The Day After Trinity

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The Day After Trinity
Photograph by Philippe Halsman (1958)
Directed byJon H. Else
Produced byJon H. Else
Peter Baker
(executive producer)
Written byDavid Peoples
Janet Peoples
Jon Else
StarringHans Bethe
Robert Serber
Robert Wilson
Frank Oppenheimer
I.I. Rabi
Freeman Dyson
Stanislaw Ulam
J. Robert Oppenheimer (archive footage)
Narrated byPaul Frees
Music byMartin Bresnick
CinematographyTom McDonough
David Espar
Stephen Lighthill
Edited byDavid Peoples
Ralph Wikke
Distributed byPBS
Release date
  • January 20, 1981 (1981-01-20)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Day After Trinity (a.k.a. The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb) is a 1980 documentary film directed and produced by Jon H. Else in association with KTEH public television in San Jose, California. The film tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967), the theoretical physicist who led the effort to build the first atomic bomb, tested in July 1945 at Trinity site in New Mexico. Featuring candid interviews with several Manhattan Project scientists, as well as newly declassified archival footage, The Day After Trinity was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 1980,[1] and received a Peabody Award in 1981.

The film's title comes from an interview seen near the conclusion of the documentary. Robert Oppenheimer is asked for his thoughts on Sen. Robert Kennedy's efforts to urge President Lyndon Johnson to initiate talks to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. "It's 20 years too late," Oppenheimer replies. After a pause he states, "It should have been done the day after Trinity."


in order of first appearance[2]

Appearing on archive film[edit]

Trinity test, the first nuclear explosion (July 16, 1945)

Home media[edit]

The Day After Trinity was released on VHS cassette by Pyramid Home Video, and on Region 1 DVD by Image Entertainment. A CD-ROM that was released in 1995 included interviews, transcripts, annotations, biographies and other information.[3]


  1. ^ "The 53rd Academy Awards (1981) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  2. ^ Annotations from transcript of The Day After Trinity produced by PTV Publications, associated with the documentary's national broadcast on PBS April 29, 1981
  3. ^ Nichols, Peter M. Home Video, The New York Times, August 18, 1995

External links[edit]