6.8/10
506
20 user 5 critic

The Beginning or the End (1947)

The research, development, and deployment of the first atomic bomb, as well as the bombing of Hiroshima, are detailed in this docudrama.

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

Robert Considine (story), Frank Wead
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Donlevy ... Major General Leslie R. Groves
Robert Walker ... Colonel Jeff Nixon
Tom Drake ... Matt Cochran
Beverly Tyler ... Anne Cochran
Audrey Totter ... Jean O'Leary
Hume Cronyn ... Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer
Hurd Hatfield ... Dr. John Wyatt
Joseph Calleia ... Dr. Enrico Fermi
Godfrey Tearle ... President Roosevelt
Victor Francen ... Dr. Marré
Richard Haydn ... Dr. Chisholm
Jonathan Hale ... Dr. Vannevar Bush
John Litel ... K.T. Keller
Henry O'Neill ... General Thomas F. Farrell
Warner Anderson ... Captain William S. Parsons U.S.N.
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Storyline

Docudrama on the development of the first atomic bomb. Told from the perspective of a film recovered from a time capsule several hundred years into the future, the story is narrated by Robert Oppenheimer (Hume Cronyn) and Major General Leslie Groves (Brian Donlevy) beginning with the Nazis stated goal of developing an atomic bomb. Along with Britain and Canada, the U.S. reacts by beginning its own atomic program. The major developments are all presented: Fermi's successful atomic chain reaction; building the huge complex at Oak Ridge, Tenn.; the production of the first supply of plutonium; the testing in the Nevada desert; and finally the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most "Hush-Hush" Secret in History Can Now Be Told! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alku vai loppu See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time of this production there was a legal requirement that permission had to be obtained from well-known living public figures to be depicted on film. Several prominent scientists refused permission including Neils Bohr, Sir James Chadwick and Lise Meitner. This unfortunately gave the film the appearance the Manhattan Project was more all-American than it really was. See more »

Goofs

The B-29 shown as the Enola Gay taxiing before takeoff has, incorrectly, it's defensive armament of machine guns. The B-29 as the Enola Gay shown taking off and flying the rest of the mission correctly does not. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Jeff Nixon: [as the "Enola Gay" is approaching Hiroshima, 0815 in the morning] 250,000 people down there are starting their day. City about the size of Dallas, Texas. In about one second it'll be wiped off the map. They'll never know what hit them.
Captain William S. Parsons U.S.N.: We've been dropping warning leaflets on them for ten days now. That's ten days more warning than they gave us at Pearl Harbor.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hiroshima: Why the Bomb Was Dropped (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Will Someone put this on DVD
10 November 2004 | by bones-56See all my reviews

I saw this movie years ago and hope that it still exists somewhere. I am not optimistic about this as it has never appeared on the History Channel or some other likely place.

This was the first of several films about the Manhattan Project and was perhaps the best one. It is the only one that shows the full scope of the project. The others are either about Los Alamos or the 509th Composite Group that dropped it.

This was also the only one that had some of the real people as advisers. General Groves was a technical adviser and Leo Szilard may also have been one (althought I'm not sure about Leo).

This is an important historical film and deserves preservation and re-publication.


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