Tuesday, January 20, 2009
"The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer"
Coming Monday, January 26th on PBS's American Experience..."The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer".
The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer (2 hours)
Robert Oppenheimer's life and legacy are inextricably linked to America's most famous top-secret initiative -- the Manhattan Project. But after World War II, this brilliant and intense scientist, tasked with the development of the atomic bomb and widely considered one of the most important minds of the twentieth century, fell from the innermost circles of American scientific policy. At the height of the Red Scare, the veil of suspicion fell over J. Robert Oppenheimer. He was accused of having communist sympathies and was pressed to explain his relationships with known communists.
This biography will present a complex and revealing portrait of one of the most influential American scientists. Interweaving interviews with family members, scholars and colleagues with dramatic recreations featuring Academy Award-nominated actor David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck, and The Bourne Ultimatum), this film follows J. Robert Oppenheimer on a fascinating arc from the heady world of international physics to the top-secret Manhattan Project, and finally to the dark days of the Red Scare and McCarthyism.
David Grubin, Producer
Filmmaker David Grubin has won every major award in his field, including three George Foster Peabody awards, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University awards, and nine Emmys. Mr. Grubin has produced over 100 films on subjects ranging from history to art, from poetry to science.
Grubin's five-part series for PBS, Healing And The Mind with Bill Moyers, has won many awards, and the companion book, for which he was executive editor, rose to number one on The New York Times Best Sellers List. He won a Writers Guild Award for his biography of Marie Antoinette, which aired on PBS in September 2006. His most recent work is a six-hour series, The Jewish Americans, which aired on PBS in 2008.
A member of the executive committee of the Society of American Historians, Grubin has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, has been a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Hamilton College.
Air date: January 26, 2009
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Tickling the dragon's tail