The Bomb (film)

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The Bomb
DVD cover
GenreDocumentary film
Written byRushmore DeNooyer
Directed byRushmore DeNooyer
Narrated byJonathan Adams
Theme music composerTodd Hutchisen (music editor)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodesOne-episode (about two-hours)
ProducerLone Wolf Media
EditorsDoug Quade
Ryan Shepheard
Running time114:39 minutes
DistributorPublic Broadcasting Service
Original networkPBS
Original release
  • July 28, 2015 (2015-07-28)

The Bomb is a 2015 American documentary film about the history of nuclear weapons, from theoretical scientific considerations at the very beginning, to their first use on August 6, 1945,[1][2] to their global political implications in the present day.[3][4][5][6][7] The two-hour PBS film was written and directed by Rushmore DeNooyer, who noted the project took a year and a half to complete, since much of the film footage and images was only recently declassified by the United States Department of Defense.[5] According to DeNooyer, “It wouldn’t take very many bombs to really change life on Earth, ... The idea that there are thousands of them sitting around is pretty scary. I don’t think people today realize that. They don’t think about it. I don’t think they are scared. But in a way, they should be.”[6] Mark Dawidziak, of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, summarized the film as follows: "The Bomb moves swiftly to cover Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cold War, the arms race, the Red Scare, the witch hunt, the Cuban Missile Crisis, test-ban treaties, the "Star Wars" initiative, the anti-nuke movement, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of new nuclear threats."[8] According to historian Richard Rhodes, “The invention [of 'The Bomb'] was a millennial change in human history: for the first time, we were now capable of our own destruction, as a species.”[3]


The documentary film is narrated by Jonathan Adams and includes the following participants (alphabetized by last name):


Reviews and criticism[edit]

Pulitzer prize-winning American conservative journalist and commentator Dorothy Rabinowitz, of the Wall Street Journal, writes, "Documentaries commemorating the atomic bomb’s first use are rarely deficient in drama, and this overstuffed yet altogether gripping work is no exception. Its assortment of uninhibitedly blunt commentators doesn’t hurt either."[4] According to David Hinckley of the Daily News, "...some of the most powerful moments [of the film] focus on people, not technology."[11] Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times noted, "...much of this tale, as accidental as it also feels inevitable, is one of individual egos warping history, of scientists at war with politicians, of evil scientists at war with good ones, of wounded bureaucrats out for revenge."[12] Verne Gay of Newsday concludes, "The Bomb is a decent overview but with insufficient analysis or perspective ..."[10] Mark Dawidziak, of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, reports, "[The film is] part history lesson, part science class, part sociological study, part political thriller and part cautionary tale ... "[8] Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times observes, "The arms race is dutifully chronicled and the anti-nuke movement too, but only in its final minutes does the program get around to noting that nuclear bombs are still with us and that countries other than the United States and Russia have them. There’s a brief suggestion that if India and Pakistan ever go at it the whole world will suffer from collateral damage, but the thought doesn’t linger. It’s as if The Bomb doesn’t want to intrude on the present by reminding us that the genie released 70 years ago [on August 6, 1945] is still at large."[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dunlap, David W. (August 6, 2015). "Looking Back - 1945 - Witnessing the A-Bomb, but Forbidden to File". New York Times. Retrieved August 7, 2015.(re William L. Laurence, Pulitzer prize-winning science journalist for the New York Times)
  2. ^ Southard, Susan (August 7, 2015). "Nagasaki, the Forgotten City". New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Staff (July 28, 2015). "PBS - The Bomb - It Changed The World ... And Continues To Shape Our Lives". PBS. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Rabinowitz, Dorothy (July 23, 2015). "'The Bomb' Review: The Weapon That Ended the War - Seventy years after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a look at the creation of the world's most destructive weapon". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Contreras, Russell (July 27, 2015). "PBS special 'The Bomb' seeks to tell story of atomic weapons for 70th anniversary". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Nott, Robert (July 27, 2015). "TV documentary explores making of atomic bombs". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  7. ^ Bianco, Robert (July 28, 2015). "TV tonight: 'The Bomb' on PBS". USA Today. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Dawidziak, Mark (July 25, 2015). "'The Bomb' takes a 70-year run through the nuclear age". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Genzlinger, Neil (July 27, 2015). "'The Bomb' Helps Return Nukes to the TV Spotlight". New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Gay, Verne (July 27, 2015). "'The Bomb' and 'Uranium' review: Two PBS documentaries, one insufficient, one engaging". Newsday. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  11. ^ Hinckley, David (July 28, 2015). "PBS atomic bomb documentary is better and longer than Smithsonian's". Daily News (New York). Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  12. ^ Lloyd, Robert (July 24, 2015). "Critic's Pick TV Picks: 'Chris Gethard,' 'Uranium,' 'The Bomb,' 'The Walker'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 1, 2015.

External links[edit]