IMDb > Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)
Fat Man and Little Boy
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Fat Man and Little Boy (1989) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 25 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Fat Man and Little Boy -- 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
Fat Man and Little Boy -- This film reenacts the Manhattan Project, the secret wartime project in New Mexico where the first atomic bombs were designed and built.


User Rating:
6.5/10   5,068 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Bruce Robinson (story)
Bruce Robinson (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Fat Man and Little Boy on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 October 1989 (USA) See more »
The story of the extraordinary people who changed our world.
This film reenacts the Manhattan Project, the secret wartime project in New Mexico where the first atomic bombs were designed and built. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 nominations See more »
(6 articles)
[Review] The Lovers
 (From The Film Stage. 10 March 2015, 12:00 PM, PDT)

What Is Expiring From Netflix on January 1?
 (From Vulture. 29 December 2014, 8:15 AM, PST)

What to Watch: Nov. 24-Dec. 9, 2013
 (From 2 December 2013, 2:35 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
We've Got The Bomb See more (44 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Paul Newman ... Gen. Leslie R. Groves

Dwight Schultz ... J. Robert Oppenheimer

Bonnie Bedelia ... Kitty Oppenheimer

John Cusack ... Michael Merriman

Laura Dern ... Kathleen Robinson
Ron Frazier ... Peer de Silva

John C. McGinley ... Capt. Richard Schoenfield, MD

Natasha Richardson ... Jean Tatlock
Ron Vawter ... Jamie Latrobe
Michael Brockman ... William 'Deke' Parsons
Del Close ... Dr. Kenneth Whiteside

John Considine ... Robert Tuckson

Allan Corduner ... Franz Goethe (as Alan Corduner)

Joe D'Angerio ... Seth Neddermeyer (as Joseph D'Angerio)
Jon DeVries ... Johnny Mount (as Jon De Vries)

James Eckhouse ... Robert Harper

Todd Field ... Robert Wilson

Mary Pat Gleason ... Dora Welsh

Clark Gregg ... Douglas Panton
Péter Halász ... George Kistiakowsky
Gerald Hiken ... Leo Szilard
Arthur Holden ... Oak Ridge Doctor

Ed Lauter ... Whitney Ashbridge
Donald MacKechnie ... James Tuck

Madison Mason ... Boris Pash
Krzysztof Pieczynski ... Otto Frisch (as Christopher Pieczynski)

Don Pugsley ... Sgt. Bronston, Groves' Orderly
Logan Ramsey ... Brehon Somervell

Fred Dalton Thompson ... Maj. Gen. Melrose Hayden Barry

Jim True-Frost ... Donald Hornig

Barry Yourgrau ... Edward Teller
Marek Alboszta ... Scientist
Steven Baigelman ... Dr. Avenell

Frank Benettieri Jr. ... Messenger
Roger Cubicciotti ... Frank Oppenheimer
Franco Cutietta ... Enrico Fermi
Robert Peter Gale ... Dr. Louis Hempelman
Wesley Harrison ... Peter Oppenheimer
Brent Harrison ... Peter Oppenheimer
Tom McFarlane ... Scientist
David C. Parnes ... Raincoat Man
Allen Poirson ... Harold McDonald
David Politzer ... Robert Serber
Bill Rubenstein ... N.Y. Times Reporter
Ken Strausbaugh ... Observation Officer
Walter Sullivan ... Secretary of War Henry Stimson
Brian Wandell ... Dennis Talmudge
John Williams ... Mack Stoddard
Walker Edmiston ... (voice)
Matthew Faison ... (voice)
Stan Jones ... (voice) (as Staley Jones)

Alan Oppenheimer ... (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

David Brainard ... Samuel Allison
William J. Bruno ... Scientist
Marla Feller ... Scientist
David Smith ... Scientist

Directed by
Roland Joffé 
Writing credits
Bruce Robinson (story)

Bruce Robinson (screenplay) and
Roland Joffé (screenplay)

Produced by
John Calley .... executive producer
Kimberly Cooper .... associate producer
Tony Garnett .... producer
Original Music by
Ennio Morricone 
Cinematography by
Vilmos Zsigmond (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Françoise Bonnot 
Casting by
Nancy Foy 
Production Design by
Gregg Fonseca 
Art Direction by
Larry Fulton  (as Larry E. Fulton)
Peter Landsdown Smith  (as Peter Lansdown Smith)
Set Decoration by
Dorree Cooper 
Costume Design by
Nic Ede  (as Nick Ede)
Makeup Department
Frank Griffin .... makeup artist (as Frank H. Griffin Jr.)
Luis Horcacitas .... hairdresser (as Luis Horcasitas)
Monty Westmore .... hair supervisor
Monty Westmore .... makeup supervisor
Production Management
David González .... unit production manager
Johanna Persons .... unit production manager: San Francisco
Tom Shaw .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Roberto Bockman .... second assistant director
Daniel Camhi .... second assistant director
Claudia Gomez .... second second assistant director
Rubén González .... second second assistant director
Chris Soldo .... first assistant director: San Francisco
Gabriela Vázquez .... second assistant director: San Francisco (as Gabriela Vazquez)
Bill Westley .... first assistant director
Art Department
Frank Clark .... construction coordinator
Jennifer Clinard .... lead painter
Charles Collum .... construction coordinator
Carol Lee Davis .... scenic artist (as Carole Lee Davis)
William MacDonald .... construction coordinator
Michael Milgrom .... property master: San Francisco
John Philpotts .... leadman: additional photography
Denise Pizzini .... assistant set decorator
John H. Samson .... construction coordinator
Tom Shaw Jr. .... property master
Peter A. Tullo .... lead person
Claude Viator .... assistant art director (as Claude J. Viator)
Doug E. Williams .... propmaker: San Francisco
Rick Young .... property master
Sound Department
Ron Bartlett .... sound editor
Greg Curda .... foley mixer
Ken Dufva .... foley artist
David Lee Fein .... foley artist
Christopher Flick .... foley editor
Donald Flick .... sound editor (as Donald S. Flick)
Judee Flick .... foley editor
Stephen Hunter Flick .... supervising sound editor (as Stephen H. Flick)
Robert J. Litt .... sound re-recording mixer
Steve Maslow .... sound re-recording mixer
Susan Mazzei .... assistant sound editor
Oscar Mitt .... assistant sound editor
Ernesto Muñoz .... boom operator
Andrew Patterson .... supervising adr editor (as Andrew G. Patterson)
Ken Pawlak .... boom operator
Steve Powell .... sound mixer: San Francisco (as Stephen Powell)
Stephen Purvis .... sound editor
William Randall .... sound mixer
Gregg Rudloff .... sound re-recording mixer (as Greg Rudloff)
Greg P. Russell .... sound mixer
Conrad Slater .... second boom operator: San Francisco
Charles Ewing Smith .... sound effects editor
Elliot Tyson .... sound re-recording mixer
David A. Whittaker .... supervising sound editor
David Williams .... sound editor
Special Effects by
Frank Benettieri Jr. .... special effects assistant (as Monty Benetierri)
Fred Cramer .... special effects supervisor
Visual Effects by
C. Marie Davis .... visual effects editor (as Marie Davis)
John Pierre Dechene .... visual effects assistant supervisor
Justin Klarenbeck .... visual effects supervisor
Jeff Matakovich .... optical supervisor
David McCullough .... visual effects producer
David A. Poole .... visual effects
Robert Scifo .... matte artist (as Bob Scifo)
Michael Arias .... motion control cameraperson (uncredited)
Michael Condro .... motion control operator (uncredited)
Michael Condro .... motion control programmer (uncredited)
Christopher Duddy .... visual effects (uncredited)
Paul Hettler .... visual effects (uncredited)
Dorne Huebler .... visual effects animation supervisor: DQI (uncredited)
James Valentine .... rotoscope supervisor (uncredited)
Hoyt Yeatman .... special effects: DQI (uncredited)
Randy Peters .... stunt driver
Warren A. Stevens .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael Gershman .... camera operator: San Francisco
Robert Jason .... chief lighting technician (as Robert E. Jason)
Colin Manning .... dolly grip
Agustín Meza .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Fernando Moreno .... gaffer
Eamonn O'Keeffe .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Roberto Rivera .... camera operator: "b" camera
Mike Roberts .... camera operator: "a" camera (as Michael Roberts)
Peter Sorel .... still photographer
Casting Department
Barbara Harris .... voice casting
Cathy Sandrich .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Angela Dodson .... costumer
Stewart Meachem .... costumer
Editorial Department
Matthew Booth .... assistant film editor
Lizi Gelber .... additional editor (as Lizabeth Gelber)
Bob Noland .... color timer
Anthony Sherin .... first assistant film editor (as Tony Sherin)
Michael Tyler .... post-production assistant
Catherine Best .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Ennio Morricone .... conductor
Ennio Morricone .... orchestrator
Dan Goldwasser .... soundtrack producer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Thomas A. Gordon .... transportation coordinator
Randy Peters .... transportation coordinator: San Francisco
Hector Salomon .... transportation co-captain
Ricardo Gallarzo Jr. .... driver (uncredited)
Anthony Muto Jr. .... picture vehicles (uncredited)
Damon Viola .... military vehicle supplier (uncredited)
Other crew
Ronald L. Carr .... location manager
Robert Cornog .... technical advisor
Marilyn Corwin .... choreographer
Loreto de la Garza .... production assistant
Bran Ferren .... technical advisor
Paula Frankel .... script supervisor: San Francisco
Gayle Fraser-Baigelman .... assistant accountant
Ricardo Frera .... production accountant
Robert Peter Gale .... technical advisor (as Dr. Robert Peter Gale M.D.)
Judy Guerrero .... production secretary
Humberto Gurza .... animal wrangler
Miguel Gurza .... animal wrangler
Carol Juk .... production office coordinator
Kurt Kaynor .... choreographer
G. Pekas Lozano .... assistant to production coordinator
Lou Phillips .... production auditor
Pat Rambaut .... script supervisor
Larry Ramin .... historical research
Jay Roberts .... assistant accountant
Anne Shaw .... coordinator: Los Angeles
Gail Stempler .... location manager: San Francisco
Warren A. Stevens .... military coordinator
Eden Ashley Umble .... unit publicist (as Eden Ashley)
Brit Babcock .... development (uncredited)
'Chema' Hernandez .... livestock coordinator (uncredited)
'Chico' Hernandez .... head wrangler (uncredited)
Alfredo Hernandez .... wrangler (uncredited)
José Dolores Herrera .... thanks: Mexico unit chief of staff
Roger Meade .... thanks: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Historic Archives
Roberto Maldonado Muñoz .... thanks: Mexico unit representative
Edward Reese .... thanks: Military Reference Branch, National Archives and Records Administration
Bill Jack Rodgers .... thanks: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Theresa Strottman .... thanks: Los Alamos Historical Museum Archives

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
127 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

In real life, Paul Newman was a liberal and Dwight Schultz is a conservative - the political opposites of the roles they played in this film.See more »
Factual errors: The sequence of the Trinity explosion is reflected on one of the scientists. We see 1] a reflection of an initial explosion, then we see a 2] large wind blast flapping his cheeks, then finally 3] we see the reflection of the mushroom cloud. In actuality the blast wave took about 40 seconds - much longer than the 2-3 seconds in the movie - to travel (and it does not go through leaded glass).See more »
Gen. Leslie R. Groves:I want three stories. The first, if we succeed. The second, if we fail. The third, if we disintegrate.See more »
Movie Connections:
Brown Jug SwingSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
23 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
We've Got The Bomb, 8 April 2007
Author: jonathon_naylor from Manitoba, Canada

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (44 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Any other movies like this? Firehawk
Dance of the Reed Pipes yathster
Clark Gregg Fans victor4782
Yeah, Murdock is the man! Goldie15
60 years later, any thoughts? rsuriyop
Question about McGinley's character what-would-roland-do
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Infinity Day One The Sum of All Fears The Good German Patton
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Biography section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.