Motion Picture MP81-11

Decision: The Conflicts of Harry S. Truman - The Greatest Gift in the World, Episode No. 21

Administrative Information

Original Format(s)
Motion Picture
907 feet
Running Time
26 minutes
Film Gauge
Black & White
Produced by
Columbia Pictures - Ben Gradus in association with Screen Gems and David Noyes

Episode 21. The Greatest Gift in the World. This episode covers Truman's hopes for the peaceful use of atomic energy, and the development of the hydrogen bomb.


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Moving Image Type
Motion Picture

Shot List

  • Reel 1
:53   Albert Einstein.
1:11   Deserts - cultivation of; hope for atomic energy.
1:38   Harry S. Truman speaks - atomic bomb - control of atomic energy - wish for United Nations to control it for peaceful purposes.
2.32   Hurricane scenes.
2:54   Credits.
3:37   U.N. - 1945, San Francisco Conference - Truman speech - excerpt (on atomic bomb).
4:33   Truman speaks - U.N. and atomic energy; U.N. scenes.
4:59   Truman speaks of appointing Bernard Baruch to U.N. Commission on atomic energy. Baruch speech excerpt before U.N.
6:10   Truman and U.S. Atomic Energy Commission; David Lilienthal speaks of peaceful uses of atomic energy.
6:40   Wildlife scenes; different peoples from different countries.
7:06   U.S. proposal - model of factories using atomic energy, which were to be operated under the Atomic Development Authority, and function under world law.
7:28   Workers with atomic energy; uses of atomic energy in medicine.
8:04   Truman speaks of Joseph Stalin's resistance to idea.
9:04   Poverty around world - lost opportunity for world to move forward.
10:01   White House; Truman speaks to American people.
10:45   Scenes of Soviet Union - Truman tries to understand Russian reasons. Scenes of Czar; Lenin; Russian history.
12:54   Truman speaks of Russia's insecurity and suspicions of West. Or was it a plan for world domination?
13:30   Winston Churchill speaks - afraid of U.S. willingness to destroy its own stockpile of atomic weapons.
13:56   Dr. Leo Sziland, nuclear physicist, speaks of need to agree with Russia.
15:08   Truman speaks of attempts to reach agreement with Russia.
15:47   Discovery of explosion of atomic bomb in the Soviet Union.
17:05   Vyacheslav Molotov.
17:17   Truman speaks of discovery; military advantage was lost; called advisors.
18:06   Advisors around table.
18:20   Oak Ridge Tennessee plant.
18:34   Major General Leslie R. Groves, Chief, Manhattan Project, speaks of need to maintain a lead over Russia in the atomic field.
18:56   Truman speaks of "superbomb," the Hydrogen Bomb.
19:13   J. Robert Oppenheimer: atomic energy for peaceful use only; Edward Teller - must have strength of H-Bomb.
19:48   Soviet troops; Russian scenes.
20:09   Scandal of Klaus Fuchs, who sold atomic secrets to Russia.
21:07   Laboratory scenes. Russia could now develop the Hydrogen Bomb.
21:31   Truman speaks of Fuchs and decision to order Atomic Energy Commission to proceed with making of atomic weapons.
22:00   Laboratory scenes; scientists.
22:39   October 1952, first H-Bomb test at island. H-Bomb explosion.
24:50   Truman speaks of hopes for atomic energy for peaceful purposes. Quoted from "Locksley Hall" poem by Tennyson.