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Fat Man and Little Boy

From Academic Kids

Fat Man and Little Boy (aka 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. It is named after the nuclear weapons known as "Fat Man" and "Little Boy", and also potentially as a reference to the portly Gen. Leslie R. Groves and the lithe Robert Oppenheimer, respectively the military and scientific heads of the project.

It stars Paul Newman as Gen. Leslie R. Groves, Dwight Schultz as Robert Oppenheimer, Laura Dern as nurse Kathleen Robinson, and John Cusack as young physicist Michael Merriman. The character of Merriman is a fictional telescoping of Harry K. Daghlian and Louis Slotin, two Los Alamos scientists who died in criticality accidents.

The film was directed by Roland Joffe and written by Joffe and Bruce Robinson. The film has been criticised for distortion for dramatic effect, and is also cited as an example of mis-casting for the parts played by Newman and Schultz. The film made under $4m on its original release and so is (ironically) regarded as a box office bomb.

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