As a young boy, Richard was fascinated with science and objects in motion. This wonderment was reinforced through the efforts of his father. The only thing that mattered as much as science, and his family, was Arline, whom he met when they were both in school. But fate can often be cruel and Arline is found to be stricken by Tuberculosis. Undaunted, Richard studies the disease as he studies science in hopes of curing her. When her disease is in remission, they marry and he proceeds on to college where his studies and the war lead him to Los Alamos to work on the Manhattan Project. While Richard is intrigued with the solution to the project, he is also concerned with the outcome and saddened with the failing health of Arline. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Arline's death occurs when Richard is still working at Los Alamos this is written in "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman". When Richard returns to work his colleagues think he is crazy because his wife has just died and he is working. See more »
She's A Great, Great Girl
Written by Harry M. Woods (as Harry Woods)
Published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc. (ASCAP)
Performed by Jack Teagarden
Courtesy of RCA Records See more »
Where's the Richard P. Feynman we all knew and loved?
This was a very worthy project of the Brodericks, mother and son, and one which I would have liked to have tackled myself, having read and greatly enjoyed both "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?". To concentrate on the deep love story between Feynman and his first wife Arlene, which coincided with his work on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, was, I feel, a good filmic move in order to give the story an anchor (not to mention the fact that it truly is one of the most romantic real love stories I've ever heard of). Every movie adaptation has to make sacrifices, and this one obviously had to sacrifice all the other interesting stuff that happened to Feynman in the years after the war. So I don't have a problem with the quality of the script, and they also had a big enough budget to get the period feel.
However, this film falls down in a major way on the characterisation of its lead character. Surprisingly, for Broderick is not a bad actor, he just comes across as being Broderick - a good looking young man who can look lovingly at Patricia Arquette and add a bit of passion to his voice when explaining complicated physics. But we've all seen the real Feynman on television and in film - he was LARGER than life! He was intensely charismatic, a brilliant expositor of scientific ideas and a great teacher.
It seems to me that instead of succumbing to the temptation of directing, that Broderick should really have got someone else direct, so that he could concentrate on really getting inside the head of Feynman and reproducing on screen some of that charisma - something I'm quite sure Broderick is capable of doing.
So ultimately this is a missed opportunity. You learn some of the facts about what happened, but you don't really meet the real Richard P. Feynman.
Last point. Not quite sure why they misspelled his wife's name as "Arline" in the credits. It is spelt "Arlene" in the books.
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