This Emmy® winning, historically accurate drama tells the complex and moving story of the Manhattan Project. Racing against the Nazi war machine and enduring intense military and political pressure, Allied scientists wrest... more »le with the challenge of creating the ultimate weapon. Leading the superb cast are Michael Tucker (L.A. Law) as Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard, David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck.) as mission chief J. Robert Oppenheimer, Brian Dennehy (Death of a Salesman) as General Leslie Groves, and David Ogden Stiers (MASH) as FDR. Also featuring Hal Holbrook (Mark Twain Tonight!), Hume Cronyn (12 Angry Men), and Tony Shalhoub (Monk).
Before the bomb can be perfected, Hitler's death and Germany's surrender remove one enemy from the equation. But Japan remains. Day One builds quietly to a shattering climax, as the scientists who developed the bomb out of patriotic fervor witness its grisly consequences.« less
""Day One" is the best treatment so far of an overarchingly important era in American history: the development of the Atomic bomb and its use against Japan. Brian Dennehy gives the performance of his career as Gen. Leslie Groves, the military head of the Manhattan Project, and is superbly supported by a cast including Hume Cronyn, Richard Dysart and Tony Shalhoub (memorable as Enrico Fermi). The drama is first-rate, the pace brisk, the dialog crisp and to the point. Even more important, the history is mostly accurate--a real achievement given the controversial nature of this material. Top notch!"
Superb casting, must see true historical story
Skoro | 10/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Day One is the most believably and well casted movie I have viewed to date. The famous nuclear scientists of the 20th century are exceedingly well portrayed, peaking out with General Groves and Robert Oppenheimer's characters. For those who want to learn of the story behind the development of nuclear technology, both weapons, and later, peacetime uses for power generation and medicinal/health purposes, this story forms the foundation. I have personally viewed the movie at least 6 times since first seeing it on, I believe, an AT&T made for TV showing presentation, and each time, catch something I missed previously. Makes "Fat Man/Little Boy" seem amateurish and exposes the adjustments to factual data made in that movie that are commonly made to meet what the producer believes the audiance demands."
Compelling Atomic Docudrama
Skoro | Texas | 04/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a physics teacher, I appreciate that the Manhattan Project is an important part of recent history that remains controversial to many and interesting to most students. In my opinion, Day One is the most accurate portrayal of this huge endeavor. The three primary actors (Dennehy as General Groves, Strathairn as Oppenheimer, and Tucker as Szilard) not only do an outstanding job of capturing their characters, each also bears a strong resemblence to the person they play. Strathairn, in particular, is marvelous and really drives home the angst that Oppie endured. The film remains very true to actual events, for the most part. There's very little artistic license at play here. Towards the end, the plot wanders and moralizes somewhat. But the use of atomic weapons to end WWII remains something of a moral dilemma, even 60 years after the fact. My only real criticism is the rather shallow characterization of President Truman. But overall, this is THE "must-see" film for those who have any interest in the dawn of the nuclear age."
Great Mini Series, Poor DVD Release
Jean-Luc Glorieux | 02/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I had long been a fan of this outstanding mini series, and having been lucky enough to tape it off the air when it was first broadcast, I was able to watch it again and again. Nevertheless, VHS tapes being what they are, I was also really looking forward to an eventual DVD release and was very gratified when it finally came. Unfortunately, I rejoiced a bit too soon. First, the video quality of this DVD release is rather poor, barely any better than that of my aging VHS tape. Second, the program has been edited from the original release. The editing doesn't seem to be major, but is annoying nonetheless. I have not yet looked at the entire DVD, but I already noticed two 20-30 seconds deletions in the first half hour. The first is when Leo Szilard first arrives to Columbia University in March 1939. The original release showed him emerging from the subway and asking directions to a policeman, which is omitted from the DVD. The second more important deletion comes at the conclusion of Szilard and Wigner's first visit with Einstein. In the original release, Einstein suggests that Szilard and Wigner write a letter to President Roosevelt and tells them that he would be happy to sign it, and this is not shown on the DVD. All in all, such an outstanding movie deserved a much better treatment and the problem is that, now that it has been badly done once, the likeliness of an eventual better DVD release is probably not that high. This means that I will unfortunately not be able to retire my aging VHS tape."
The Real Deal
Dan Edwards | Midwest | 05/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the films on WWII's Manhattan Project, this is the best, in my opinion. It's a no-nonsense account of the hardships, obstacles, and breakthroughs in producing the atomic bombs that ended the war. As far as I know, it's only available on VHS. That's a disadvantage, but no reason to avoid this excellent docudrama. An outstanding cast is complimented by attention to detail in creating an accurate period feel. Some other accounts that I've seen have a definite Hollywood aura to them, but not "Day One." If you're only going to see one film about The Bomb, this should be it. If you've seen the rest, then you really owe it to yourself to see the best."