On July 21, 2023, Universal Pictures released the historical drama Oppenheimer, based on the life of Robert J. Oppenheimer. According to Box Office Mojo, Oppenheimer has grossed over 300 million dollars in domestic movie sales and nearly 800 million dollars in movie sales worldwide. The film stars Cillian Murphy as Robert J. Oppenheimer (1904-1967), an American theoretical physicist who was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Manhattan Project. The Los Alamos Laboratory was responsible for the design of the atomic bomb, and Oppenheimer is often referred to as the “father of the atomic bomb.”
Directed by Christopher Nolan, best known for science fiction films Inception (2010), Interstellar (2014), and Tenet (2020), the film is mostly told through the perspective of Robert J. Oppenheimer, beginning in 1926 when he is a doctorate student at Cambridge University. Weaved into the story are scenes in black and white that tell the point of view of Lewis Strauss, a powerful figure in developing nuclear weapons after World Ward II, whose actions sabotaged Oppenheimer’s career. Visit Roger-Ebert for a more detailed movie review.
Oppenheimer is not merely a work of historical fiction, but a cinematic masterpiece with unforgettable performances by Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., and Emily Blunt. Oppenheimer is expected to be released on DVD sometime in October of this year and will be available at all three Davenport Library locations. While you are waiting for Oppenheimer, we recommend the following materials about the development of the atomic bomb currently in The Library collection.
Killing the Rising Sun: How American Vanquished World War II Japan by Bill O’Reilly
Trinity: a Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorn
Atomic Spy by Nancy Thorndike Greenspan
Black Snow: Curtis LeMay, the Firebombing of Tokyo, and the Road to the Atomic Bomb by James Scott
Trinity by Louisa Hall
Universe of Two by Stephen P. Kiernan
Hannah’s War by Jan Eliasberg
Bomb: the Race to Build-and Steal-the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit