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Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie (1995)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History | Video 29 September 1995
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A documentary presenting mankind's most ambitious effort at perfecting the means to its own annihilation. Featuring newly unclassified atomic test footage.

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Himself - Narrator
... Himself - Nuclear Physicist (as Dr. Edward Teller)
W.H.P. Blandy ... Himself - Commander Joint Task Force One (archive footage) (as Vice Admiral W.H.P. Blandy)
Frank H. Shelton ... Himself - Nuclear Weaponeer (as Dr. Frank H. Shelton)
... Himself - U.S. President (archive footage)
Adlai Stevenson ... Himself - U.S Ambassador (1961-1965) to the United Nations (archive footage)
... Newsreel Narrator (archive sound)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nikolai Bulganin ... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
Everett Dirksen ... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
Enrico Fermi ... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
Averell Harriman ... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

A documentary presenting mankind's most ambitious effort at perfecting the means to its own annihilation. Featuring newly unclassified atomic test footage. Written by Peter Kuran <VCEinc@AOL.com>

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Certificate:

Not Rated

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Release Date:

29 September 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Atomic Bomb Movie  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soundtrack for this documentary was performed by the Moscow Symphony, and recorded in Moscow. Oddly, this allowed people to view the previously classified material that the former USSR, now Russia, wanted and tried hard to procure it. See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to the Air Force 1352nd Motion Picture Squadron Lookout Mountain Laboratory (The Atomic Cinematographers) See more »

Connections

Features To the Shores of Iwo Jima (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Where the Boys Are
by Neil Sedaka (as Neil Sadaka) and Howard Greenfield
© 1960 renewed 1988 Screen Gems - EMI Music Inc.
and Careers - BMG Music Publishing
All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.
Used By Permission.
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User Reviews

 
Some serious omissions
29 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

This is definitely a film worth watching, although it's "objectivity" suffers from some rather serious omissions.

"Trinity and Beyond" offers a decent summary of the history of human flirtation with the power of nuclear weapons. One comes away from the film with two main impressions: 1) (for older viewers) a renewed gratitude that we never witnessed a full-scale nuclear war, and 2) amazement at the utterly childlike and naive way in which governments developed and tested nuclear weapons, with almost no responsible consideration of potential consequences for human beings. Everything was done for the sake of protecting and preserving abstract institutions--nations, governments and the like--with no meaningful concern for the human beings who comprise those institutions.

However, if "Trinity and Beyond" was intended to make us really think about the consequences of flirting with the atom, it failed on several counts:

1) The real devastation wrought by the United States upon human beings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was never shown. Not even one image of a silhouette on a Japanese building caused by an incinerated human was shown. There were no images of Japanese zombies walking through the rubble in shock with their flesh blown clear off their bodies. No images of children with their eyeballs hanging out of their sockets. Almost all of the film footage is presented from a safe, sterile distance, much like bomber pilots must witness while delivering so much death. This incomprehensible omission alone constitutes a default endorsement of nuclear weapons development and testing, and challenges any claim that "Trinity and Beyond" is an objective film.

2) There is no meaningful mention of the US government's use of American citizens as virtual guinea pigs, as far as the effects of radiation are concerned. Apart from mentioning that a small boat had once entered a testing area during a test, no mention was made of the blatant disregard governments showed for their own soldiers and citizens while studying the effects of nuclear blasts and subsequent fallout.

3) Much is made of footage of nuclear explosions in space without a single mention of what could have happened if a rocket had accidentally gone off-course into a populated area instead. Even stunning footage of a rocket exploding on the launch pad fails to mention whether or not a nuclear weapon was on board that rocket.

Furthermore, the ending was visually terrifying, yet without narrative explanation it fails to make any specific point. It does, however, tend to demonize a certain country, which again challenges all claims to objectivity.

Overall, "Trinity and Beyond" offers a striking visual experience, especially for people who experienced life during the Cold War. Unfortunately, this film is one of the least-thought provoking documentaries I have ever seen, and that is a crying shame given the extraordinarily serious subject under consideration.


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