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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:

She Could Not Shake the Secret! 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

The idea from this film originated with actress Donna Reed and her high school science teacher Edward R. Thomkins, who was a chemist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. See more »

Goofs

The view from the cockpit of the Enola Gay about to take off shows the plane "The Great Artiste" in the background, even though it had already taken off just moments before. 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

 
A 1947 recounting of the making of the atomic bomb
6 March 2012 | by bob6441See all my reviews

As a window on 1947society's attitudes toward the making and use of the atomic bomb it is wonderfully revealing. Opie is a hero, not the unfairly hounded"commie" of the McCarthy era. GE, Dumont, and other major firms are surprisingly prominently featured and treated as essential partners of the professors drawn from around the world. The rationale for using the bomb is presented with some tentativeness and includes the intention of saving Japanese lives by avoiding a prolonged war. An "Oath" to protect the secrecy of the project is placed in a legal context, not a political or loyalty test context. Even the "propaganda" noted by other reviewers is of historical interest. Cheers to TCM for showing it. For a comprehensive history of the Manhattan Project the pulitzer prize- winning book by Richard Rhodes is the gold standard.


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