6.5/10
6,242
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 »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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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

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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

Co-screenwriter Bruce Robinson claimed that the screenplay for the film was radically altered to exclude the story element that had interested him most about the film's subject matter. This was his controversial belief (which remains unproven) that the Jean Tatlock character, played by Natasha Richardson, had not committed suicide, as has always been reported (and as was depicted in the final film), but had, in fact, been murdered. See more »

Goofs

Before boarding the plane near the end of the movie, the back window of the car Gen. Groves is riding in can be seen flapping in the breeze as it's made of thin plastic sheet instead of glass. 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 Jeopardy!: Episode #26.163 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Written by Paul Dukas
Performed by the Wiener Symphoniker (as The Vienna Symphony)
Edouard Van Remoortel, Conductor
Courtesy of The Moss Music Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Good, but could have been better
23 April 2000 | by anniescribeSee all my reviews

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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