While it’s no question that the events revolving around J. Robert Oppenheimer and the invention of the most destructive weapon in history were real, one can’t help but ask just how much of the biopic movie was true to life.
In this video, we’ll look at Oppenheimer’s life and just how much of the movie was true.
Despite the movie being the complete opposite of linear, one of the first things we learn about Oppenheimer is his academic adversities and what he went through in pursuit of his education.
Before he became the father of the atomic bomb and one of the most influential scientists of his time, he was a struggling student at Cambridge. This is factually true. Despite finishing a 3-year Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude at Harvard a couple of years earlier.
In fact, this is where one of his controversial moments began.
The Poisonous Apple
In the movie, another one of the more memorable scenes is the scene involving him lacing an apple with what seems like a bottle of Cyanide.
While Oppenheimer has admitted to doing this, two notable things question the credibility of this part in the film.
The first is that no one is sure whether what was used was Cyanide or just a mixture of chemicals he could find in the lab.
The second is that his grandson, Charles Oppenheimer, has publicly called out this story, saying, “There’s not a single enemy or friend of Robert Oppenheimer who heard that during his life and considered it to be true.”
Furthermore, some sources have added more information to the story, even claiming that he was only allowed to continue his education because his wealthy parents directly appealed to the university.
The rest of his academic adventures in the film were factual.
Teaching Stint and Communist Ties
After his wrestle with education, Oppenheimer began to involve himself in teaching, and he found himself teaching at the University of California, Berkley, and California Institue of Technology.
One of the things the movie focused on was his open-mindedness which included openly supporting unions and being tolerant of communism. A lot of this was portrayed faithfully with the sentiments Opie had. His wife, Kitty, was a former communist, and Jean Tatlock, portrayed by Florence Pugh in the movie, was one as well.
Quite literally, Oppenheimer had plenty of affairs in his life. The movie did this accurately, albeit some parts were interpreted with a bit of creative touch.
It was true that he had gone to Mexico with Linus Pauling’s wife, and it was also true that he cheated on Kitty with Jean Tatlock.
What do you think? Was the movie able to do his life justice? Comment down below and let us know!