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The Day After Trinity
The Day After Trinity
Actors: Hans Bethe, Holm Bursom, Haakon Chevalier, Stirling Colgate, Freeman Dyson
Director: Jon Else
Genres: Educational, Documentary, Military & War
NR     2002     1hr 28min

The Day After Trinity is a haunting journey through the dawn of the nuclear age, an incisive history of humanity's most dubious achievement and the man behind it--J. Robert Oppenheimer, the principal architect of the atomi...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Hans Bethe, Holm Bursom, Haakon Chevalier, Stirling Colgate, Freeman Dyson
Director: Jon Else
Creators: Jon Else, Courtney Flavin, Kathryn Witte, Martha Olson, David Webb Peoples, Janet Peoples
Genres: Educational, Documentary, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Educational, Biography, Military & War, Military & War
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/14/2002
Original Release Date: 01/20/1981
Theatrical Release Date: 01/20/1981
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 28min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Simply the best that nonfiction filmmaking can offer
David B. Spalding | Chromejob-dot-com | 06/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Jon Else's Oscar-nominated documentary is a gem. He tells the story of the creation of the first atomic bomb, through the story of the amazing man who was picked to head up the project. J. Robert Oppenheimer would be a renaissance man in any time, but his presence during WWII and the Cold War afterwards, and his own doomed role in these world history events, makes him a tragic hero. Intelligent beyond comprehension, literate, poetic, charming, and dedicated (both to science and humanity), the experience of WWII's horror diverted his life on a collision course with history. Else's film is poignant, touching, restrained, and ultimately moving. Made in 1979, he was fortunate to be able to interview many of "Oppie's" colleagues, friends, and his brother Frank (who started another, lesser-known revolution, in interactive "museums," with his Exploratorium in San Francisco; WGBH's Nova series did a show on it). They all give us insight into the man, the scientist, the devotee of poetry, as well as the time in which these erudite engineers and scientists came together to build the ultimate weapon. Also of note, at the time of release, THE DAY AFTER TRINITY featured recently discovered, previously unseen footage of the Trinity test.

If you have children, or friends, who have only passing knowledge of the Atomic Age, and the effect it had on history, you deserve to own a copy of this classic film. It's instructive, but it is quietly passionate. You can't watch this and not be effected emotionally. That's the highest praise I can give a film. See this film...!"
A truly excellent film
Zac Carr | USA | 03/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a person who enjoys the history of the atomic bomb and the cold war, I thoroughly enjoy this film. It is a brilliant and profound film that out lines the people and events that helped to set the stage for the cold war and the nuclear arms race. It shows the devastating effects of the atomic bomb on not only Japan, but the world. What this film lacks in visual glamor and effects, it makes up for in the powerful and informative stories of the people who actually built the bomb. It packs more emotional punch and significance than more glamorous films about the bomb, or nuclear history in general. It is a must have for any aficionado of cold war/nuclear history."
A major contribution toward understanding the atomic bomb
Ariel W. Simmons | Washington, DC | 11/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Day After Trinity covers both the day after, but more importantly the days before Trinity experienced by the scientists who built the atom bomb. The story of the bomb is usually told from its public debut, Trinity, though the story begins long before. Here it is told very well, through fascinating interviews with the men and women who lived in the strangely utopian Los Alamos.Day After Trinity connects the humanity of the project with the horror of the result. The destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki make it hard to imagine the sort of people capable of creating such mass destruction. Perhaps for that reason, the creators are sometimes written off as mad scientists, or lumped in under Oppenhiemer's personality. But the people on the screen are brilliant, insightful, agonized, and funny. It contributes a great deal toward our understanding of the bomb, without making it any easier. Aside from the overall content, there is priceless footage of Robert Serber, Stanislav Ulam, Dorothy McKibbon and many others."
The best anti-nuclear war film ever made.
Michael Everitt ( | Florida, USA | 01/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Day After Trinity, the story of the making and firing of the first atomic bomb, tells in stark, factual interviews the story of the Faustian bargain we made with atomic energy. Tracing the steps taken by our government and leading scientists and focusing on J. Robert Oppenheimer, it is a compelling, riveting story of personal ambition, scientific curiousity, and tragic regret. The martyrdom of Oppenheimer is particularly well-told. Combining the American "can-do" spirit, the philosopher/scientist elite, World War II militarism, and Mc-Carthyism, it is a compelling guide to understanding for anyone interested in the 1950s."