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The Beginning or the End

  • Drama
  • History
  • 1947
  • Norman Taurog
  • 111 mins
  • PG

Summary

A docudrama detailing the research, development, and deployment of the first atomic bomb, as well as the bombing of Hiroshima.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

MGM's dramatisation of America's development of the atom bomb is a portentous and turgid, yet absolutely fascinating, relic of the Cold War era. Hume Cronyn plays the scientist, J Robert Oppenheimer, while a cast of dozens play other real-life personages, including Einstein, Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Charting the science and the politics that led to the bomb being dropped on Japan, the movie celebrates Yankee know-how, but also wonders if the invention might herald an apocalyptic dawn and wipe out humanity for good. Thus the romantic subplots seem more inane than usual, and there's a framing device, about a time capsule to be opened in the year 2446, that's simply mind-boggling.

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Maj-Gen Leslie R GrovesBrian Donlevy
Col Jeff NixonRobert Walker
Matt CochranTom Drake
Ann CochranBeverly Tyler
Jean O'LearyAudrey Totter
Dr J Robert OppenheimerHume Cronyn
Dr John WyattHurd Hatfield
Dr Enrico FermiJoseph Calleia
President RooseveltGodfrey Tearle
Dr Albert EinsteinLudwig Stossel
President TrumanArt Baker

Crew

rolename
DirectorNorman Taurog

Details

Theatrical distributor
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Languages
English
Formats
Black and white
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