‘Oppenheimer’ and ‘Compassionate Spy’ films to open Sept. 15

September 14, 2023

Opening Friday, Sept. 15, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society’s Cinema Art Theater presents “Oppenheimer,” a cinematographic masterpiece by director Christopher Nolan that looks into a profound historical event, and “A Compassionate Spy,” the incredible and gripping documentary about a brilliant scientist and his profound impact on nuclear history.

The society is featuring these critically acclaimed films as part of its look back on the Atomic Era which kicked off with a sold-out screening of “Top Secret Rosies” and a discussion with filmmaker LeAnn Erickson.

Set during World War II, “Oppenheimer” sees Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves Jr. appoint physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) to work on the top-secret Manhattan Project. Oppenheimer and a team of scientists spend years developing and designing the atomic bomb. Their work comes to fruition  July 16, 1945, as they witness the world's first nuclear explosion, forever changing the course of history. The all-star cast includes among others Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr. and Matt Damon.

Directed by Steve James, “A Compassionate Spy” tells the story of controversial Manhattan Project physicist Ted Hall, who infamously provided nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union, told through the perspective of his loving wife Joan, who protected his secret for decades. Recruited in 1944 as an 18-year-old Harvard undergraduate to help Robert Oppenheimer and his team create a bomb, Hall was the youngest physicist on the Manhattan Project, and didn't share his colleagues' elation after the successful detonation of the world's first atomic bomb.

Concerned that a U.S. post-war monopoly on such a powerful weapon could lead to nuclear catastrophe, Hall began passing key information about the bomb's construction to the Soviet Union. After the war, he met, fell in love with, and married Joan, a fellow student with whom he shared a passion for classical music and socialist causes, and the explosive secret of his espionage. The pair raised a family while living under a cloud of suspicion and years of FBI surveillance and intimidation. The film reveals the twists and turns of this real-life spy story and the couple's remarkable love and life together during more than 50 years of marriage.

Regular film admission is $9 for film society members, $11.50 for general audience and $5 for students.

For all screening times and dates, and to purchase tickets, go to or visit the box office from 12 to 8 p.m, Wednesday to Friday. 


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