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
In September 1942, we see Oppenheimer driving a yellow car. However, gas rationing began in May 1942 and vehicles had to have a sticker that entitled the driver to buy gas. Oppenheimer's car has no gas rationing sticker. See more »
Out of five stars, I would give "Fat Man and Little Boy" three. One reviewer who said they had watched this for chemistry class commented the history was good but the acting wasn't strong. I will agree the history was fascinating, and that the acting appeared not to be strong. However, I saw the script itself as being the problem, not the actors -- Paul Newman, Dwight Schultz, John Cusack, Laura Dern -- all were excellent insofar as the script allowed them to be. My feeling is the scriptwriter tried to capture too much all at once and cram it into a two-hour movie. It tried to tell the story of how the Manhattan Project affected not only American policy but also the personal lives of those involved, but instead of adopting an intimate atmosphere in which to do this, it went for broad, broken strokes. To me, it was just too ambitious for one movie -- the Manhattan Project is not like the sinking of the Titanic, a tragedy that happened in one night; it was a long, arduous process that sapped brain power and spirit from the people who had the knowledge of how to tap atomic energy, but also the conscience to worry what would be done with it once they did.
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