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What's Your Pick for Best Engineering Movie?
1/25/2012

The PBS film 'Azorian' documents the construction of the equipment needed to raise a sunken Russian submarine.
The PBS film "Azorian" documents the construction of the equipment needed to raise a sunken Russian submarine.

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fatmanonabicycle
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Favourite Engineering film
fatmanonabicycle   2/10/2012 2:14:58 AM
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Some good ones brought up. worthy mention- though over-simplisitc goes to "The Arrow"; "The Dambusters" had some good background onn the early parts of the story. Goodyear released a great fifty minute film on airships, nowadays re titled "The Zeppelin" with a new and much poorer commentary. "Ocotber Sky" and "The world's fastest Indian" are probably the ones to beat, but relating to the latter's subject, "Bluebirds" should get an honourable mention. I hope to see a film from "Raising the Kursk", since that's the best book I've seen covering an engineering project of manageable proportions.

jarrettmax
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Re: What is needed in an Engineering movie
jarrettmax   2/9/2012 4:27:43 PM
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Sorry about being late to the party.  My favorite Engineering Movie would be "From the Earth to the Moon" which was an HBO mini-series about the Apollo program. Several of the episodes demonstrate the trade-offs involved in engineering especially the ones on the Lunar Lander and the choice of the near earth rendezvous approach. It has some more "dramatic" episodes but, as a whole I found it very entertaining and educational.

Charles Murray
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Re: Multiple Favorites
Charles Murray   1/31/2012 7:41:01 PM
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Alex -- a little-known point about the shooting of The Right Stuff: In the scene where Yeager bails out at the end of the movie, the parachute stunt man was reportedly killed.

 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086197/trivia

 

 

Tcrook
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Gold
Re: Multiple Favorites
Tcrook   1/31/2012 1:04:19 PM
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I agree, The Right Stuff was virtually poetic in it's cinematography.  But for engineering appeal, I like it more down to earth and personal, the little guy doing more with less.   "World's Fastest Indian" was great in that respect and a great story to boot.

Alexander Wolfe
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Re: Multiple Favorites
Alexander Wolfe   1/31/2012 11:47:08 AM
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I usually don't classify movies about flying or aerospace in the engineering bucket, cause they're a genre unto themselves. (Plus, once you hit space, you start to get heavily into sci-fi.) That said, if we're talking aerospace, far and away my favority is "The Right Stuff." That's not because of the story -- the whole Chuck Yaeger breaking the sound barrier is well known -- or the acting (good though it is, particularly Ed Harris and Sam Shepard. Rather, it's the cinematography. The way it's shot is beautiful. All that blue sky; it has a very wide open feel and you get that whole flying/space vibe the whole movie because of that. Cinematographer was Caleb Deschanel.

Charles Murray
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Re: Multiple Favorites
Charles Murray   1/30/2012 7:20:38 PM
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jmiller: Armageddon is another of my guilty pleasures. I think it's hilarious that the NASA scientists could land a spaceship on a speeding asteroid but couldn't figure out how to put a drill together.

jmiller
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Platinum
Re: Multiple Favorites
jmiller   1/28/2012 9:09:41 PM
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Apollo 13 is a good one I agree but I have to throw in Armageddon.  I know it's a little far fetched and not really plausible but who really wants to put the fate of the world in a man who got a C- in Astrophysics.

Charles Murray
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Re: Multiple Favorites
Charles Murray   1/27/2012 6:07:58 PM
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Bill, I agree with you that Apollo 13 is a fantastic engineering movie. I don't know why it repeatedly gets left out of the dicussion.  

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Multiple Favorites
Ann R. Thryft   1/27/2012 3:26:05 PM
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Thanks for the Flight of the Phoenix reference, Alex. I'd forgotten about that as an engineering movie, but I agree, the character is a good example of the engineer mentality. I've seen both versions, and the argument at the end is archetypal. I don't know how Hollywood managed to do such a relatively decent job on an engineering-reated subject, when so often their depictions of scientists and engineers are cartoonish. 


Charles Murray
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Re: Multiple Favorites
Charles Murray   1/26/2012 10:38:56 PM
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As long as we're discussing Jimmy Stewart engineering movies, it's worth it to recall, "No Highway in the Sky." The character and plotline might be a bit over the top, but as a portrayal of corporate hierarchy and its effect on engineers, it's worth seeing.

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