Sixty-seven years ago today, President Truman and the media claimed that the atomic attacks produced the Japanese surrender. To this day, it remains unclear if other factors or a combination of them could have produced the same result: Russia's entry into the war, some sort of atomic demonstration shot, or the U.S. pursuing Japanese peace feelers and announcing out front that we would let them keep their emperor. In any case, the following year President Truman essentially re-wrote the key scene in the first Hollywood film about the making and the using of the Bomb, MGM's The Beginning or the End--and got the actor playing him fired!
It's a wild and improbable story of how a film that set out to expose some truths about Hiroshima and warn the world about nuclear energy ended up glorifying both the bomb and the positive aspects of nukes in the future. My lengthy piece about it here, and trailer for the film below.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
When Truman Censored the First Hollywood Movie About the Atomic Bomb
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GregMitch