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The Day After Trinity (1981)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography | 20 January 1981 (USA)
Scientists and witnesses involved in the creation and testing of the first ever atomic bomb reflect on the Manhattan project and its fascinating leader, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who upon ... See full summary »

Director:

Jon Else
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Hans Bethe ... Himself
Holm Bursom Holm Bursom ... Himself
Haakon Chevalier Haakon Chevalier ... Himself
Stirling Colgate Stirling Colgate ... Himself
Freeman Dyson ... Himself
Jon Else Jon Else ... Interviewer
Susan Evans Susan Evans ... Herself
Francis Fergusson Francis Fergusson ... Himself
Paul Frees ... Narrator (voice)
Leslie Groves ... Himself (archive footage)
Elizabeth Ingram Elizabeth Ingram ... Herself
Robert Krohn Robert Krohn ... Himself
Dave MacDonald Dave MacDonald ... Himself
Joseph McCarthy ... Himself (archive footage)
Dorothy McKibben Dorothy McKibben ... Herself
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Storyline

Scientists and witnesses involved in the creation and testing of the first ever atomic bomb reflect on the Manhattan project and its fascinating leader, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who upon completion of his wonderful and horrible invention became a powerful spokesperson against the nuclear arms race. Written by Neal Grigsby <ngrigsby@uclink2.berkeley.edu>

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Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az atombomba születése See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

KTEH See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The same photo of Oppenheimer can also be seen stuck to a computer monitor in Jurrasic Park (1993) along with a Post-it reading "beginning of baby boom" and a sketch of an atomic explosion. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A historical treasure
16 October 2011 | by bandwSee all my reviews

For a 90 minute film, this documentary does an admirable job of telling the tale of the making of the atom bomb. It's great value is the recording of interviews of some of the major players at a time when they had had time to reflect on the event. Since most all of those directly involved with the development of the bomb are now dead, this documentary is a priceless piece of history.

The events are centered around Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant physicist who became the director of the Los Alamos branch of the Manhattan Project that was responsible for the design, construction, and testing of the bomb. Oppenheimer was a person who had that unusual combination of a supreme knowledge of technology and theory as well as skills as an administrator. I think part of his success as an administrator was due to the respect he commanded from all who worked with him. Ultimately there were hundreds of scientists at the Los Alamos site; it was remarked that there has never been in history such a large gathering of world-class scientists at one place. I found it odd that there was no mention of Leó Szilárd who envisioned the idea of a nuclear chain reaction in 1933.

Unfortunately Robert Oppenheimer was not alive to be interviewed for this film, but there is substantial archival footage of him. Robert's brother Frank, also a physicist, was interviewed at some length. There is archival footage of the destruction caused by the dropping of the two bombs, both the physical and human destruction. Such scenes require a strong stomach to watch, and what is shown is only a small glimpse of the horror. The dropping of the bombs had a profound effect on the scientists who were responsible for the development. Some, like Robert Wilson, abandoned all classified work. Oppenheimer--who made the remark, "the physicists have known sin, and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose"-- spent time after the war agitating for world control over nuclear weapons; he was never the same person after the war and became a tragic figure.

Given that the development of the atom bomb was a significant event in human history, there is no lacking of reference material. A complete exposition is contained in Richard Rhodes', "The Making of the Atom Bomb." I found the fact-based docudrama, "Day One," to be interesting, particularly in its dealing with the discussions surrounding the decision to drop the bombs.


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