Docudrama on the development of the first atomic bomb. Told from the perspective of a film recovered from a time capsule several hundred years into the future, the story is narrated by Robert Oppenheimer (Hume Cronyn) and Major General Leslie Groves (Brian Donlevy) beginning with the Nazis stated goal of developing an atomic bomb. Along with Britain and Canada, the U.S. reacts by beginning its own atomic program. The major developments are all presented: Fermi's successful atomic chain reaction; building the huge complex at Oak Ridge, Tenn.; the production of the first supply of plutonium; the testing in the Nevada desert; and finally the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.Written by
Agnes Moorehead filmed a bit as a German scientist, but it was cut when the producers couldn't get a clearance from the actual scientist. See more »
The original Trinity Site bomb (called "the gadget" by the scientists) detonated in New Mexico in July 1945 was not the sleek, traditional bomb shape shown in the movie. Actually, "the gadget" was spherical and covered externally with wires. See more »
End Title Card:
To the people of the 25th Century: The was THE BEGINNING. Only you, and those who have lived between us and you, can know THE END.
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Worthy of at least an outing on Turner. Better still on DVD and Blu-ray.
The aforementioned reviewers have some interesting things to say about the screenplay, direction and the cast. Unfortunately, no mention has been made about the cinematography (first-rate) and the excellent music score composed and conducted by Daniele Amfitheatrof. The composer employed the services of an augmented orchestra, which in some cues numbers in excess of 100-players. In one scene (unfortunately cut from the release print) Amfitheatrof composed a dissonant motif in a syncopated dance-band rhythm, over which an electric violin plays a bittersweet theme. The great Andre Previn worked as one of the copyists on the score.
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