6.1/10
4,887
42 user 21 critic

The Manhattan Project (1986)

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:

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:

$1,503,000, 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

John Lithgow was also in The Day After (1983), in which he has to deal with the aftermath of a full global nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. See more »

Goofs

A plutonium pit weighs at least 5.5 kg (~11 lbs), but Paul lifts it out of the tube with a magnet attached to what must be the steel shell he used for casting. 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 Two for the Road (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Impractical, but a good story
2 September 2002 | by crash21See all my reviews

I don't understand why this movie is so lowly rated. The movie has a really good plot, and I really like how there is even a little comedy combined with the movie's serious plot. The part in the beginning, where he steals from the government building is a little slow, I think because it didn't have much lines to back it up, but the movie picks-up when he actually starts to build the nuclear device. I wonder if the more comical moments had come from John Lithgow's roll in all of this. I especially like his jokes about the government works.

"They're gorillas, they can hurt you. If you try to talk it out with them, they'll lock you in a room somewhere and throw away the room."

"What did you want us to do, put up a neon sign saying 'secret weapons laboratory'?"

The Science Fair moments in the movie were also quite entertaining. Especially where they introduce themselves to the science fair kids, then when they get out with the same kids pulling them out of the room and resoling them out away from the government's agents.

The movie itself is somewhat unbelievable, but it's interesting and entertaining.


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