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.
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.
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).
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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.
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!