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Steve Knapp
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Steve Knapp   11/19/2010 3:07:43 PM
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One of my favorites, although probably not politically-correct anymore, is the British film, "The Dam Busters." It follows the story of an engineering team that attempts to design a bomb that bounces across a reservoir to destroy a series of dams in Nazi Germany. It's based on real events. The Dam Busters (1955) http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/The-Dam-Busters/60011078

zeeglen
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
zeeglen   11/19/2010 4:48:24 PM
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C.B. DeMille's 1956 "The Ten Commandments" in the scenes where the obelisk is being placed in Pharoah's new treasure city. Not crucial to the plot, but interesting and believable as to how ancient civil engineers might have done construction. Later in this movie Moses is shown using a hand-powered bow drill to make a horn trumpet for his young son. A nice detail of domestic tool usage.

Steve Knapp
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Steve Knapp   11/19/2010 4:56:59 PM
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I also remember "No Highway in the Sky" although I haven't seen it in about 40 years. I think it may be related to the infamous structural engineering flaw in the de Haviland "Comet," the first production commercial airliner. It suffered from metal fatigue problems associated with stress points around the windows. It's a case study in most materials engineering courses. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Comet http://matdl.org/failurecases/Other%20failures/comet.htm

foosechek
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
foosechek   11/19/2010 7:33:14 PM
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October Sky (Rocket Boys) is my top eng movie. It captures that moment when you discovered your passion for science and engineering. Gotta love breaking out a physics equation to prove your innocence. Prodigious!

JMWilliams
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
JMWilliams   11/19/2010 7:58:24 PM
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How about "The Bridge on the River Kwai"? Also, all the James Bond movies have neat gadgets . . . not always science fiction.

Rick_Hille
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Rick_Hille   11/19/2010 8:19:37 PM
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Once again, I refer to Robinson Crusoe on Mars. The main character, having crash landed and his comrade killed in the crash, must use all his science/engineering knowledge and skills to shore up his dwindling supply of food and water to survive long enough for the rescue ship to arrive. It's a bit corny in spots but not "Gilligan's Island" silly.

ChrisGammell
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
ChrisGammell   11/19/2010 8:45:37 PM
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We were talking about this very thing last week on our radio show (http://theamphour.com). There's apparently a movie coming out about a young EE that invented a device that can translate movements into text. It will be directed by the guy that did "The Blind Side". The entire team making the movie looks pretty impressive, so it could be some great press for EEs.

inpressi
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inpressi   11/19/2010 8:50:17 PM
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+1 on October Sky. Awesome! Turned out the book, which I picked up after seeing the movie, wasn't as good.

BigTech0
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
BigTech0   11/19/2010 8:59:33 PM
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My kids are big fans of the Disney Channel's "Phineas and Ferb." The two brothers make all sorts of creative (if entirely unrealistic) engineering-related gadgets and buildings, and somehow manage to get it all cleaned up before their mother comes home. Fun. And the spy- vs-evil-genius subplot adds to the engineering feel.

01830
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
01830   11/19/2010 9:12:19 PM
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The Andromeda Strain.

MustangGT
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MustangGT   11/19/2010 9:14:15 PM
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Michael Douglas in "Falling Down". Who hasn't been there? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106856/

SimulinkJocky
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
SimulinkJocky   11/19/2010 9:23:57 PM
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While it's not a movie, the very popular MythBusters on Discovery channel usually shows some interesting engineering challenges.

Stargzer
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Stargzer   11/19/2010 9:44:30 PM
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Again, not a movie, but the old series "Junkyard Wars" was a great one for watching the intersection between Rube Golderg and Albert Einstein. The one I liked was the race to make a machine to flatten a car. The British team used a hydraulic ram, which bent it's beam. The Americans beat them with their own technology, using a the front-wheel-drive British Mini (the sub-compact car you see running around the States these days) as the power behind a pile-driver-type of machine which used gravity and mass to flatten a car quickly and very thin. On the DeHaviland Comet, I recall the problem was related to stress caused by square window cutouts in the fuselage. Going to round holes solved that particular problem. But, as the recent Airbus 380 incident shows, there will always be problems to solve!

Steve Knapp
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Steve Knapp   11/20/2010 11:53:15 PM
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Ahh, "MythBusters," the classic mix of science, engineering, explosions, and fun! They also now have a show targeted at kids on Discovery Channel called "Head Rush." It's essentially lots of commercial-free "MythBusters" material with short segments featuring heartthrob nerdette Keri Byron. http://headrush.discovery.com/kari-byron.html Another fun science/engineering show, targeted at older kids/adults, is G4's "It's Effin' Science." Think "MythBusters" shortened and sensationalized for the high-school/college attention span. More than a few of the experiments are literally out of control! http://g4tv.com/effinscience

HFTekk
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
HFTekk   11/19/2010 9:26:34 PM
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Anyone one of the eleven Star Trek movies. Nothing would ever happen in any of them, if it wasn't for some form of inventive engineering. In fact, nearly every one of the episodes revolves around some miraculous feat of engineering. Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Yeah, well, I told the Captain I'd have this analysis done in an hour. Scotty: How long will it really take? Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: An hour! Scotty: Oh, you didn't tell him how long it would *really* take, did ya? Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Well, of course I did. Scotty: Oh, laddie. You've got a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker.

Stargzer
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Stargzer   11/19/2010 9:49:27 PM
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Wasn't that the same episode when Scotty said he knew the engines where capable of going over spec because he wrote the spec and had designed the engines to exceed the published specs? It's like the 100W military surplus generator we had one summer in Boy Scouts that ran a rather long string of light bulbs in the dining area ... nowadays it'd probably be a low bid import that topped out at 85W ...

AlvinL0
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AlvinL0   11/19/2010 9:37:25 PM
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In "How to Train Your Dragon," the young protagonist Hiccup is a very skilled engineer and problem solver -- which is how he captures and trains the dragon. I also always liked "Force 10 from Navarone" where the explosives expert declares that the bridge they want to blow up is much to impregnable for them to do the job -- but then they hit on the idea of blowing up a dam upstream and letting nature take it's course. Nice solution!

ChrisGammell
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
ChrisGammell   11/22/2010 1:57:06 PM
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"How To Train Your Dragon" was thoroughly enjoyable. I really liked the "nerdy kid becomes hero through ingenuity message"!

nmaloney
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
nmaloney   11/19/2010 9:45:11 PM
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Fate is the Hunter--- Glenn Ford has to figure out the cause of a "blue ribbon" air crash- against mounting public outcry to blame the pilot. Coffee anyone? Ocean's Eleven (the remake). The right group of guys, with the right equipment and the right timetable can do anything. The Italian Job- (the original) C'mon -- who wouldn't want to drive a Mini through Italian storm drains in order to steal a fortune in gold?

oacalvo
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
oacalvo   11/19/2010 10:16:29 PM
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"Pirates of Silicon Valley". Somewhat based on the story of how Microsoft and Apple got started. A bit nostalgic for those of us who were around during those early days of personal computers.

Bob.Lombardi
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Bob.Lombardi   11/19/2010 10:29:00 PM
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I thought the best concept for a movie was "Sneakers". The idea is a mathematician develops a way to factor large polynomials and a computer (wire-wrapped, breadboard looking) to do it. Since factoring large numbers is the "key" to crypotgraphy (sorry) there is a mad, lethal rush to find the device and own it. There's alot in there to appeal to people with knowledge of the subject, and the people involved. They embed an anagram into the theme (Setec Astronomy) and we all know how many techno-geeks love anagrams. Entertaining.

Duane Benson
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Duane Benson   11/19/2010 10:37:30 PM
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"Fate is the Hunter" is a great one. It does a very good job of illustrating principles of debugging as well as the common occurrence where problems come from causes never considered by the designers. How many times have you thought or heard: "that will never happen in the field"? The other movie that comes to mind is "The China Syndrome." I actually thought the movie was pretty stupid, but the ending scene where Jack Lemon is in the control room trying to explain what had happened to the media is a good lesson in technical speak vs. communication." He's got all of the data and potential issues covered from a deep technical perspective. But, he's not speaking the language of his intended audience and thus is unable to make his point. That's a scene that I've seen played out (absent the lethal consequences) time and time again throughout my career. Translation to non-technical speak is a skill that all engineers should develop. Even if the data is all correct, it's pointless to speak if those listening don't have a clue as to what you are saying.

WmJBrown
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
WmJBrown   11/19/2010 10:37:50 PM
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Not a movie but the excellent series "From the Earth to the Moon". The episode where the Grumman engineers design the LEM brought tears to my eyes.

Elephant Pete
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Elephant Pete   11/19/2010 10:41:20 PM
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Dr Strangelove. There's a part when all the planes that have been despatched to bomb Russia have been shot down, apart from one. I love the process they go through to drop the bomb, which involves numerous banks of toggle switches. It's also the best black comedy.

Steve Knapp
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Steve Knapp   11/19/2010 10:45:56 PM
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Although it has a weak ending, I also particularly liked "Primer." I mean, who doesn't like a good time travel movie? Also, what other movie features characters making JTAG cards in their garage, seeking VC money for their big idea? The movie is impressive given the $7,000 shooting budget. http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Primer/60034782 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primer_(film)

kfield
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kfield   11/19/2010 10:58:01 PM
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China Syndrome, featuring Jack Lemmon as a nuclear safety engineer/hero who discovers falsification of safety testing in a nuclear power plant. He dies heroically in the presence of Jane Fonda while trying to alert people to the dangers. Eerily, the film was released just days before the Three Mile Island accident. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Syndrome

UNG
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
UNG   11/20/2010 4:06:05 AM
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My favourite is "Ice Station Zebra".

Nate Ocean
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Nate Ocean   11/20/2010 4:52:29 AM
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"Brainstorm" (1983). Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood. Interesting technology is nonchalantly presented throughout the film. You also get to see the industrial design evolution as their product moves from research to development to manufacturing. Some very inspiring special effects. This was Natalie Woods last film (she died during production). The film was almost abandoned, but in the end production was completed with a body double and careful camera angles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainstorm_(1983_film)

David Ashton
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David Ashton   11/20/2010 7:24:46 AM
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Anyone remember the "Watch Mr Wizard" TV series from the OOOOOLD days? I seem to remember that nine times out of ten, no matter what he was doing, he'd blow carbon dioxide thru lime water and make it go milky at some point in the episode...

Steve Knapp
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Steve Knapp   11/20/2010 11:44:52 PM
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Still one of my favorites, even after these many years. I bought the set for my kids, although they don't seem to tolerate black & white very well (kids these days). As a volunteer, I teach a junior high science elective and successfully use his "shtick" and methods for a couple of the classes. More than a few episodes are time capsules to the past, especially the shows on radio and TV. Complete DVD Set http://www.mrwizardstudios.com/watchmrwizardtvshow.htm Free Online Episodes http://retrovision.tv/freevideo/watch-mr-wizard-1951/

FWB
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
FWB   11/20/2010 2:32:17 PM
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John Wayne portrayed Red Adair in "Hellfighters" about oil fire engineering. The movie had a romantic subplot, to be expected, but the engineering could have been better displayed. The books on the subject are better. The best one was a British publication and is not available in the US. Nobody made a movie from "The Soul of a New Machine", which won Tracy Kidder a Pulitzer Prize.

CHOONG 9W2CEI
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CHOONG 9W2CEI   11/20/2010 3:16:59 PM
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I like Escape from Alcatraz (1979). It features improvised welding, making life raft from raincoats, etc. There is also a scene where Morris fooled the jailer when he tried to smuggle the metal wedge through the metal detector. Smart move!

WA3ZGT
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WA3ZGT   11/20/2010 8:39:33 PM
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1956 "Forbidden Planet"; besides the amazing engineering work of the long extinct Krell (one machine, 20 miles cubed; to allow the entire civilization to function on mere thought), i never though of the fact that when done travelling faster than light, you have to dump a LOT of momentum to slow down. Did anyone but me notice how much work it took to protect the star ship's crew from being crushed by de celleration ?

WA3ZGT
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WA3ZGT   11/20/2010 8:42:08 PM
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i also point out The Ten Commandments; even today, no one knows how the Egyptians raised those obelisks, nor put a two ton cap stone 471 feet in the air on the Great Pyramids !

WA3ZGT
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WA3ZGT   11/20/2010 8:46:08 PM
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No one buy me saw the 1970 movie: "Moon Zero Two" Among other things, the astronauts in the movie have to manuver a football field sized asteroid (made of solid sapphire, BTW) using just 3 surplus retro rockets. To calculate the required firings, they had a laptop sized computer. i sure hope someday, i can get such a futuristic device !

WA3ZGT
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WA3ZGT   11/20/2010 8:56:59 PM
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i am surprised no one has yet mentioned TRON (1982); in the movie, engineers succed in being able to 'digitize' solid objects, then re write them back to reality. Disney also needs to be given credit; each frame (24 per second) took one full second of CPU time to create; for live action, 37 separate animation cels were stacked together.

sharps_eng
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sharps_eng   11/20/2010 9:12:55 PM
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Slide Rule, about rival de Havilland's (alleged) antics during the R101 airship's design and development. Author Neville Shute was a draughtsman on the airship, also wrote the cautionary tale behind 'On The Beach'; not an engineering film as such: a Aussie nuclear sub returns to port from trials to find that the nuclear holocaust has happened. Some discussion of the progress of the nuclear cloud into the southern hemisphere, though.

timbo_test
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timbo_test   11/21/2010 4:36:09 PM
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Neville Shute was also the author of No Highway - the original book behind No Highway in the Sky. I think Shute was in fact a 'calculator' for Barnes Wallis - the designer of the rival R100 airship - (maths were done by hand of mathematician in the days before mechanical or electronic calulators). Barnes Wallis was also the designer of the bouncing bomb used against the German dams in the Dambuster raids, and the WWII RAF Wellington bomber.

sharps_eng
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
sharps_eng   11/20/2010 9:23:06 PM
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I was, incidentally, surprised to learn that the biochemists Crick and Watson cracked the DNA problem by making very accurate physical models of the molecules (think Tinkertoy) using bond-angle data discerned from Xray diffraction. Repeated attempts at 3D tesselation of these models eventually produced the double helix answer. One inaccurately-made set of models nearly scuppered them, though. All before plastic - let alone 3D CAD! Real engineering, real respect. If there isn't a movie, there should be. Crick certainly had charisma!

rpcy
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rpcy   11/22/2010 11:10:06 PM
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Well, they also "cracked it" by looking at a photo by Rosalind Franklin, showing a twisted helix! Many people believe she deserved a share in that Nobel...

Duane Benson
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Duane Benson   11/20/2010 10:31:55 PM
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How about "Office Space"? Okay, it's from a completely different perspective, and Engineering is more of a character than the subject, but it does capture the remarkable level of mush that often surrounds good engineers trying to get a job done.

Robotics Developer
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Robotics Developer   11/21/2010 3:25:28 AM
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I would have to vote for Apollo 13 and second The Great Escape.

plmcguire
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plmcguire   11/21/2010 5:06:42 AM
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OK, not a movie, and I am a fan of many of those cited, but in Los Angeles, where I grew up in the 1960's, was an absolutely fascinating physicist who appeared on various programs. Nicknamed Professor Wonderful by Walt Disney, Julius Sumner Miller was inspirational. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Sumner_Miller ) I remember occasionally stumbling across his shows and being mesmerized until the very end.

EE,etc.
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
EE,etc.   11/21/2010 5:36:02 AM
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Interesting subject and question, I have got few good movie ideas to watch over Xmas holiday thanks to all comments. some may agree with me in considering the movie " Flight Plan" where Jodie Foster plays the role of a Airplane Design Engineer who uses her knowledge of the plane she is traveling in to fight the criminals: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408790/

Scotty
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Scotty   11/21/2010 4:18:07 PM
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Besides Flight of the Phoenix; The Ten Commandments, Andromeda Strain, Hellfighters are the ones that immediately come to mind, leaving out the science fiction, crime drama and nature ones. Sorry did not mention foreign films, ones I mentioned immediately came to mind (by many).

Lou Prado
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Lou Prado   11/21/2010 4:31:21 PM
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Pi (1998) is still one of my favorite movies. Its unfortunate it is too intense for children because it has fascinating discussions on number theory. The tormented hero is a genius mathematician and engineer whose epileptic seizures(and computer crashes) grow in intensity as he gets closer to solving the mysteries of irrational sequences.

FHampshire
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FHampshire   11/21/2010 5:04:25 PM
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Paycheck! He trades in an 8 figure paycheck for some seemingly random bits of junk in an envelope. Brainstorm - a neural prosthesis allows a person to record his/her thoughts (Yep - you guessed the 1st use) and play them back for someone else, who actually experiences what was recorded. I'd still like to work on that one!

WA3ZGT
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WA3ZGT   11/21/2010 6:05:20 PM
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OK, one last movie: "Real Genius" (1985): Cal Tech students have to create an extremely powerful,yet small Laser. Un like the other movie that came out in 1985 ("Weird Science"), R G shows the reality of life at a very tough school. It took hard work, and a creative touch to get the Laser to work, and meet it's specs.

WA3ZGT
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WA3ZGT   11/21/2010 6:11:46 PM
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i beg the moderator, and ask that engineers on TV shows also be allowed to post. In 1966, ABC-TV has a series "The Time Tunnel" where American scientists create a huge, nuclear powered time machine. Their aim was to go back in time, and change history for the better. In one excellent and touching episode, the two time travellers go back to 1941 to prevent the attack on Pearl Harbor. As a 'twist', the younger time traveller grew up on the Navy base; his Dad was a Captain in charge of all base radio communications. i do not want to 'spoil' this episode for you; please find a DVD and watch it.

WA3ZGT
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WA3ZGT   11/21/2010 6:20:11 PM
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i also want to tell readers about the 1973 *Animated* Star Trek series: in one episode ("One of Our Planets is Missing"), the enterprise has to stop an immense cloud creature from eating a planet that has 30 million people on it. Kirk is stuck; the cloud is too big to be killed by Enterprise weapons, and, of course, the Prime Directive does not allow the creature to be harmed. But they only have 12 hours to evacuate the entire planet; clearly this will not be possible either. As my last post, readers will have to find the DVD to see how this episode turns out !

WA3ZGT
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WA3ZGT   11/21/2010 6:25:56 PM
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Speaking of The Prime Directive, readers may not know this Law was part of "My Favorite Martian" (1963); a Martian crashes on earth; he cannot call home for help because he will be prosecuted for interfering with our development. While it ended up a silly comedy, it was supposed to allow writers to point out problems we have, and to suggest solutions.

WA3ZGT
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WA3ZGT   11/21/2010 6:30:11 PM
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OK, one last post: "Lost in Space" (about 1965-67); in one good episode (some were really bad!), Will is beamed back to earth to get a needed chemical. He tells a friend he meets something that the show promptly forgot: When he sees an ugly, angry alien about to attack him, *he* (Will) is the *real* alien, since it is the aliens home. Will tells this friend that he must always remember to consider who he sees from the other life form's viewpoint.

mightyohm
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mightyohm   11/21/2010 9:15:28 PM
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Another vote for Real Genius, one of my favorites. The lab scenes were filmed in an actual university research lab.

WA3ZGT
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WA3ZGT   12/3/2010 9:39:54 AM
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Yes; "Real Genius" was filmed on Cal Tech's campus, and included Cal Tech pranks and even a real Professor. With apologies to Bicycle Bill, please realize that the high power, portable Laser might not be fiction; it was built for (spoiler alert) a covert mission. For that matter, The Time Tunnel was also [supposedly] built covertly. If we are limited to real world events, please add "Apollo 13"; i loved how the astronauts executed a course correction burn 'by hand' without any instruments !

przem
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
przem   11/22/2010 4:06:01 AM
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Not strictly engineering but related: Good Will Hunting, about a brilliant young man finding his own path to maturity and adulthood. I think it was a great treatment, showing the interaction of the bright and dark sides of a geek mind---very relevant to engineers.

BicycleBill
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BicycleBill   11/22/2010 12:44:46 PM
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Folks, all these comments are appreciated--but please, let's restrict your suggestions to realistic and viable engineering-oriented films, not science/speculative fiction--that's another subject altogether!

BrainiacV
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BrainiacV   11/22/2010 3:13:53 PM
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Iron Man - I love watching the scenes where Tony Stark is going through several iterations before he makes something work, something the second movie lacked. Inventions don't work perfectly the first time.

Wjwalrus
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Wjwalrus   11/22/2010 4:01:13 PM
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned "Flash of Genius" - a film based on the true story of college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns' (Greg Kinnear) long battle with the US automobile industry over his design of a windshield wiper motor controller.

tektonikshift
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tektonikshift   11/24/2010 5:27:09 PM
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Flash of Genius also my favorite.

Kaiser Silicon
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Kaiser Silicon   11/22/2010 5:49:12 PM
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I like Lorenzo's Oil.

anon5193417
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
anon5193417   11/22/2010 6:57:21 PM
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+3 October Sky & World's Fastest Indian

Bob Virkus
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Bob Virkus   11/22/2010 10:38:20 PM
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One of the best little movies you've never seen: The Dish. Based on real events, it tells the story of a small Australian village and its satellite dish that NASA wants to use as a backup transmitter for the Apollo 11 moon mission. When a change flight schedule puts the primary dish out of range, Aussies must use all of their engineering knowledge to ensure that the history-making mission is broadcast to the world.

camis61
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
camis61   11/23/2010 1:31:24 AM
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I would submit several SciFi movies but that's easy. As a Technician, I've always like Gene Hackman's tech roles like The Conversation and Enemy of the State. Yes, I checked out The Dish from the library a few years ago -- good movie and good tech. As a resident of Huntsville (AL), space movies like Apollo 13 and Rocket Boys are popular here. Hackers, WarGames, and Sneakers for the computer tech.

r3son8tr
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
r3son8tr   11/24/2010 2:07:42 PM
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Here are two more down-to-Earth movies with an automobile slant: Tucker: A Man and His Dream Flash of Genius

Quickbadger
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Quickbadger   11/24/2010 2:53:51 PM
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Tucker: The man and his dream (1988) is an ezcellent movie. It shows how a man and his team's ingenuity can bring about great things. Unfortunately, it also shows how, in some industries, it takes more than just building a better mousetrap to succeed. For a comedy try the 1984 "Best Defense" with Eddie Murphy and Dudly Moore about a lazy engineer in teh defense industry who bumbles around and finally gets something right.

firstgentrekkie
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
firstgentrekkie   11/24/2010 3:39:47 PM
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++1 for "The Great Escape." If an engineer is someone who can make for $1 what everyone else can make for $2, then those men were engineers squared.

jnhong
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
jnhong   11/24/2010 3:48:59 PM
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Carbine Williams, starring James Stewart playing the role of David Marshall Williams. Williams developed the semi-automatic action of the M1 Carbine while doing hard time in a North Carolina prison. He developed his drawings while in solitary confinement and then the prototype in the prison tool shop. The film shows the warden and the guards supervising the first live fire test within the prison.

firstgentrekkie
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
firstgentrekkie   11/24/2010 4:01:03 PM
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++1 for "The Dish"!

tom734
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
tom734   11/24/2010 4:10:05 PM
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Ditto on Lorenzo's Oil - when I grow up I want to be the old guy in the lab. Got the old part taken care of already. I can't say "Apollo 13" without following with "and The Dish" And of course Spirit of St Louis that shows a very real sequence of designing and building an airplane, including scratching out part of the design in the sand. By my count that brings General Jimmy's count to 4, making him the winner. Tom M

Mongo647
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Mongo647   11/24/2010 4:58:51 PM
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Please allow me to deviate from films to an excellent book-Trustee From the Toolroom by Nevil Shute-I cannot see any reason why this excellent yarn has not been made into a movie yet, but if you want to give a youngster who is beyond feelgood technicolor television shows that try too hard (IMHO) this may be the book that engages them in the satisfaction of careful study of a problem, and not just one but several from all angles of life. It remains on my top ten list of books to recommend!

larryparts
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
larryparts   11/24/2010 5:10:03 PM
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I also vote for "Flash of Genius". After all, how many movies are there about circuit design? Incidentally, it's a trivial design problem now, but he had to do it at high temp with leaky germanium transistors. Larry

IqbalSingh.Josan
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
IqbalSingh.Josan   11/24/2010 5:52:11 PM
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If anyone likes to watch good Bollywood movies, then I recommend 'Swades' with English sub-titles. It is available on Netflix. The movie is about how a young Indian engineer working at NASA visits his hometown in India and then uses his engineering knowledge to build a little hydro-electric power generating station in a remote village to provide electricity to the whole village, while using locally available equipment and innovation. The movie is a good lesson for engineers who come from less developed countries. Visit us at uspurtek.com

Douglas442
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Douglas442   11/24/2010 10:10:31 PM
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My all-time favorite movie, of this type, is a classic little black comedy from 1952 England entitled "The Man in the White Suit"... in which a chemist, working in the textile industry, invents a cloth with properties not unlike those found in modern carbon nanofiber materials. Some priceless final scenes, from the chaos that results from the potential economic consequences ( all of which satisfy the conspiracy-theorist in me ). Now, if only I'd listened, and realized what life is really like, in the lab.

Douglas442
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Douglas442   11/24/2010 10:15:15 PM
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Oh... and, by the way, "The Man in the White Suit" starred Alec "Obiwan Kenobi" Guiness. And also co-starred the wonderful Joan Greenwood.

prabhakar_deosthali
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
prabhakar_deosthali   11/25/2010 7:18:52 AM
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Could "TITANIC" be classified in this category? I do not know. But when I watched the documentary on "making of Titanic", It surely fits as a film that used advance engineering techniques to achieve the effects to show the magnificent and sound engineering that went into the actual Titanic and how a simple iceberg created the havoc that the engineers who build the titanic could not visualize.

Etmax
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Etmax   11/25/2010 9:34:17 AM
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Hmm I don't remember a "Flight of the Phoenix" movie from 1965 where James Stewart did any engineering, but there was one with James Stewart where Hardy Kruger did some engineering on converting a twin engine plane to a single engine one.

allananthony
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
allananthony   11/26/2010 12:35:18 AM
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It's about 12 years old now, but "October Sky" is an inspirational and wonderful engineering movie.

kg5q
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
kg5q   11/26/2010 4:33:52 AM
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The Hunt for Red October was good - so was crimson tide. Of course the movies 2001 and 2010 - they were science fiction however... many of the predictions have come true and some are funny like Pan-am airlines featured in 2001 or the bell labs video phone. Many engineering marvels we have exceeded today and some we are painfully behind in like todays space program is a shadow of what it was in the US at that time.

arcomp.code
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
arcomp.code   11/26/2010 7:33:04 AM
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Race The Sun (1996) was a good one!

Ally
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Ally   11/26/2010 1:14:50 PM
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Being Scottish, I have to say the Flying Scotsman; a true story about Greame Obree, a cyclist who built his own cycle and beat the world one hour record as well as other titles http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472268/ I knew Greame at school and his real life story is incredible http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graeme_Obree

Silicon_Smith
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Silicon_Smith   11/26/2010 3:11:43 PM
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Pirates of the silicon valley comes to mind. Also, 'The Big Bang Theory' is great! More science than engineering there..

James.Brakefield
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
James.Brakefield   11/26/2010 9:25:58 PM
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Seems like serious engineering only appears in comedy form: There are parts of "The Brothers Grimm" 2005 that show the mechanical engineering of the time? "Deal of the Century" with Chevy Chase, Sigourney Weaver & Gregory Hines has a part where a piloted plane competes with a UAV which foreshadows today's military.

xzxzc
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
xzxzc   11/29/2010 4:26:18 PM
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Fitzcaraldo and The Right Stuff, of course.

gronk
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
gronk   11/29/2010 9:43:59 PM
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I liked the Blue Lagoon. Wait, what was the question?

mrandol
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
mrandol   11/30/2010 12:34:46 AM
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World's Fastest Indian Burt Munro from NZ sets the land speed record at the Bonneville land speed time trials with a motorcycle essentially hand made from scrap. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412080/

bjr
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
bjr   11/30/2010 7:23:25 PM
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Bridge over the River Kwai, is a war movie but building the bridge is central to the theme. Desk Set, a Tracy and Hepburn vehicle, is a 1957 movie about a computer engineer installing a system to replace the research department at a TV network. The opera Doctor Atomic is about the Manhattan Project. It goes into enough detail about the gadget that you should be able to build your own implosion device assuming that you can lay your hands on enough fissionable material.

Douglas.Butler
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Douglas.Butler   12/1/2010 3:49:54 PM
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How about "The Man In The White Suit" Alec Guinness 1951. Guinness is a textile engineer who invents the perfect fabric... that everybody hates. It is funny with good social commentary.

Guru of Grounding
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
Guru of Grounding   12/8/2010 11:02:15 PM
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Another vote for "October Sky" (which often brings a tear because I can relate it to my own childhood). I must add that my all-time favorite "sci-fi" is "Forbidden Planet" (recently out in Blu-Ray) ... it puts Star Trek (and many other subsequent movies) in its proper perspective! The "monsters from the id" idea is based on Shakespeare ...

PCB-Process-Flow
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
PCB-Process-Flow   12/9/2010 4:23:50 PM
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"Tucker: The Man and His Dream" and "Flash of Genius".

sharnett
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
sharnett   3/3/2011 6:45:43 PM
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Two thumbs way up for "Man in The White Suit"

awts
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
awts   5/27/2011 5:02:54 PM
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Hey guys, you should check out the 2009 Bollywood film "3 idiots". The story is about three friends whose one of them never seen again after they'd graduated engineering. After 10 years, the two remained, continued their search for their lost friend. On their journey, they remembered the days when all three of them where studying in Imperial College of Engineering. Guys this movie is epic, it will make you laugh, cry and also makes you inspire. I've just watched "October Sky" yesterday. Wow I must say it's awesome. Thumbs up!!

awts
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
awts   5/27/2011 5:03:30 PM
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Hey guys, you should check out the 2009 Bollywood film "3 idiots". The story is about three friends whose one of them never seen again after they'd graduated engineering. After 10 years, the two remained, continued their search for their lost friend. On their journey, they remembered the days when all three of them where studying in Imperial College of Engineering. Guys this movie is epic, it will make you laugh, cry and also makes you inspire. I've just watched "October Sky" yesterday. Wow I must say it's awesome. Thumbs up!!

awts
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
awts   5/27/2011 5:04:21 PM
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Hey guys, you should check out the 2009 Bollywood film "3 idiots". The story is about three friends whose one of them never seen again after they'd graduated engineering. After 10 years, the two remained, continued their search for their lost friend. On their journey, they remembered the days when all three of them where studying in Imperial College of Engineering. Guys this movie is epic, it will make you laugh, cry and also makes you inspire. I've just watched "October Sky" yesterday. Wow I must say it's awesome. Thumbs up!!

phoenixdave
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re: Put aside the science-fiction movies: what are the best "engineering" movies?
phoenixdave   5/27/2011 5:16:57 PM
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I know this is an old topic, but I did not see this one listed: "The Worlds Fastest Indian" - The life story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who spent years building a 1920 Indian motorcycle -- a bike which helped him set the land-speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967.



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