6.2/10
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45 user 26 critic

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
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 Adrian Sparks ... Scientist
Curt Dempster Curt Dempster ... Scientist
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
Learn more

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Storyline

Paul Stephens, a high school student in Ithaca, New York, is generally unmotivated academically despite being a science geek, his interest, as per his age, mostly in those science items that have a wow factor. It is his interest in science that connects him to Dr. John Mathewson, a scientist recently having relocated to Ithaca and who is interested romantically in Paul's soon to be divorced mother, Elizabeth Stephens. It is in that want to impress Elizabeth through Paul that John invites Paul to Medatomics, a medical research facility, so that he can demonstrate some of those "wow" type experiments on which he and his colleagues are working. While impressed enough, Paul is nonetheless more interested in something else in the facility that John only makes passing reference to when asked, that "green goo" which in combination with other things Paul discovers around the facility making him believe that the facility really a secret government nuclear one, the green goo radioactive ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Paul Stevens' high school science project has gotten a little out of hand. He just built an atomic bomb. Now he's got 11 hours to make sure it doesn't work. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul's science class nemesis Roland invented the Internet as his science fair project. This movie was made ten years before the Internet reached widespread public notoriety. See more »

Goofs

When Paul substitutes an inert plastic container for the one with Plutonium suspended in green liquid, he fills the container with shampoo. However, the bottle of shampoo only partially fills the plastic jar, The jar that is returned to slot 13 clearly has more liquid than the one Paul filled. However, when he tapes the jar containing the Plutonium to the RC truck, it is obviously the one with the shampoo since it is only partially filled. 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

Features The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) See more »

User Reviews

oddly fascinating
8 March 2002 | by wappfalls5See all my reviews

I don't know why, but this movie has a strange fascination that makes me want to watch it. Not a great movie, but passable. But as far as Before They Were Stars, someone needs to realize that the highpoint of John Lithgow's career is NOT a stupid TV show about aliens. He was a big star WELL before this movie came out. He had two Oscar nominations and won an Emmy. Meanwhile, the other two known stars in this movie, John Mahoney and Cynthia Nixon were also quite well known before their TV roles, each with over 10 movies under their belts by 1986.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

$1,503,545, 15 June 1986

Gross USA:

$3,900,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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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