6.8/10
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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 ... Maj. Gen. Leslie R. Groves
Robert Walker ... Col. 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 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Victor Francen ... Dr. Marré
Richard Haydn ... Dr. Chisholm
Jonathan Hale ... Dr. Vannevar Bush
John Litel ... K.T. Keller
Henry O'Neill ... Gen. Thomas F. Farrell
Warner Anderson ... Capt. 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:

For the first time on any screen - the personal, human story of those who lived and loved and dared to brave the mysteries in the making of the atom bomb. 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:

The Beginning or the End 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 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

Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer: [Giving an introduction to the film, speaking to the camera] How do you do - whoever you are? My name is J. Robert Oppenheimer. I'm an American scientist, working in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and forty six. I'm addressing you people of the 25th century in English, now - and I hope in your time - one of the leading languages of the world. I'm working in a physics laboratory, typical of many others devoted to scientific research. In my lifetime I saw the rise of the automobile, ...
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Connections

Referenced in Forecast (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

Got me very interested in the creation of the bomb.
9 February 2010 | by califor123See all my reviews

I remember certain scenes from this movie, which I saw only once, on television when I was a child. I've watched many documentaries and movies on the subject since, and have read several books on the development of the A-Bomb, because I saw this movie when I was young. It was absorbing for me. I do remember the scene where one of the bomb assemblers drops some of the radioactive material and is overcome from the radiation. This scene was repeated in the movie "Fat Man and Little Boy." I have been looking for this film for years on television, with no success. I would think that Turner Classic Movies would play it if it were around.

Someone, find this film! Oh, so interesting a movie.


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