Infinity (film)

Infinity is a 1996 American biographical drama film about the romantic life of physicist Richard Feynman. Feynman was played by Matthew Broderick, who also directed and produced the film. Broderick's mother, Patricia Broderick, wrote the screenplay, which was based on the books Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think?, both written by Feynman and Ralph Leighton.[3][4]

DVD cover
Directed byMatthew Broderick
Produced byMatthew Broderick
Patricia Broderick
Michael Leahy
Joel Soisson
Screenplay byPatricia Broderick
Based onSurely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think?
by Richard Feynman
Ralph Leighton
Music byBruce Broughton
CinematographyToyomichi Kurita
Edited byBill Johnson
Distributed byFirst Look Pictures
Release date
  • October 4, 1996 (1996-10-04)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$5 million[1]
Box office$195,170[2]


The film follows the book What Do You Care What Other People Think? fairly closely in terms of the stories told.

The film starts in 1924 with Richard and his father Melville walking through the woods where Melville shows his scientific inspiration for Richard. In 1934, Richard and Arline are in high school and their romantic relationship starts. The story then jumps to his college years and Arline getting sick with lymphatic tuberculosis. It continues to his move west to Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where Arline follows him later to a hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she dies. The film ends with Feynman crying at the sight of the red dress Arline had pointed out.


Actor Role Notes
Matthew Broderick Richard Feynman
Patricia Arquette Arline Greenbaum Feynman's first wife & lover
Peter Riegert Melville "Mel" Feynman Feynman's father
Dori Brenner Tutti Feynman
Peter Michael Goetz Dr. Murray Gell-Mann
Željko Ivanek Bill Price
Joyce Van Patten Aunt Ruth
James LeGros John Archibald Wheeler Thesis advisor at Princeton
Jeffrey Force Young Richard Feynman
David Drew Gallagher Harold
Raffi Di Blasio Robert
Joshua Keaton David
James Hong Abacus Adder
Emerson Tran Kid
Melissa DeLizia Young Joan
John Hammil County Dr. #1
Jack Lindine Mr. Greenbaum Arline's father
Helene Moore County Nurse #1
Mary Pat Gleason County Dr. #2
Horton Foote Jr. Neighborhood Doctor
Mary Kay Wulf Aunt Rose
Laurence Haddon Family Doctor
Tom Kurlander Driver
Mark Burnham Passenger #1
Googy Gress Passenger #2
Joshua Goldin Passenger #3
Erich Anderson Gil
Matt Mulhern Gate Guard
Drew Ebersole Calculator Kid #1
John Patterson Stan Ivanek
Damion Scheller Calculator Kid #2
Joshua Malina Calculator Kid #3
Demetrius Navarro Calculator Kid #4
Cosimo Sherman Garo
Geoffrey Nauffts Rob
David Barrera Chepa
Patrick James Clarke Strong Fellow
Kirk Fox Mechanic
Marianne Muellerleile Nurse Gracie
Michelle Feynman Sewing Girl on Train Cameo by Michelle, Richard Feynman's daughter (adopted)
Kristin Dattilo Joan Feynman Sister of Richard Feynman
Bill Bolender Isidor Rabi
Corbitt Smith Henry


In 1994, Broderick said of the project, "The obvious way to structure a film about Feynman would be to open with the Challenger disaster: The crazy old genius comes along and figures everything out, then he drifts into a reverie along the lines of 'A long time ago I met a girl.. . .' We didn't do that, because we want this to be an intimate movie and thought focusing on one period of his life that includes the invention of the bomb and the death of his first wife was enough."[1]

Broderick later said in 1997, "It was a difficult job and took four years from start to finish."[5]


The film has a 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[6] Roger Ebert awarded the film three stars.[7] Leonard Maltin awarded it two and a half stars.[8]

Emanuel Levy of Variety gave the film a negative review and described the film as "a flawed movie that suffers from a weak performance by Patricia Arquette."[9] On the other hand, John Krewson of The A.V. Club gave it a positive review and wrote that "saps, scientific or otherwise, will enjoy it."[10]


  1. ^ a b McKenna, Kristine (27 November 1994). "Mr. Feynman's Day Off : The late Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman had a passion for the bongos, mischief and physics. Now the first marriage of the genius turned folk hero has become an unlikely love story from star-director Matthew Broderick. (page 2 of 3)". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Infinity (1996)". Box Office Mojo. 1996-10-22. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  3. ^ Howe, Desson (4 October 1996). "INFINITY' ADDS UP". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  4. ^ Holden, Stephen (4 October 1996). "A Man, a Woman and an Atomic Bomb". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  5. ^ Nichols, Peter M. (20 January 1997). "SENSITIVE LOVE STORY `INFINITY' IS NOW AVAILABLE ON VIDEO". Deseret News. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Infinity". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (4 October 1996). "Infinity". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago, Illinois: Sun-Times Media Group. Retrieved 10 February 2019 – via
  8. ^ Maltin, Leonard; Sader, Luke; Clark, Mike (2008). Leonard Maltin's 2009 Movie Guide. Penguin. p. 671. ISBN 9780452289789. matthew broderick richard 671
  9. ^ Levy, Emanuel (15 September 1996). "Infinity". Variety. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  10. ^ Krewson, John (29 March 2002). "Infinity". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 10 February 2019.

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