The Beginning or the End | Chicago Reader

The Beginning or the End

This sincere, hokey docudrama about the development and deployment of the atomic bomb, released by MGM in 1947, begins with a newsreel prologue that shows the film being sealed in a time capsule for the people of 2446. By that time our contemporary efforts at dramaturgy and objectivity may look just as quaint as this does now, and to its credit, this fascinating period piece shows more misgivings about Hiroshima than Truman ever did. Norman Taurog—later known for his Jerry Lewis and Elvis Presley vehicles—directed a script by Frank Wead; with Brian Donlevy, Robert Walker, Hume Cronyn (as Robert Oppenheimer), Tom Drake, Audrey Totter, and others impersonating Einstein, FDR, and Truman (the latter viewed only from behind). 112 min.

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