6.8/10
507
20 user 5 critic

The Beginning or the End (1947)

The research, development, and deployment of the first atomic bomb, as well as the bombing of Hiroshima, are detailed in this docudrama.

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

Robert Considine (story), Frank Wead
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Impact (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A unfaithful wife plots with her lover to kill her husband, but the lover is accidentally killed instead. The husband stays in hiding, and lets his wife be charged with conspiracy.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn
Billy the Kid (1941)
Biography | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

In 1880 New Mexico, during a feud between cattle growers, former childhood friends Billy the Kid and Jim Sherwood end-up working for opposite sides.

Directors: David Miller, Frank Borzage
Stars: Robert Taylor, Brian Donlevy, Ian Hunter
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A deranged man kidnaps the nubile daughter of a police captain.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Brian Donlevy, Natalie Wood
Al Capone (1959)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A chronicle of the rise and fall of Chicago crime boss Al Capone during the Prohibition era.

Director: Richard Wilson
Stars: Rod Steiger, Martin Balsam, Fay Spain
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Maisie Ravier finds herself stranded in an Arizona ghost town with a family of migrant dust bowl refugees. The ghost town, it turns out, may have a gold mine.

Directors: Edwin L. Marin, J. Walter Ruben, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Ann Sothern, Lee Bowman, Slim Summerville
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a commercial plane force-lands in a South-American jungle, the passengers and pilots must patch-up the engines and escape the cannibal-infested area.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Robert Ryan, Anita Ekberg, Rod Steiger
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Stefan Dangos immigrates to America and works his way up from the iron mines and steel mills to become a great American success story as an industrialist.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Ann Richards, Walter Abel
Zandy's Bride (1974)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An American settler marries an European mail-order bride and together they learn how to thrive in the harsh wilderness while working on their relationship too.

Director: Jan Troell
Stars: Gene Hackman, Liv Ullmann, Eileen Heckart
Congo Maisie (1940)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Brooklyn showgirl Maisie gets stranded in the African jungle with a romantic doctor.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Ann Sothern, John Carroll, Rita Johnson
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Prohibition ends, a beer baron sees the writing on the wall, quits the rackets, and tries to break into California society.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Mary Astor, Helen Vinson
The Westerner (1940)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Judge Roy Bean, a self-appointed hanging judge in Vinegarroon, Texas, befriends saddle tramp Cole Harden, who opposes Bean's policy against homesteaders.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Doris Davenport
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, Byron Haskin, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Raymond Massey, Alan Hale
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Donlevy ... Major General Leslie R. Groves
Robert Walker ... Colonel Jeff Nixon
Tom Drake ... Matt Cochran
Beverly Tyler ... Anne Cochran
Audrey Totter ... Jean O'Leary
Hume Cronyn ... Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer
Hurd Hatfield ... Dr. John Wyatt
Joseph Calleia ... Dr. Enrico Fermi
Godfrey Tearle ... President Roosevelt
Victor Francen ... Dr. Marré
Richard Haydn ... Dr. Chisholm
Jonathan Hale ... Dr. Vannevar Bush
John Litel ... K.T. Keller
Henry O'Neill ... General Thomas F. Farrell
Warner Anderson ... Captain William S. Parsons U.S.N.
Edit

Storyline

Docudrama on the development of the first atomic bomb. Told from the perspective of a film recovered from a time capsule several hundred years into the future, the story is narrated by Robert Oppenheimer (Hume Cronyn) and Major General Leslie Groves (Brian Donlevy) beginning with the Nazis stated goal of developing an atomic bomb. Along with Britain and Canada, the U.S. reacts by beginning its own atomic program. The major developments are all presented: Fermi's successful atomic chain reaction; building the huge complex at Oak Ridge, Tenn.; the production of the first supply of plutonium; the testing in the Nevada desert; and finally the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ONE KISS...And Then The Unknown! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alku vai loppu See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The "thanks" for Tony Owen is actually for Owen's wife Donna Reed, who shared a finder's fee with her high school science teacher for developing the premise of the film. See more »

Goofs

The original Trinity Site bomb (called "the gadget" by the scientists) detonated in New Mexico in July 1945 was not the sleek, traditional bomb shape shown in the movie. Actually, "the gadget" was spherical and covered externally with wires. See more »

Quotes

Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer: [Giving an introduction to the film, speaking to the camera] How do you do - whoever you are? My name is J. Robert Oppenheimer. I'm an American scientist, working in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and forty six. I'm addressing you people of the 25th century in English, now - and I hope in your time - one of the leading languages of the world. I'm working in a physics laboratory, typical of many others devoted to scientific research. In my lifetime I saw the rise of the automobile, ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Genius: Einstein: Chapter Ten (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Best Kept Secret
2 January 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Although the far more realistic Fat Man And Little Boy deals better with this subject, The Beginning Or The End still is a fine interpretation of the events leading up to the bombing of Hiroshima. No really big star names are in this film probably for the better giving it a nice ring of authenticity.

Playing the parts of General Leslie Groves and scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer the partnership of the military and science that created the atomic bomb are Brian Donlevy and Hume Cronyn. Both bear more than a passing resemblance to the real people.

The Manhattan Project, the overall name for the effort to create a super weapon to bring a short end to World War II and get it before the Axis did was probably the best kept secret in all of a human history. I have to say it because it involved the efforts of a few thousand people at the various sites at White Sands, Oak Ridge, UCLA, Chicago and of course Manhattan. My father did his wartime service at Oak Ridge and he was just a regular GI and still had no real idea himself what he was doing there.

Fat Man And Little Boy is far more introspective dealing with the moral decision to use the bomb on a live target. The Beginning Or The End comes down very hard and unquestionably on the rightness of Truman's decision to drop the bomb. Both presidents Roosevelt and Truman are here and played by Geoffrey Tearle and Art Baker respectively.

The peaceful uses of atomic energy are also discussed and trumpeted. Four younger players Robert Walker, Tom Drake, Beverly Tyler, and Audrey Totter represent a quartet of idealistic young people working on the project who talk about a much better world that atomic energy can create. One of them dies in this effort. As for the better world we've reassessed atomic energy in the wake of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. With our dependence on oil however, nuclear energy is once again being reassessed as an alternative.

The Beginning Or The End still holds up well today with Donlevy and Cronyn heading an impeccably cast ensemble.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Phoebe Waller-Bridge Had 'No Expectations' for Emmys

"Fleabag" had a huge night at the Emmys, winning four awards including Outstanding Comedy Series. The creator and cast shared their feelings on the big night and the power of love.

Watch now

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed