Oppenheimer (2023)

3 corrected entries

(6 votes)

Corrected entry: When Oppenheimer asks Einstein to review Teller's calculations about a runaway chain reaction, Einstein replies, "If there's one thing you and I share, it is a disdain for mathematics." This is a popular misconception. Einstein was a gifted mathematician, and his research was extremely mathematical in nature.

Correction: He's not saying he can't do mathematics, he's saying he doesn't *like* mathematics. His interest was in physics, which of course involves a lot of maths, but for the sake of a lazy metaphor you wouldn't say a farmer likes cleaning out the cow sheds, it's just something he has to deal with in the course of doing the higher level work he wants to do.

Corrected entry: A truck at Los Alamos has a sign, "Caution: Left Hand Drive", "No signals." This is a marking on the trucks in Britain, as surely it would be normal for trucks to be left-hand driven in the USA.


Correction: Given this was wartime, with countless vehicles going over to be used in Britain and / or Europe, no doubt this truck has either already been there or has returned from there. In fact I think it was standard marking on all vehicles produced at the time, just to cover all bases.

Corrected entry: The bombs destined for Japan were not shipped in crates on trucks. The mechanical parts of the Hiroshima bomb were sent to Tinian Island aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis, while the Nagasaki bomb, along with its uranium and plutonium, were flown there. The island was the assembly site for both bombs.

Correction: The bomb components still needed to leave Los Alamos by truck. They were then put on trains to Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and only then loaded on USS Indianapolis. You can't get a warship into New Mexico.

Continuity mistake: Near the end of the movie, when Oppenheimer is being interrogated in the small room, his lawyer is on the phone (we later find out it's Kitty). In a wide shot, he gives Oppenheimer the phone, and he puts it to his left ear. The next shot is a tight shot of Oppenheimer's face with the phone to his right ear.

More mistakes in Oppenheimer

J. Robert Oppenheimer: They won't fear it until they understand it. And they won't understand it until they've used it. Theory will take you only so far.

More quotes from Oppenheimer

Trivia: The IMAX prints of the film are 11 miles long, weighing 600lb.

More trivia for Oppenheimer

Question: Were the scientists involved really concerned about igniting the atmosphere?

Answer: The short version is "no, not really". Much like in the film, the possibility was considered, a lot of calculations were done, and it was agreed by everyone privy to them that the chance was basically zero. Also like in the film: "what do you want from theory alone?" - it couldn't be guaranteed to be absolutely zero, but then the chance of almost anything happening is never absolutely zero. A 1946 report by three of the scientists stated: "whatever the temperature to which a section of the atmosphere may be heated, no self-propagating chain of nuclear reactions is likely to be started. The energy losses to radiation always overcompensate the gains due to the reactions."

More questions & answers from Oppenheimer

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.