6.5/10
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51 user 22 critic

Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)

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This film reenacts the Manhattan Project, the secret wartime project in New Mexico where the first atomic bombs were designed and built.

Director:

Roland Joffé

Writers:

Bruce Robinson (story), Bruce Robinson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: Brian Dennehy, David Strathairn, Michael Tucker
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... General Leslie R. Groves
Dwight Schultz ... J. Robert Oppenheimer
Bonnie Bedelia ... Kitty Oppenheimer
John Cusack ... Michael Merriman
Laura Dern ... Kathleen Robinson
Ron Frazier Ron Frazier ... Peer de Silva
John C. McGinley ... Richard Schoenfield
Natasha Richardson ... Jean Tatlock
Ron Vawter ... Jamie Latrobe
Michael Brockman Michael Brockman ... William 'Deke' Parsons
Del Close ... Dr. Kenneth Whiteside
John Considine ... Robert Tuckson
Allan Corduner ... Franz Goethe (as Alan Corduner)
Joe D'Angerio ... Seth Neddermeyer (as Joseph D'Angerio)
Jon DeVries Jon DeVries ... Johnny Mount (as Jon De Vries)
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Storyline

In real life, Robert Oppenheimer was the scientific head of the Manhattan Project, the secret wartime project in New Mexico where the first atomic bombs were designed and built. General Leslie Groves was in overall command of it. This film reenacts the project with an emphasis on their relationship. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of the extraordinary people who changed our world.


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Schattenmacher See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,476,994, 20 October 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$3,563,162
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The musical interlude just before detonation is based on an actual event. The countdown was broadcast over the radio, but due to interference from a nearby radio station the control bunker never heard this and instead heard "Serenade for Strings" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky See more »

Goofs

The Battle of the Philippines ended on 8 May 1942, with the Allied surrender of the Philippines to Japan. By that point, US soldiers stationed in the Philippines were either evacuated off the islands, POWs in a Japanese prison camps, missing in action, or killed in action. Nearly a year later, in April 1943, John Cusack's character, Michael Merriman, arrives in Los Alamos. Shortly afterwards, he writes to his Dad that "I think of Jimmy, fighting in the Philippines". Later, when he mets Laura Dern's character, Nurse Kathleen Robinson, he explains that he has a brother, who "is a solider". By April 1943, it seems unlikely that Merriman would call his brother Jimmy "a solider" if he were a POW, missing in action, or dead. If Merriman's brother had been evacuated off the Philippines, it is unlikely that Merriman would say Jimmy is "fighting in the Philippines", rather than the past tense, or saying that he is now fighting a different battle, or "fighting the Pacific" or "fighting against the Japanese", etc. See more »

Quotes

Richard Schoenfield: Hey Oppenheimer! Oppenheimer! You oughta stop playing God, 'cause you're no good at it, and the position's taken!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Fat Man and Little Boy (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Brown Jug Swing
Written by Joseph Winner (as J.E. Winner)
Arranged by Garnett Brown
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the more accurate films about the making of the ATOMIC Bomb
3 October 2004 | by bangel-2See all my reviews

Having worked with all historical aspects of nuclear energy, radiation, etc. for 11 Years ( including working with the US D.O.E - Department of Energy during the cleanup of the Chicago site ), I found this film to be VERY accurate with only several exceptions ( such as groves did not meet Szliard in a bathtub in Szliards Apartment, the Critically accident referred to in th film happened later at Los alamos to Louis Slotin and Harrry Daughlin, and groves was slightly heavier than neumann's character, and not to mention much less harsh and abusive, although he was a perfectionist, always VERY concerned about the sites security and about the public's safety and sometimes got his way without exception, and finally there were other sites in the early project that should have been mentioned more...such as Chicago ). Technically, I feel that the producers/directors created a "Perfect Feel" for the time, as most sites I've been too are simply a-lot of high-dollar, high-tech stuff in the middle of quite isolated areas - very quiet with just the sound of wind blowing and creaking steel. I've seen some peoples reviews talking about this movie as if they're reviewing a love story.....Hello, This story is about an atomic bomb !!!!! I too feel that the brief love story romance is not really needed, but I'm sure that the directors put it in there to show you what oppenheimer was also going thru emotionally in addition to all the chaos he was already facing day-to-day on the projects sites !!! I have seen this movie on VHS, Laserdisc and FINALLY DVD, and I must say that the DVD release is the SHARPEST transfer made of the movie to-date; they did a very good job on the mastering as well ( No artifacts or blockiness - and to those Fatman and LittleBoy movie buffs, yes, they still left in the 1 or 2 screwed-up voice-overs ). Unfortunately, after waiting years for the DVD release to come out, there are really no special features aside from 4:3, Widescreen 16:9, and Dolby 5:1 ( which I was hoping for, since the soundtrack is AMAZING ), There isn't even a trailer for the movie !!! :-( What was paramount thinking ????? Well, maybe they'll read this review and include some more special features ( Like interviews with Paul Neumann, John Cusack, Dwight Schultz, along with a TRAILER of the movie, and some behind-the-scenes making-of the lots ) if they ever release it in High-Definition 1080p !!! One can only hope.

All-in-all its an excellent movie, but if your renting/buying/watching it because you thought it was a romantic movie.....DON'T BOTHER !!!!


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