The Manhattan Project (film)

1986 film directed by Marshall Brickman

The Manhattan Project is a 1986 film about a teen and his girlfriend who make an atomic bomb with plutonium stolen from a scientist dating his mother.

Directed by Marshall Brickman. Written by Thomas Baum and Marshall Brickman.
Paul Stevens' high school science project has gotten a little out of hand. He just built an atomic bomb. Now he's got 11 hours to make sure it doesn't work.taglines

Dr. Matthewson

  • It's the purest plutonium in the universe. Pretty, isn't it?
  • I just happen to have access to one of the sexiest lasers in the entire free world.
  • Oh, what did you want us to do? Put up a neon sign that says 'Secret Weapons Laboratory'?
  • You try to tough it out with them, they'll lock you in a room and throw away the room.
  • [as they are about to disarm the bomb] Anybody want to make a bet?

Paul Stevens

  • Hey, Mister, I betcha can't guess what I've got in this box. An atomic bomb.
  • I never thought I'd say this to anyone, but I gotta go get the atomic bomb from out of the car.
  • [after being drugged] Jenny. I love you, Jenny. I wanna be your wife.

Lt. Colonel Conroy

  • [to Matthewson] You are what you are, Doctor - a son of a bitch, like the rest of us. Now do what needs to be done.
  • You mean I'm gonna die because some asshole didn't bring a pair of pliers?


  • Student: [about Paul] What's the problem? Was he sexually abusing the hamsters or something?


Scientist #1: [about Matthewson] He'd get the Nobel if he could publish.
Scientist #2: Publish?
Scientist #1: I said 'if'.

Elizabeth: And you're interested in a one bedroom sublet, furnished? Any special requirements?
Matthewson: It should be quiet and in an English-speaking country.

Jenny: A five-leaf clover. Where did you find it?
Paul: Growing outside that lab. You know the odds of that kind of mutation happening naturally, without chemicals or radiation or something?
Jenny: What?
Paul: There are none. I looked it up, it's like a billion to one. It never happens.
Jenny: Maybe you're just very lucky.
[Paul hands Jenny a mass of five-leaf clovers]
Jenny: Oh my God.

Jenny: This isn't funny. Do you know what this is like? It's like when you read about, I don't know, Anne Frank or something and you say to yourself, Jesus why didn't they do something. The whole world is collapsing. They just sat around, life as usual, myabe it'll go away, but it never goes away it only gets worse and nobody thinks about the future. What's the matter?
Paul: Who's Anne Frank?
Jenny: Um, a girl in my English class.

Jenny: If we get killed we won't have any future.
Paul: Of course we will. You always have a future.

Scientist: [reading a lab report on the plutonium sample that Paul has replaced] Water, citric acid, sodium laureth sulfate, hydrolyzed animal protein, glycerin, USFDA coloring #5.
Matthewson: What the hell is it?
Scientist: It's shampoo.

Matthewson: This is terrible, I feel like a perfect ass.
Elizabeth: Nobody's perfect.

Eccles: I invented a way of using insects as a dietary supplement for humans. Beetles, ants, mosquitoes. You grind them up -- low cholesterol.
Jeffery: Shut up, Eccles. That's disgusting. My project is quite fascinating. I took six common toads and froze them in liquid nitrogen for six months.

Matthewson: What do you think you're doing?
Paul: Well I thought we'd start out with kissing, and then we might move onto the fancy stuff.

Jenny: Why are you doing this?
Moore: Because life, my dear, is more than just freezing toads.

Elizabeth: Paul, did you build an atomic bomb?
Paul: Only a little one.

Official: Sir, what about evacuation?
Lt. Colonel Conroy: Evacuation? Of who?
Official: The people.
Lt. Colonel Conroy: Oh, you mean New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Canada... those people?


  • Paul Stevens' high school science project has gotten a little out of hand. He just built an atomic bomb. Now he's got 11 hours to make sure it doesn't work.
  • The switch is set... The clock has started... Time's running out!