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Fat Man & Little Boy Details


"Fat Man" and "Little Boy" were the nicknames given the atomic bombs that were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the waning days of World War II. This elaborately assembled film is the story of the events leading up to the dawn of the atomic age. Paul Newman plays General Leslie Groves, a hard-nosed career soldier who in 1942 finds himself the reluctant "nursemaid" to a group of idealistic scientists in Los Alamos, New Mexico. As the military head of the top-secret Manhattan Project, Groves intends to have the operation run by the book--and failing that, to have things his way at all costs. The film's storyline narrows down to a battle of egos between Groves and atomic scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Dwight Schultz), in his own way as contentious and childishly single-purposed as the general. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:October 20, 1989


Awarded by
Berlin International Film Festival Roland Joffé In Competition 1990 Nominee


Paul Newman
as Gen. Leslie R. Groves
Dwight Schultz
as J. Robert Oppenheimer
Bonnie Bedelia
as Kitty Oppenheimer
John Cusack
as Michael Merriman
Laura Dern
as Kathleen Robinson
Natasha Richardson
as Jean Tatlock
John C. McGinley
as Richard Schoenfield
Ron Vawter
as Jamie Latrobe
Roger Cubicciotti
as Frank Oppenheimer
Bill Rubenstein
as Times Reporter
Fred Dalton Thompson
as Melrose Hayden Barry
Madison Mason
as Boris Pash
Allen Poirson
as Howard McDonald
Barry Yourgrau
as Edward Teller
James Eckhouse
as Norbert Harper
Arthur Holden
as Oakridge Doctor
David Politzer
as Robert Serber
Tom McFarlane
as Scientist
Nancy Foy
Ed Lauter
as Whitney Ashbridge
Mary Pat Gleason
as Dora Welsh
Marek Alboszta
as Scientist
Matthew Faison
Wesley Harrison
as Peter Oppenheimer
Michael Brockman
as William "Deke" Parsons
Stan Jones
Peter Halasz
as George Kistiakowsky
Donald Mackechnie
as James Tuck
Alan Oppenheimer
Todd Field
as Robert Wilson
Alan Corduner
as Franz Goethe
Jim True
as Donald Hornig
Ronald C. Frazier
as Peer de Silva
Brian Wandell
as Dennis Talmudge
Walter Sullivan
as Henry Stimson
John Considine
as Robert Tuckson
Clark Gregg
as Douglas Panton
David Brainard
as Samuel Allison
Ken Strausbaugh
as Observation Officer
John Williams
as Mack Stoddard
Franco Cutietta
as Enrico Fermi
Del Close
as Dr. Kenneth Whiteside
Jon de Vries
as Johnny Mount
Gerald Hiken
as Leo Szilard
Don Pugsley
as Bronson
Logan Ramsey
as Gen. Brehon Somervell
Steven Baigelman
as Dr. Avenell


Roland Joffé
Tony Garnett
Ken Strausbaugh
John Calley
Bruce Robinson
Roland Joffé
Vilmos Zsigmond
Ennio Morricone
Composer (Music Score)
Françoise Bonnot
Tom Shaw
Production Designer
Gregg Fonseca
Production Designer
Larry Fulton
Art Director
Dorree Cooper
Set Designer
Nic Ede
Costume Designer
Steve Maslow
Sound/Sound Designer
Bran Ferren
Warren Stevens
Marilyn Corwin
Monty Westmore