The Beginning or the End

The Beginning or the End

Director: Norman Taurog Cast: Warner Anderson, Brian Donlevy, Art Baker

DVD (Full Frame)

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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/22/2015
UPC: 0888574330200
Original Release: 1947
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Presentation: [Full Frame]
Time: 1:52:00
Sales rank: 4,895

Cast & Crew

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

Technical Credits
Norman Taurog Director
Daniele Amfitheatrof Score Composer
George Boemler Editor
Jack Dawn Makeup
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
F. Keogh Gleason Set Decoration/Design
George Hoemier Editor
Ray June Cinematographer
Samuel Marx Producer
Warren Newcombe Cinematographer,Special Effects
Hans Peters Art Director
Irene Sharaff Costumes/Costume Designer
Frank Wead Screenwriter
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Beginning of the End
1. Chapter 1 [8:31]
2. Chapter 2 [7:32]
3. Chapter 3 [6:59]
4. Chapter 4 [9:04]
5. Chapter 5 [7:28]
6. Chapter 6 [8:41]
7. Chapter 7 [6:29]
8. Chapter 8 [6:05]
9. Chapter 9 [10:55]
10. Chapter 10 [8:12]
11. Chapter 11 [7:42]
12. Chapter 12 [8:12]
13. Chapter 13 [7:35]
14. Chapter 14 [7:09]
15. Chapter 15 [1:07]

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