Saturday blast from the past: the best movies about scientists

Looking for something to watch while you’re stuck at home? Check out our compilation of the best movies about scientists. Don’t miss the comment thread for more good suggestions. And also a deliberately-terrible suggestion. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Saturday blast from the past: the best movies about scientists

  1. No mention of “Them!”? (1954 sci-fi film about radiation-mutated giant ants).

    Interesting trivia: an actual scientist whose name was used in the film sued, and a scene was cut. (Referenced under “Did You Know? > Alternate Versions” in the film’s info at

  2. Very late to the party, but I have to add The Hellstrom Chronicle (71%,86%) from 1971. It focuses on the nuclear cold war era, but given its age, the insect photography is quite good, and it is strangely relevant in these days of Covid-19, global climate change, and insect population decline.

  3. On the original post near the end of the comments, someone mentioned The Swarm (1978) as one of the worst movies about scientists. It followed in the line of disaster movies from the 70s The Towering Inferno, Airport, The Poseidon Adventure, etc.

    I saw it on TV, my mom loved movies like that. Probably about 1980 if we assume a couple years between theatric release and TV. I’d have been 12-ish. Scared the dickens out of me. Even now whenever someone talks about “Africanized bees” I think of that movie.

    And since I’m using comment up valuable comment space, my mom took me to see Jaws too, at the drive in. I was 6. Dad didn’t like that type of movie, so mom took me as “company.” She’d cover my eyes for the shark attacks. One attack was so sudden that when she went to cover my eyes, she gave me a bloody nose. I spent the rest of the movie trying not to get blood on the white vinyl seats of her Grand Am. We laugh about this now. #Don’tJudgeMom.

    • I remember being terrified by Star Wars at about that same age. I remember being scared by the Death Star explosion, and also being confused and thinking the Empire had won.

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