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Oppenheimer (2008)

Sam Waterston , John Carson  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Oppenheimer + The Day After Trinity + American Experience: The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Waterston, John Carson, Christopher Muncke, Jana Shelden, Edward Hardwicke
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Worldwide
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008
  • Run Time: 420 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019MFY3G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,561 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Oppenheimer" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Complete mini-series on 3 discs.

Editorial Reviews

Sam Waterston stars in this BAFTA award-winning seven-part serial drama that delves into the enigma that was J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American physicist often referred to as the father of the atomic bomb. This gripping dramatization explores at length the extraordinary complexity of the scientist's thinking and the dilemma he faced. Within years he was declared a security risk by the American government, only to be awarded with the highest honor in his field by a subsequent presidency. Were the Americans trying to placate an uneasy conscience?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 82 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The recent release of the 1976 Adams Chronicles on DVD left only the release of Oppenheimer to complete the bifecta of the two finest dramatic miniseries ever broadcast on PBS. This seven part series was originally filmed in 1980 as a joint BBC and WGBH (Boston) production and was shown over seven consecutive weeks beginning May 11, 1982 as part of the PBS program American Playhouse. It depicts 15 years in the turbulent life of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who died in 1967, at the age of 62, but whose life and career remain controversial to this day. The story begins in 1938, when Dr. Oppenheimer was already recognized as a brilliant theorist in both particle physics and astrophysics (he was co-author of a prescient paper, along with graduate student Hartland S. Snyder, developing equations based on Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, demonstrating the possibility of a star collapsing in upon itself and forming a black hole). Together with Dr. Ernest Lawrence, Oppenheimer had turned the University of California at Berkeley into a renowned center for teaching physics. Sharply played by a distracted, self-absorbed and often edgy Sam Waterston, Dr. Oppenheimer is portrayed as a somewhat vain and preening professor, surrounding himself with an adoring clique of occasionally shallow yet brilliant students. He almost unconciously flits through 1930's left-wing circles, never seeming to land anywhere. Fascism is on the rise in Europe and Japan, and the Communist Party is in the vanguard of what the script labels - somewhat ironically given Stalin's immanent pact with Hitler - as 'uncompromising opposition'. Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oppenheimer DVD June 8, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for this DVD ever since the series aired over 20 years ago on PBS. I have been shocked that there have been no re-runs on PBS of this series portraying the contributions of Robert Oppenheimer to the development of the A bomb and his political punishment for working against the Hydrogen bomb. Oppenheimer is one of the most remarkable people of the 20th century and this DVD demonstrates the political price he paid for opposing Ed Teller and the other war mongers after 1945. I can't wait to see this again. I believe that this was Waterston's finest role and makes his appearances on Law and Order pale in comparison.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oppenheimer WBGH/BBC July 27, 2008
2004 marked the Centennial of Oppenheimer's birth. The release of this title on DVD is long overdue, and will provide a complement to the recent publication of the first 3 full length biographies of Oppenheimer, by a spectrum of recognized authorities in the field

J Robert Oppenheimer: A Life by the physicist Abraham Pais, who has previously done books on Einstein and Bohr,
J Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century by the historian of science David Cassidy who has done a biography of Werner Heisenberg,
American Prometheus by 2 prominent historians of the Bomb and the Cold War, Martin Sherwin and Kai Bird.
The science writer Jeremy Bernstein has a new book, Oppenheimer, Portrait of an Enigma, which was a previously unpublished, extended magazine profile.
The Cold War historian Gregg Herken has also contributed a volume on the Brotherhood of the Bomb( Oppenheimer, Lawrence and Teller).

Lastly, the papers presented at the Oppenheimer Centennial Conference held at UC Berkeley in May of 2004 have been collected and published, as have several more recent analyses of the Oppenheimer security hearing(by Richard Polenberg and Priscilla MacMillan,respectively.
A play, In the Matter of J Robert Oppenheimer( also the title of the actual published transcripts of the security hearing) based upon the hearings, originally performed in the 1960's, is being revived off Broadway this year.

With all of the aforementioned renewed interest in this brilliant, complex, and controversial scientist, who ushered in the atomic age, and later became one its most important philosophers, we now have a long awaited DVD issue of this dramatic series, based upon the book( or perhaps vice versa) of Peter Goodchild: J Robert Oppenheimer: Shatterer of Worlds.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! June 23, 2008
I was lucky enough to see "Oppenheimer" when it was first broadcast on PBS, and have been checking Amazon literally for years, patiently waiting for it to be released on DVD (I think I pre-ordered it five years ago). Now the wait is over, for one of the great film dramas is about to hit the shelves... and I'm sure it will fly off the shelves as it should. The question is: Why has it taken so long for this amazing production to be released on video? Where has it been all these years? Well produced and exacting in detail, accuracy and drama, this story of the "father of the atomic bomb" is grips the viewer from the first few minutes to the last episode. Of course, we've all seen the famous footage of the Trinity test (over and over), but this film tells Robert Oppenheimer's story so well, it looks like the test footage was made for this film, rather than the other way around. The final episodes of the film well illustrates the heartbreaking and tragic end of the great physicist's career. Public television should have rebroadcast this wonderful program long ago. Let's be thankful it is finally available to the general public on DVD. Kudos to the producers and to Sam Waterston - for turning in the finest performance of his career.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Kina cool early nuke dealy. Didn't that guy die from sniffin too many mushroom clouds?
Published 16 days ago by Livewire
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent all around
Why is this not shown anymore on PBS? Has it not been repeated at all? It might contrast with the lower quality of current offerings by comparison. Read more
Published 1 month ago by dana m
2.0 out of 5 stars Story? I don't know yet.
I guess it's a good story... I don't really know yet, as I can't stand to watch most of it.

The movie started out ok, but then came the long segments of that greenish,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by 2oldman
4.0 out of 5 stars Sam Waterston Rocks as Oppenheimer
This is an old production made for TV depicting the career of the great scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer. Considering when it was made the production at times is pretty sketchy. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cris H. Dahlgren
5.0 out of 5 stars oppi
great miniseries..surYADAprised its still not shown once in awhile.very satisfied with purchase.brand new item YADA YADA YADA YADA YADA YADA
Published 8 months ago by mike m
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary history lesson and the best Sam Waterson has ever...
I watched this on PBS when first offered in about 1986 and with no recording device available. Now I own a DVD copy of all seven episodes. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Danny Whittle
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam Waterson captures the Essence of Oppenheimer
In my memory, watching the original presentation of this drama kept me entranced from beginning to end. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Michael S Sweeney
5.0 out of 5 stars Oppenheimer by Sam Waterston
I'm only repeating what my son has to report about Oppenheimer. My wife and I gave him the series and he has nothing but
the highest praise for it, Oppenheimer(and Rosetta... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mary B. Kriebel
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great
The DVD works great and it had no problems with it, was new unopened and I enjoy this product a lot.
Published 18 months ago by Brandon Turcheck
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, historical movie
The British have a knack for making interesting play-like movies. This is one of their best. The horror of what these scientists are working on doesn't seem to dawn on them until... Read more
Published 18 months ago by RestlessBoomer
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Topic From this Discussion
Why the difference in timing between the US and UK versions
The original airing was of a seven-hour (420 minutes) series. Some are offering a shorter six-hour (360 minutes) version. I do not know which episode is deleted or if each episode is edited to reduce run time. I have the entire seven hour version when I taped it off the air in 1982. Editing... Read More
Jul 26, 2008 by Michael M. Hansen |  See all 2 posts
DVD releases in UK, when in US Be the first to reply
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