Fat Man and Little Boy

Fat Man And Little Boy

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Fat Man and Little Boy

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Fat Man and Little Boy (a.k.a. Shadow Makers in the UK) is a 1989 film that reenacts the Manhattan Project, the secret Allied endeavor to develop the first nuclear weapons during World War II. The film is named after the nuclear weapons known by the code names "Fat Man" and "Little Boy". The code names can be taken for joking references to the project director, stout Gen. Leslie Groves and the slim scientific director, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, but in fact the original nicknames were Fat Man and Thin Man from characters in the works of Dashiell Hammett. The film focuses much attention on the frequently strained relationship between the two men.

The two code names also refer to the shapes of the two bombs although no mention is made of this comparison with the exception of a brief scene showing the two weapons suspended side by side (an unlikely arrangement) against a sunset.

The film was directed by Roland Joffe and written by Joffe and Bruce Robinson.


In September 1942, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers General Leslie Groves (Paul Newman) who oversaw construction of the Pentagon is assigned to head the ultra-secret Manhattan Project, to beat the Germans in building an atomic bomb.

Groves picks University of California, Berkeley physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Dwight Schultz) to head the team at the project. Oppenheimer was familiar with northern New Mexico from his boyhood days when his family owned a cabin in the area. For the new research facility,...
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