6.5/10
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Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)

Trailer
3:08 | Trailer
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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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 | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fat Man and Little Boy See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,476,994, 22 October 1989

Gross USA:

$3,563,162

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

J. Robert Oppenheimer, portrayed in the film by Dwight Schultz, was the first director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, holding the position during the lab's first years between 1943 and 1945. See more »

Goofs

General officers do not wear branch insignia. All the general officers in this film do. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Leslie R. Groves: It's all about ass, isn't it? Either you kick it... or you lick it.
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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Weird and Compelling
24 November 2004 | by pswitzertatumSee all my reviews

This is a weird and compelling film. The topic, about the atom bombs created at Los Alamos, NM in the USA and used on Japan during the latter part of World War II, is huge, and of course deeply disturbing. The film's plot takes on a lot of heavy issues and the actors have to carry much of the creative tension. I had never seen the film, or was much interested in it I have to admit, until I read the book "Smoking in Bed: Conversations with Bruce Robinson." Robinson wrote the story and screenplay. I think the film was better than I expected from reading Robinson's point of view in the conversations about it, but I can see how he thought it got derailed. I think Paul Newman is pretty good, but is somehow at bottom, miscast. He's too Hollywood. At one point, a big, mean-looking guy storms into Newman's office and has such a striking presence, I immediately thought he should be playing the character Newman is playing. The other lead, who plays the head scientist, is also fairly good, but somehow not brilliant enough to portray the huge angst that goes with the part - the immense responsibility for creation of an ultimate machine of death and destruction. One of the more effective characters seems to be a composite personality, played by John Cusack. He is oddly affecting throughout, and in the end, is the character whose fate really hits home and who made me think most vividly of the fate of more than 200,000 Japanese people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


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