42 user 20 critic

The Manhattan Project (1986)

PG-13 | | Sci-Fi, Thriller | 13 June 1986 (USA)
A teen and his girlfriend make an atomic bomb with plutonium stolen from a scientist dating his mother.


On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Government Aide
Government Aide
Paul Austin ...
Curt Dempster ...
Bran Ferren ...
Lab Assistant
Science Teacher
Abraham Unger ...
Roland (as Abe Unger)
Max (as Robert Leonard)
David Quinn ...


A teen and his girlfriend make an atomic bomb with plutonium stolen from a scientist dating his mother.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Sci-Fi | Thriller


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 June 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deadly Game  »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dr. Matthewson's line, "fellow sons of bitches," is a reference to original Manhattan Project scientist Kenneth Bainbridge. Following the first successful test explosion of an atomic bomb on July 16, 1945, Bainbridge said to fellow project scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, "Now we are all sons of bitches." See more »


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 »


[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 »


Features Two for the Road (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Impractical, but a good story
2 September 2002 | by See 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. First with the son's steal and building of 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.

23 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 42 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial