Dominating the box office and discussions around the world, christopher nolan’s oppenheimer A cinematic masterpiece. This movie is based on the book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. robert oppenheimerwritten by moss bird And Martin J. sherwin, With his impeccable eye for detail, Nolan assembled a cast of historical figures to depict on screen the development and use of the atomic bomb by the United States during World War II. Nolan’s main character, J. Robert Oppenheimer is the backbone of the story where physics and morality meet.
With a star-studded cast bringing these real-life people to life, audiences walking out of the theater may be wondering how accurate is the portrayal of the characters? Like any epic directed by Nolan, there are too many names to keep track of; oppenheimer The characters can have a cake to remember. With a cast list as long as the film, here are the instrumental figures, ranked by accuracy.
American scientist, J. The story of Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.
- release date
- 21 July 2023
- christopher nolan
- Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr.
- main style
Warning: This list contains spoilers for Oppenheimer.
10 David L. Hill
played by rami malek
Putting the nails in the coffin of Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.), David L. Hills (rami malekTestimony at the last act of oppenheimer Powerful but leaving a questionable hole in the process of Strauss’s decline. Hill was another scientific mind who worked in one of the many laboratories that contributed to atomic bomb development. Hill worked at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago and was one of seven signers of the Szilárd petition, which argued against the use of bombs on Japan., Malek Hill appeared only briefly during the second half of the film as he urged Oppenheimer to sign the petition.
Hill would not appear again until the film’s final plot twist, where he provides damaging character witness testimony against Lewis Strauss by exposing his major efforts to circumvent Oppenheimer’s security clearance. However, it is unclear how Hill knew about Strauss’s campaign against Oppenheimer when Hill was briefly shown in a scene before his testimony. However, Malek’s partial speech was taken directly from the transcript of the Senate hearing.
9 Ernest Lawrence
played by josh hartnett
Josh Hartnett‘S illustration of Ernest Lawrence Earned his place as one of the best supporting characters in oppenheimer, Lawrence, along with Oppenheimer, was instrumental in making the University of California, Berkeley a major center of nuclear physics., He served as head of the Radiation Lab during the Manhattan Project and, after World War II, became a strong proponent of the hydrogen bomb and its military use.
What was not focused on strongly in the film was Lawrence’s inevitable turn against Oppenheimer during the Atomic Energy Commission hearing to review Oppenheimer’s security clearance. Lawrence was unable to testify in person but was interviewed by Oppenheimer’s prosecutors and said, “[Oppenheimer] Never have anything to do with policy making again.” In the film, Lawrence is seen congratulating Oppenheimer after receiving the Presidential Award decades later.
8 harry truman
played by gary oldman
With very little screen time, audiences got to see another fantastic portrayal of a historical figure gary oldman, Once again, Oldman has been in heavy make-up to portray a famous leader President Harry Truman For a brief cameo in oppenheimer, where he and Truman meet to discuss the future use of the atomic bomb and the potential of the hydrogen bomb. This meeting took place in the Oval Office on October 25, 1945.
According to multiple accounts of the meeting, Oppenheimer famously said, “Mr. President, I feel I have blood on my hands.” As depicted in the film and claimed by the President’s account, President Truman reportedly said, “The blood was on (my) hands, so let (me) worry about it.”Truman is also quoted as calling Oppenheimer a “cry-baby scientist” after firing him.
7 Albert Einstein
Played by Tom Conti
In a performance that showcases the skill of making the most of limited screen time, Tom Conti is fantastic as Albert Einstein, Einstein’s role oppenheimer Is to serve as a confidant for the titular character. During the Manhattan Project, Einstein was not involved but did encourage the beginning of nuclear weapons development in a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939., While Oppenheimer’s security clearance was granted thanks to Leslie Groves (displayed by Matt Damon), Einstein’s approval was denied because of his political leanings.
As shown in the film, the pair’s support for each other was rooted in real-life friendship and mutual respect for each other’s scientific genius. Einstein’s reaction to the way Oppenheimer handled his harassment and the subsequent removal of his security clearance is evident in the film, although his more unfiltered feelings were detailed. American Prometheus, Einstein reportedly said, “The trouble with Oppenheimer is that he loves a woman who does not love him – the government of the United States.”
6 isidore rabbi
Played by David Krumholtz
David Krumholtz Delivers career-high performance in oppenheimer As Isidore I. Rabi, Rabi was an American physicist and a friend of Oppenheimer, the pair share tender moments onscreen where Krumholtz provides the title character with a meaningful, honest and supportive friendship. Rabi is also comic relief in some moments.
Rabi actually turned down Oppenheimer’s offer to work on the Manhattan Project, choosing instead to act as a consultant., He visited Los Alamos several times, including to watch the Trinity Test. With Oppenheimer, he was a supporter of the Baruch Plan for international control of nuclear energy, while also actively opposing the development of the hydrogen bomb. He remained a friend of Oppenheimer even after the security clearance review.
5 edward taylor
Played by Benny Safdie
Nolan went as far as asking benny safi Hungarian physicist didn’t pluck his eyebrows to create visual accuracy edward taylor, During his time at Los Alamos, Teller was a group leader in the Theoretical Physics Division and was deeply troubled when Hans Bethe (pictured) gustaf skarsgård) was selected as the director of the division. His persistent feelings of being ignored or not heard translated to real life when he pushed for the development of a fusion weapon.
Precisely during the Trinity Test, Taylor was one of the few scientists who wore eye protection to view the explosion rather than facing away from it. in the 1950s, Taylor was developing the hydrogen bomb, later naming him one of the “Fathers of the Hydrogen Bomb”..” Taylor’s testimony against Oppenheimer was also historically accurate. The pair’s soon-to-be-famous scene at the White House actually occurred years later, as Byrd and Sherman document, “when the two men stood face to face When he came forward, everyone watched with increasing tension. to face. Kitty stood next to him like a stone, Oppenheimer smiled and shook Taylor’s hand.”
4 Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer
Played by Emily Blunt
emily blunt Delivers an Oscar-worthy performance kitty oppenheimer, In her explanatory dialogue, Kitty reveals that her second husband was killed in the Spanish Civil War after joining the Communist forces – this is accurate. Kitty was married three times before meeting Oppenheimer, amicably divorcing her third husband to marry the famous physicist., As shown in the film, Kitty also had a good educational background and had studied in several universities.
His struggles with alcoholism and depression were also accurately portrayed on screen. During the crucial testimony scene, Kitty’s bizarre past and former affiliations were really called into question. The ever-resilient Kitty kept her word during the interview, but eventually Oppenheimer’s security clearance was revoked.
3 Leslie Groves
played by matt damon
In his second spot-on biographical performance of 2023 – the first sonny vaccaro In ben affleck‘S Air – Matt Damon wears the military uniform of Lieutenant General Leslie Groves. Groves was responsible for ignoring Oppenheimer’s questionable political affiliations and appointing him head of the laboratory at the Los Alamos site during the Manhattan Project., Groves’ waiver of the process for obtaining Oppenheimer’s security clearance was an attempt to use his authority to override the process to get the project underway.
As seen onscreen, Groves and Oppenheimer had two very different personalities, but their mutual understanding and respect was an accurate portrayal of the pair. Groves testified during Oppenheimer’s trial, then retired, and testified that he would have been “surprised” if Oppenheimer had ever been disloyal, as shown in the film.
2 louise strauss
Starring Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. gives an excellent performance as Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Lewis Strauss. Strauss, an amateur physicist, was a proponent of the development of the hydrogen bomb, which Oppenheimer had advocated after the devastation of atomic bombings in World War II. The tension between Oppenheimer and Strauss, as depicted on screen, was not just for the sake of theatrics; It was real.
Following Strauss’s appointment of Oppenheimer as director of the Institute for Advanced Study in 1947, the pair began to have disagreements. As shown in the film, tensions rose after Oppenheimer mocked Strauss’s position on radioisotopes during a Senate hearing. Strauss was instrumental in Oppenheimer’s downfall and the revocation of his security clearance in 1953.Which served as a turning point in Nolan’s story in the final act of the film.
1 J. Robert Oppenheimer
played by cillian murphy
Establishing himself as a leading contender for the 2024 Best Actor Oscar, cillian murphy J. Robert is amazing as Oppenheimer. From the poisoned apple he left for his teacher to the downfall of his career, Nolan leaves no stone unturned in presenting a detailed, accurate portrayal of this famous man on screen. Oppenheimer was actually a tall, smokeless physicist who worked disastrously long hours to oversee the Trinity Test,
A line that is now forever imprinted in the minds of film lovers, “Now I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds,” is actually from Hindu scripture. Bhagavad Gita, However, Oppenheimer’s documented reference to this line came in a 1965 NBC News documentary called decision to bomb, Whether Oppenheimer uttered the scriptures after the Trinity Test remains to be proven.
Next: ‘The true story behind Oppenheimer’s communist connections’