History Film / TheManhattanProject

18th Jun '17 11:26:38 PM BillWoods
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Paul decides to steal plutonium from [[TheGovernment the lab]] and use it to build an atomic bomb, partly to Make A Point, but mostly Because He Can. Paul thinks, correctly, that he has the most epic Science Fair project ever, and enters it in a Science Fair in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity. When Dr. Mathewson and the U.S. Army figure out what Paul is up to, they are not impressed.

Features Creator/JohnLithgow playing a good guy during his "serious" period, and a young [[SexAndTheCity Cynthia Nixon]] as the hero's girlfriend Jenny.

to:

Paul decides to steal plutonium from [[TheGovernment the lab]] and use it to build an atomic bomb, partly to Make A Point, but mostly Because He Can. Paul thinks, correctly, that he has the most epic Science Fair project ever, and enters it in a Science Fair in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity. When Dr. Mathewson and the U.S. Army figure out what Paul is up to, they are not impressed.

amused.

Features Creator/JohnLithgow playing a good guy during his "serious" period, and a young [[SexAndTheCity [[Series/SexAndTheCity Cynthia Nixon]] as the hero's girlfriend Jenny.



* BrainlessBeauty[=/=]DecoyDamsel: the act Jenny puts on as she distracts the security guards with a self-inflicted flat tire while he pulls off his plutonium theft caper. Throughout the rest of the movie, however, she's actually quite sharp.

to:

* BrainlessBeauty[=/=]DecoyDamsel: BrainlessBeauty [=/=] DecoyDamsel: the act Jenny puts on as she distracts the security guards with a self-inflicted flat tire while he pulls off his plutonium theft caper. Throughout the rest of the movie, however, she's actually quite sharp.



* DidntThinkThisThrough: Paul's plan apparently didn't go beyond 'win the science fair'.



* ExactTimeToFailure: Double subverted near the end of the movie - the homemade atomic bomb is accidentally armed and its display is turned on. It starts counting at 999 hours, so at first no one's worried about disarming it in time... until Paul realizes his timing mechanism isn't perfect and will speed up the clock as it goes on. The double subversion comes into play when he and Dr. Mathewson eventually remember that the degradation will follow a perfect exponential curve, so they can calculate exactly how long it will take the timer to reach zero. (Which is much, much sooner than they'd like.)

to:

* ExactTimeToFailure: Double subverted near the end of the movie - -- the homemade atomic bomb is accidentally armed and its display is turned on. It starts counting at 999 hours, so at first no one's worried about disarming it in time... until Paul realizes his timing mechanism isn't perfect is degrading and will speed up the clock as it goes on. The double subversion comes into play when he and Dr. Mathewson eventually remember that the degradation will follow a perfect exponential curve, so they can calculate exactly how long it will take the timer to reach zero. (Which is much, much sooner than they'd like.)



* [[ICantBelieveImSayingThis I Can't Believe I'm Saying This]]: Paul to Jenny in the hotel hosting the science fair.
-->'''Paul''': I never thought I'd say this to anybody, but I've got to go get the atomic bomb out of the car.

to:

* [[ICantBelieveImSayingThis I Can't Believe I'm Saying This]]: Paul to Jenny in the hotel hosting room at the science fair.
-->'''Paul''': I never thought I'd say this to anybody, [[MoodWhiplash but I've got to go get the atomic bomb out of the car.car]].



* InsufferableGenius: Paul could very well be the posterchild for this.

to:

* InsufferableGenius: Paul could very well be the posterchild poster child for this.



* NoNameGiven: Actor [[Series/SixFeetUnder Richard Jenkins]] receives billing only as "Radiation Controls Officer - Medatomic Labs". The character actually does have a name: Miles Wilson. Each part of his name, however, is only said once, and even then said in different parts of the movie. He is never actually referred to in the film as "the Radiation Controls Officer".

to:

* NoNameGiven: Actor [[Series/SixFeetUnder Richard Jenkins]] receives billing only as "Radiation Controls Officer - -- Medatomic Labs". The character actually does have a name: Miles Wilson. Each part of his name, however, is only said once, and even then said in different parts of the movie. He is never actually referred to in the film as "the Radiation Controls Officer".



* ProductPlacement: Alberto's [=VO5=] shampoo, which looks suspiciously like the liquid in which the highly purified plutonium is kept. Also, to a lesser extent, Duracell batteries.

to:

* ProductPlacement: ProductPlacement:
**
Alberto's [=VO5=] shampoo, which looks suspiciously like the liquid in which the highly purified plutonium is kept. Also, to a lesser extent, Duracell batteries.



* SicklyGreenGlow: The plutonium-laden liquid, which can pass for shampoo.



-->'''Lt. Col. Conroy''': (to Dr. Mathewson) "You are what you are, doctor: a son of a bitch just like the rest of us. Now for God's sake take some responsibility and do what has to be done!"
-->'''Dr. Mathewson''': (to Lt. Col. Conroy and his team) "Hold it, gentlemen. Fellow sons of bitches, we're all what we are, right? So here's ''my'' responsible act..."

to:

-->'''Lt. Col. Conroy''': (to [''to Dr. Mathewson) "You Mathewson''] You are what you are, doctor: a son of a bitch just like the rest of us. Now for God's sake take some responsibility and do what has to be done!"
done!
-->'''Dr. Mathewson''': (to [''to Lt. Col. Conroy and his team) "Hold team''] Hold it, gentlemen. Fellow sons of bitches, we're all what we are, right? So here's ''my'' responsible act..."



** Right before settling a WireDilemma, Mathewson asks, "Anyone want to make a bet?" In a real-life incident of GallowsHumor at the Trinity test, a number of scientists wagered on exactly how powerful the explosion would be. Wagers ranged from a dud, to 18 kilotons (the winning wager by physicist I. I. Rabi), to destruction of the entire state of New Mexico, to ignition of the atmosphere and the incineration of the entire surface of the Earth.

to:

** Right before settling a WireDilemma, Mathewson asks, "Anyone want to make a bet?" In a real-life incident of GallowsHumor at the Trinity test, a number of scientists wagered on exactly how powerful the explosion would be. Wagers ranged from a dud, to 18 kilotons (the winning wager by physicist I. I. Rabi), to destruction of the entire state of New Mexico, to ignition of the atmosphere and the incineration of the entire surface of the Earth.



*** ''Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951'' (the 1951 original) is playing on the TV while Paul and Jenny are planning the plutonium theft.

to:

*** ''Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951'' ''[[Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951 The Day The Earth Stood Still]]'' (the 1951 original) is playing on the TV while Paul and Jenny are planning the plutonium theft.



* SpiritualSuccessor: Arguably to Film/WarGames.

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* SpiritualSuccessor: Arguably to Film/WarGames.''Film/WarGames''.


Added DiffLines:

* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: The one(1) night guard at the nuclear processing plant isn't quite up to snuff.
21st May '17 3:00:55 PM nombretomado
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* SpiritualSuccessor: Arguably to WarGames.

to:

* SpiritualSuccessor: Arguably to WarGames.Film/WarGames.
21st May '17 2:58:49 PM nombretomado
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A 1986 thriller with liberal dashes of BlackComedy and GallowsHumor plus just a touch of [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness hard science fiction]]. Belongs to the same genre as ''WarGames'', as both films feature bright high school kids who almost single-handedly cause an international nuclear crisis. Although less high-spirited and possibly more {{Anvilicious}} than ''Film/WarGames'', ''The Manhattan Project'' is still good fun.

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A 1986 thriller with liberal dashes of BlackComedy and GallowsHumor plus just a touch of [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness hard science fiction]]. Belongs to the same genre as ''WarGames'', ''Film/WarGames'', as both films feature bright high school kids who almost single-handedly cause an international nuclear crisis. Although less high-spirited and possibly more {{Anvilicious}} than ''Film/WarGames'', ''The Manhattan Project'' is still good fun.
15th Apr '16 1:26:37 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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* CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot: If Paul had done what virtually every other science/engineering fair kid does and built a *mockup* of his atomic bomb. He wanted to fry bigger fish, though, and got WAY more then he bargained for.
28th Feb '16 5:34:16 AM lipranzer
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* DawsonCasting: Averted here. Most of the high school students we see are old enough to drive and are taking physics, which implies that they are probably at least 16 years old. Pretty much every actor in the film who plays a high school student (including Christopher Collett and Cynthia Nixon) was under 20 years old at the time of filming.



-->'''Paul:''' Who's Anne Frank

to:

-->'''Paul:''' Who's Anne FrankFrank?
28th Feb '16 5:33:23 AM lipranzer
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Added DiffLines:

* PopCulturalOsmosisFailure: More like a Historical Osmosis Failure, but:
-->'''Jenny:''' This isn't funny. Do you know what this is like? It's like when you read about, I don't know, [[Literature/TheDiaryOfAYoungGirl Anne Frank]] or something and you say to yourself, Jesus, why didn't they do something? The whole world is collapsing. They just sat around, life as usual, maybe it'll go away, but it never goes away; it only gets worse and nobody thinks about the future. What's the matter?
-->'''Paul:''' Who's Anne Frank
-->'''Jenny:''' [[DeadpanSnarker She's in my English class]].
27th Dec '15 1:52:11 PM nombretomado
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* NoNameGiven: Actor [[SixFeetUnder Richard Jenkins]] receives billing only as "Radiation Controls Officer - Medatomic Labs". The character actually does have a name: Miles Wilson. Each part of his name, however, is only said once, and even then said in different parts of the movie. He is never actually referred to in the film as "the Radiation Controls Officer".

to:

* NoNameGiven: Actor [[SixFeetUnder [[Series/SixFeetUnder Richard Jenkins]] receives billing only as "Radiation Controls Officer - Medatomic Labs". The character actually does have a name: Miles Wilson. Each part of his name, however, is only said once, and even then said in different parts of the movie. He is never actually referred to in the film as "the Radiation Controls Officer".
16th Dec '15 4:32:39 PM nombretomado
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Paul Stephens (Christopher Collett) is a TeenGenius and HighSchoolHustler from Ithaca, New York (best known as being the home of [[IvyLeague Cornell University]]). His divorced mother (Jill Eikenberry) starts dating nuclear scientist Dr. John Mathewson (John Lithgow), who runs the lab at "Medatomics", ostensibly doing research in nuclear medicine. The Medatomics lab, however, is just a cover story for Mathewson's real work, which is refining plutonium to previously unheard-of purities for use in nuclear weapons.

to:

Paul Stephens (Christopher Collett) is a TeenGenius and HighSchoolHustler from Ithaca, New York (best known as being the home of [[IvyLeague [[UsefulNotes/IvyLeague Cornell University]]). His divorced mother (Jill Eikenberry) starts dating nuclear scientist Dr. John Mathewson (John Lithgow), who runs the lab at "Medatomics", ostensibly doing research in nuclear medicine. The Medatomics lab, however, is just a cover story for Mathewson's real work, which is refining plutonium to previously unheard-of purities for use in nuclear weapons.



* IvyLeague: The film is set in Ithaca, New York, the home of Cornell University. Although the school is never shown in the film, Paul mentions that his father used to be a professor of architecture there.
16th Sep '15 10:33:53 AM ArchTeryx
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* CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot: If Paul had done what virtually every other kid genius does and built a *mockup* of his atomic bomb to enter in the science fair. He wanted to fry bigger fish, though, and got WAY more then he bargained for.

to:

* CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot: If Paul had done what virtually every other science/engineering fair kid genius does and built a *mockup* of his atomic bomb to enter in the science fair.bomb. He wanted to fry bigger fish, though, and got WAY more then he bargained for.
16th Sep '15 10:33:03 AM ArchTeryx
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Added DiffLines:

* CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot: If Paul had done what virtually every other kid genius does and built a *mockup* of his atomic bomb to enter in the science fair. He wanted to fry bigger fish, though, and got WAY more then he bargained for.
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