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Harry Truman, the successor to the Oval Office after the late President Rosevelt, is plagued with the decisions of war that could save or cost a thousand lives. He is then confronted with the nuclear weapons project, which he approves. As tension ensues (although it is difficult to get into this because most know the end) Truman must make the devastating desicion to use the bomb of all bombs. After some delivering japanese performances, Truman must force suffering on the japanese people again in order to end the war. Written by
While directing, Roger Spottiswoode tried to be even-handed in the portrayal of the Japanese military leaders, and it was the Japanese co-director who would keep coming back and saying "You don't really understand; they were much more intransigent than that." Some of the top military men over there had a pretty good idea of the resources required for the bomb, and didn't believe anyone could sustain the attacks. See more »
A comment was made in a conference with Col. Tibbets that changing course over the target from going upwind to downwind; "lowering the airspeed over the target" was not recommended. Airspeed is not a function of prevailing winds even if 1 to 3 times or more than that of the aircraft's speed. Groundspeed is the accurate term. Wind direction and speed has no effect on airspeed which is solely a function of aircraft attitude and power settings only. See more »
This is an outstanding production. And I think it no coincidence that it wasn't produced in the US.
Over 50 years later, American emotions still run high about our use of nuclear weapons against Japan; the recent backlash against the Smithsonian exhibit is proof. This film is a nuanced, balanced, objective treatment with, as far as I can tell, remarkable historical accuracy. One sees just how simplistic and myopic the leaders of both sides were as they made (or avoided making) momentous decisions that affected the entire future of the human race. The one voice of reason, scientist Leo Szilard, is brushed off with hardly a hearing.
This film is an effective indictment of our human propensity to place enormous powers in the hands of just a few individuals. I doubt any American producer could have made it.
The film deftly mixes historical footage with re-enacted scenes using actors. Normally this sort of thing is rather jarring, but here it works. Even the transitions between the real Truman in newsreel footage and the actor playing him work well.
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