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The Manhattan Project (1986)

PG-13 | | Sci-Fi, Thriller | 13 June 1986 (USA)
A high school prodigy builds an atomic bomb with stolen plutonium to win the 45th National Science Fair and expose a nuclear weapons lab posing as nuclear medicine in Ithaca NY.

Director:

Marshall Brickman

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Lithgow ... John Mathewson
Richard Council ... Government Aide
Robert Schenkkan ... Government Aide
Paul Austin Paul Austin ... General
Adrian Sparks ... Scientist
Curt Dempster Curt Dempster ... Scientist
Bran Ferren Bran Ferren ... Lab Assistant
Christopher Collet ... Paul Stephens
Jill Eikenberry ... Elizabeth Stephens
Cynthia Nixon ... Jenny Anderman
Gregg Edelman ... Science Teacher
Abraham Unger Abraham Unger ... Roland (as Abe Unger)
Robert Sean Leonard ... Max (as Robert Leonard)
David Quinn David Quinn ... Tennis
Geoffrey Nauffts ... Craig
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Storyline

A high school prodigy builds an atomic bomb with stolen plutonium to win the 45th National Science Fair and expose a nuclear weapons lab posing as nuclear medicine in Ithaca NY.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The switch is set... The clock has started... Time's running out! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 June 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deadly Game See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,503,000, 13 June 1986, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$3,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gladden Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was part of a 1980s cycle of films about atomic bombs and nuclear warfare which had started in 1979 with The China Syndrome (1979). The films included Silkwood (1983), Testament (1983), Threads (1984), WarGames (1983), The Day After (1983), The Atomic Cafe (1982), The Manhattan Project (1986), Whoops Apocalypse (1982), Special Bulletin (1983), Ground Zero (1987), Barefoot Gen (Barefoot Gen (1983)), Rules of Engagement (1989), When the Wind Blows (1986), Letters from a Dead Man (Dead Man's Letters (1986)), Memoirs of a Survivor (1981) and The Chain Reaction (1980). See more »

Goofs

Plutonium must be alloyed with another metal (usually gallium) in order to prevent forming allotropes which cause it to crack while cooling. Cracks in the pit would have significant impact in the weapon, and could result in a fizzle (non-nuclear explosion.) See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. John Matthewson: Now, the beta synchrotron sends the electrons through this magnet which bends the course of them down to the reaction vessel. Stay away from that elbow joint. All right. Bran, you want to get that? Now, this is a tunable excimer laser. It's tuned to the exact resonance of the plutonium-239 that's in the reaction vessel down at that end. Now, I think we're all set. Hit it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Back to the Future: Making the Trilogy (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Had more holes than the Titanic
3 February 2000 | by helpless_dancerSee all my reviews

Totally unbelievable story about a pair of kids who penetrate a highly classified, super secret government bomb making lab. There were so many flaws in this thing that I never could get interested in it. The dialogue, which was supposed to be tense, was just corny beyond belief. No drama either, I don't know, maybe it was a comedy, eh? Loser film.


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