While the latest film from Hoop Dreams and Life Itself director Steve James premiered last fall at Venice Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival, it’s clear why Magnolia Pictures wanted to wait until later this summer for a release. Ideal viewing shortly after Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster biopic Oppenheimer arrives in theaters, A Compassionate Spy tells the thrilling story of a 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. Ahead of the August 4 release, the first trailer has now arrived.
Here’s more of the synopsis: “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. A Compassionate Spy reveals the twists and turns of this real-life spy story, its profound impact on nuclear history, and the couple’s remarkable love and life together during more than 50 years of marriage.”
See the trailer and poster below.
A Compassionate Spy opens in theaters and on VOD on August 4.