a neurasthenic polymath. This film only scratches the surface of his personality, and the actor who plays him is horribly miscast, although he tries his best. Towards the final days of the Project, Oppenheimer had become extremely thin and cadaverous. The constant hounding by Communist hunters digging into his personal life coupled with his moral qualms about the use of the Bomb threw him into a state of nervous exhaustion bordering on paranoia. There is no hint of the inner man in this portrayal. The community of physicists at Los Alamos was a collection of brilliant and unusual men. There were many conflicts and a lot of competition going on which are pretty much ignored. It was frustrating to see all of this potentially rich material cast aside in order to simplify the film and make it accessible. In addition to ignoring the real characters involved in the Manhattan Project and misinterpreting the ones it treats, the film introduces John Cusak as the "Everyman Physicist," a fictional character created to humanize(?)the subject and engage the "average viewer," along with the obligatory love interest. This slows the movie down to a crawl and it was walking pretty slowly to begin with. This movie takes a situation rich in drama and conflict coupled with scientific and historical interest and turns it into a boring, simplistic soap opera.


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