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Manhattan Project
     

The Manhattan Project

Director: Marshall Brickman

Cast: John Lithgow, Christopher Collet, Cynthia Nixon

 

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Everyone knows that teenagers are smarter than adults, and if given a chance the kids could save the world -- if they don't blow it to bits first. The Manhattan Project tells of how 16-year-old Paul Stephens (Christopher Collet) tries to alert his community to the dangers of nuclear energy. John Mathewson (John Lithgow), a doctor in a pharmaceutical research

Overview

Everyone knows that teenagers are smarter than adults, and if given a chance the kids could save the world -- if they don't blow it to bits first. The Manhattan Project tells of how 16-year-old Paul Stephens (Christopher Collet) tries to alert his community to the dangers of nuclear energy. John Mathewson (John Lithgow), a doctor in a pharmaceutical research plant wherein covert plutonium experiments are taking place, is the boyfriend of Paul's mom, Elizabeth (Jill Eikenberry). While Mathewson is romantically occupied, Paul and his girl, Jenny Anderman (Cynthia Nixon), steal the plutonium and construct their own atomic bomb. They do this, of course, as a warning to foolhardy grown-ups -- none more foolhardy than the folks who put up good money to make this film. The Manhattan Project was directed by longtime Woody Allen collaborator Marshall Brickman, whose expert sense of comic timing obscures the thickheaded "message" of this picture.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
An uneasy blend of precocious teen comedy, cautionary tale, and message movie, Marshall Brickman's directorial debut highlights some of the best and worst aspects of mainstream moviemaking in the '80s. Manhattan Project starts out a warm, winning human comedy on the aftermath of divorce, with mom Jill Eikenberry and new boyfriend John Lithgow exhibiting loads of awkward charm, and son Christopher Collet striking the right balance between perturbed and just plain annoying. When the ripped-from-the-headlines plot kicks in, however, the film forgets that it's supposed to be about real people and not trumped-up atomic agitprop -- it becomes a left-wing Red Dawn. (It doesn't help that the technology featured in the film would have seemed out of date in 1978.) It's clear that former comedy writer Brickman is out of his league when the film's would-be pulse-pounding finale is shot and edited so as to have all the tension and buildup of a Midwestern state fair. Obviously, Brickman and company intended for a WarGames-style fusion of suburban sitcom and Cold War thriller, but where that film was buoyed by a pair of animated teen performers -- Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy -- Manhattan Project has to make do with the capable-but-underused Cynthia Nixon and the sedate, opaque Collet. Best to shut this one off at the midway point.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/10/2016
UPC:
0738329203191
Original Release:
1986
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Kl Studio Classics
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:57:00
Sales rank:
32,795

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Lithgow John Mathewson
Christopher Collet Paul Stephens
Cynthia Nixon Jenny Anderman
Jill Eikenberry Elizabeth Stephens
John Mahoney Lieutenant Colonel Conroy
Sully Boyar Night Guard
Dan Butler [Medatomics Lab]
Tery Cummins Terry
Allen De Cheser Jenny's Brother [Ithaca]
Heather Rose Dominic Flirting Kid
John Doumanian Cabbie
Gregg Edelman Science Teacher
Frank Ferera [Medatomics Lab]
Warren Manzi Day Attendant
Jimmie Ray Weeks [Medatomics Lab]
Steve Zettler [Medatomics Lab]
Richard Caselnova SWATS [Medatomics Lab]
Richard Jenkins Controler Medatomic Lab
Timothy Carhart Relief Guard
J.D. Cullum Eccles
Abe Unger Roland
Richard Council Government
Robert Schenkkan Civil Servant University
Paul Austin General
Adrian Sparks Scientist
Curt Dempster Scientist
Bran Ferren Lab Assistant
Robert Sean Leonard Max
David Quinn Tennis
Geoffrey Nauffts Craig
Katherine Hiler Emma
Steve Borton Local FBI
Harlan Cary Poe Local FBI
Ned Schmidtke Jenny's Dad
Sarah Burke Jenny's Mom
Fred G. Smith Conroy's Lieutenant
Manny Jacobs Moore
Charlie Fields Price [Science Fair]
Eric Hsiao Salto
Trevor Bolling Child Halley Project
Richard Cardona Child Laser Project
Bruce Smolanoff Child
Joan Kendall Cab Driver
Tom Tarpey Injection Doctor
Alec Massey FBI
Edward D. Murphy FBI
Dee Ann McDavid FBI
Joan Harris TV Reporter Barbara Collins
Kerry Donovan Himself
Ken Chapin Controler Nuclear Urgency
Peter McRobbie Electronics
Keith Warren Computer [Nuclear Emergency Search Team]
Bruce Jarchow Examiner Nuclear Urgency
Stephen Markle Examiner Nuclear Urgency
Fred Melamed Assay Technician
Michael Telesco Receptionnist Medatomic Lab
Al Cerullo Helicopter Pilot [Nuclear Emergency Search Team]

Technical Credits
Marshall Brickman Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Thomas Baum Screenwriter
Ron Bozman Asst. Director
Connie Brink Special Effects
Shay Cunliffe Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard Dean Makeup
Nina Feinberg Editor
Frank Ferera Stunts
Bran Ferren Special Effects
Robert Guerra Art Director
Les Lazarowitz Sound/Sound Designer
Abigail Murray Costumes/Costume Designer
Jennifer Ogden Producer,Production Manager
Nina Ramsey Set Decoration/Design
Philip Rosenberg Production Designer
Philippe Sarde Score Composer
Philip Smith Set Decoration/Design
Billy Williams Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Manhattan Project
1. Chapter 1 [:11]
2. Chapter 2 [9:07]
3. Chapter 3 [13:15]
4. Chapter 4 [10:39]
5. Chapter 5 [1:57]
6. Chapter 6 [17:23]
7. Chapter 7 [15:29]
8. Chapter 8 [15:10]
9. Chapter 9 [14:01]

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