The Beginning or the End (1947) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Beginning or the End1947

The Beginning or the End (1947)





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Movie Info

Filmed not long after the actual events, The Beginning or the End is a sober, intelligent account of the development and deployment of the Atom Bomb. Step by step, the film details the progress of The Manhattan Project, from its inception in the early stages of the war through the dawn of the Atomic Age over the city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Brian Donlevy stars as Brigadier General Leslie Groves, assigned by President Roosevelt (Godfrey Tearle) to act as military supervisor of the top-secret project at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. After a grueling trial-and-error period, the first atomic bomb is tested before an assemblage of scientists and military personnel-even though there's the disturbing possibility that the explosion may cause a chain reaction that will wipe out all mankind. Woven into the proceedings is an unnecessary but innocuous romance between idealistic young scientist Matt Cochran (Tom Drake) and his new bride Anne (Beverly Tyler), who cannot understand why she and her husband are forced to live in isolation with scores of other scientists and their families because Matt, like his associates, has been sworn to total secrecy. Though the Cochrans are fictional, many real-life participants in the Manhattan Project are depicted herein, including J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Hume Cronyn), Enrico Fermi (Joseph Calleia), Albert Einstein (Ludwig Stossel) and Col. Paul Tibbetts (Barry Nelson), pilot of the bomb-bearing Enola Gay. Refreshingly free of propagandizing, Beginning or the End would make an excellent companion feature to Fat Man and Little Boy (1990), a highly politicized retelling of the same events. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Brian Donlevy
as Maj. Gen. Leslie Groves
Tom Drake
as Matt Cochran
Robert Walker
as Col. Jeff Nixon
Trevor Bardette
as Clinic Doctor
Beverly Tyler
as Anne Cochran
James Bush
as Dr. Ernest O. Lawrence
Audrey Totter
as Jean O'Leary
Hume Cronyn
as Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer
Hurd Hatfield
as Dr. John Wyatt
Jim Davis
as Pilot at Tinian
Joseph Calleia
as Dr. Enrico Fermi
Godfrey Tearle
as President Roosevelt
Victor Francen
as Dr. Marre
Edward Earle
as Charles G. Ross
Frank Ferguson
as Dr. James B. Conant
Richard Haydn
as Dr. Chisholm
Jonathan Hale
as Dr. Vannevar Bush
John Gallaudet
as Dr. Leo Szilard
John Litel
as K.T. Keller
Henry O'Neill
as Gen. Thomas F. Farrell
Warner Anderson
as Capt. Parsons, USN
Barry Nelson
as Col. Paul Tibbets Jr.
Paul Harvey
as Lieutenant General W.D. Styer
Art Baker
as President Truman
Ludwig Stossel
as Dr. Albert Einstein
John Hamilton
as Dr. Harold C. Urey
Larry Johns
as Quaker Scientist
Norman Lloyd
as Dr. Troyanski
Damian O'Flynn
as C.D. Howe
Moroni Olsen
as Dr. Arthur H. Compton
Tom Stevenson
as Dr. E.P. Winger
Charles Trowbridge
as Walter S. Carpenter Jr.
Nella Walker
as Grace Tully
Frank Wilcox
as Dr. W.H. Zinn
William Wright
as Colonel John Lansdale
Huntz Hall
as Brehon Somervel
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Critic Reviews for The Beginning or the End

All Critics (1)

The Beginning or the End is a masterful movie which tells the most dramatic story of our time with true power and suspense.

November 4, 2020 | Full Review…

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