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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
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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:

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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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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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

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

Features The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
No subtlety to be found here, but it's not bad
9 March 2016 | by Mr-FusionSee all my reviews

"The Manhattan Project" is a fairly entertaining movie, so long as you keep it out from under a microscope. Still, those holes are inescapable. Like how did Paul get the resources to fashion a nuclear lab? More than that, how would a high-schooler know how to handle radioactive materials? Can' really sweep that under the "he's a bright kid" rug; we're talking about resources (or maybe it's completely plausible; hell, I'm not a whiz kid). And didn't any Medatomics personnel notice that four-week-old hole in the wall? Putting that all aside, I kinda like this movie. Mostly because I'm a Lithgow fan, and the big bomb defusal scene packs some suspense. But also for superficial reasons, like Cynthia Nixon's house. And the locations, there's some pretty scenery here.

6/10


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