Observational Studies: Films About Famous Scientists

Biopics on noted biologists, physicists, astronomers, mathematicians, and other luminaries in the various fields of science.

List order is from newest to oldest (by year of release), and titles are sorted alphabetically within each year.
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1.
The Imitation Game (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians. (114 mins.)
Director: Morten Tyldum
“ Alan Turing (1912-1954) ” - mike_sean
 
2.
Experimenter (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In 1961, famed social psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a series of radical behavior experiments that tested ordinary humans' willingness to obey authority. (98 mins.)
“ Stanley Milgram (1933-1984) ” - mike_sean
 
3.
The Theory of Everything (2014)
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A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife. (123 mins.)
Director: James Marsh
“ Stephen Hawking (1942--) ” - mike_sean
 
4.
The Challenger Disaster (2013 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Factual drama exploring the truth behind the space shuttle Challenger's 1986 disintegration. (90 mins.)
Director: James Hawes
“ Richard Feynman (1918-1988) ” - mike_sean
 
5.
Masters of Sex (2013 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Drama about the pioneers of the science of human sexuality whose research touched off the sexual revolution. (60 mins.)
“ William Masters (1915-2001) and Virginia Johnson (1925-2013) ” - mike_sean
 
6.
Breaking the Mould (2009 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A historical drama that tells the story of the development of penicillin in the 1930's/40's, by a group of scientists in Oxford at The Dunn School of Pathology (80 mins.)
Director: Peter Hoar
“ Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), Howard Florey (1898-1968), and Ernst Boris Chain (1906-1979) ” - mike_sean
 
7.
Creation (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Torn between faith and science, and suffering hallucinations, English naturalist Charles Darwin struggles to complete 'On the Origin of Species' and maintain his relationship with his wife. (108 mins.)
Director: Jon Amiel
“ Charles Darwin (1809-1882), Joseph Hooker (1817-1911), and Thomas Huxley (1825-1895). ” - mike_sean
 
8.
God Does Not Play Dice: Albert and Mileva (2009 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Pictures of Albert Einstein before 1905 show a young man who is arrogant and narrow minded, photos of him afterwards are quite different... (46 mins.)
Director: Mike Politis
“ Albert Einstein (1879-1955) ” - mike_sean
 
9.
Einstein and Eddington (2008 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Drama about the development of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, and Einstein's relationship with British scientist Sir Arthur Eddington, the first physicist to experimentally prove his ideas. (94 mins.)
Director: Philip Martin
“ Albert Einstein (1879-1955) and Arthur Eddington (1882-1944) ” - mike_sean
 
10.
Hawking (2004 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A drama documenting the life and work of the theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking who, despite... (90 mins.)
Director: Philip Martin
“ Stephen Hawking (1942--), Arno Penzias (1933--), Robert Wilson (1936--), and Roger Penrose (1931--). ” - mike_sean
 
11.
Kinsey (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior. (118 mins.)
Director: Bill Condon
“ Alfred Kinsey (1894-1956) ” - mike_sean
 
12.
Copenhagen (2002 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A television adaptation of Michael Frayn's celebrated and award-winning stage play about the meeting... (90 mins.)
Director: Howard Davies
“ Niels Bohr (1885-1962) and Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) ” - mike_sean
 
13.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish. (135 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
“ John Nash (1928--) ” - mike_sean
 
14.
Conceiving Ada (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  
Emmy Coer, a computer genius, devises a method of communicating with the past by tapping into undying information waves... (85 mins.)
“ Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) ” - mike_sean
 
15.
Newton: A Tale of Two Isaacs (1997 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
As Newton devotes himself to the difficult and solitary path of challenging the existing view of the universe, Humphrey wavers between pursuing science or following his heart. (51 mins.)
Director: Don McBrearty
“ Isaac Newton (1642-1727) ” - mike_sean
 
16.
Les palmes de M. Schutz (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A humoristic view of the lives of Marie and Pierre Curie and their discoveries around radioactivity. (106 mins.)
Director: Claude Pinoteau
“ Marie Curie (1867-1934) and Pierre Curie (1859-1906) ” - mike_sean
 
17.
Breaking the Code (1996 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A biography of the English mathematician Alan Turing, who was one of the inventors of the digital computer... (75 mins.)
Director: Herbert Wise
“ Alan Turing (1912-1954) ” - mike_sean
 
18.
Infinity (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Story of the early life of genius and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. (119 mins.)
“ Richard Feynman (1918-1988) ” - mike_sean
 
19.
And the Band Played On (1993 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of the discovery of the AIDS epidemic and the political infighting of the scientific community hampering the early fight with it. (141 mins.)
“ Don Francis (1942--) and Robert Gallo (1937--) ” - mike_sean
 
20.
L'encyclopédie audio-visuelle (1992 TV Series)
Episode: Darwin (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A revisionist biopic on Charles Darwin, illustrated via 18 tableaux covering details from Darwin's birth... (52 mins.)
“ Charles Darwin (1809-1882) ” - mike_sean
 
21.
Awakenings (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years ago have been catatonic ever since, but now a new drug offers the prospect of reviving them. (121 mins.)
Director: Penny Marshall
“ Oliver Sacks (1933--) ” - mike_sean
 
22.
Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
This film reenacts the Manhattan Project, the secret wartime project in New Mexico where the first atomic bombs were designed and built. (127 mins.)
Director: Roland Joffé
“ J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) ” - mike_sean
 
23.
Glory Enough for All (1988 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Dramatised documentary of the 1921-22 Nobel Prize-winning discovery of insulin at the University of... (120 mins.)
Director: Eric Till
“ Frederick Banting (1891-1941) and Charles Best (1899-1978) ” - mike_sean
 
24.
Gorillas in the Mist (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The story of Dian Fossey, a scientist who came to Africa to study the vanishing mountain gorillas, and later fought to protect them. (129 mins.)
Director: Michael Apted
“ Dian Fossey (1932-1985) ” - mike_sean
 
25.
Horizon (1964 TV Series)
Episode: Life Story (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Watson and Crick race to find the structure of DNA before Linus Pauling, Maurice Wilkins, or Rosalind... (50 mins.)
“ James Watson (1928--), Francis Crick (1916-2004), Maurice Wilkins (1916-2004), and Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) ” - mike_sean
 
26.
Oppenheimer (1980 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Biography of the American physicist who led the U.S. effort to develop the atomic bomb during World War II... (50 mins.)
“ J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) ” - mike_sean
 
27.
The Voyage of Charles Darwin (1978 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
(60 mins.)
“ Charles Darwin (1809-1882) ” - mike_sean
 
28.
Marie Curie (1977 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
(50 mins.)
“ Marie Curie (1867-1934) and Pierre Curie (1859-1906) ” - mike_sean
 
29.
Galileo (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
This bio-pic is about Galileo, the 17th century Italian who laid the foundations of modern science.... (145 mins.)
Director: Joseph Losey
“ Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) ” - mike_sean
 
30.
Johannes Kepler (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Biography of the astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) (93 mins.)
Director: Frank Vogel
“ Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) ” - mike_sean
 
31.
“ Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) ” - mike_sean
 
32.
The Darwin Adventure (1972)
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(91 mins.)
Director: Jack Couffer
“ Charles Darwin (1809-1882), Joseph Hooker (1817-1911), and Thomas Huxley (1825-1895). ” - mike_sean
 
33.
I Aim at the Stars (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
The story of rocket scientist Dr. Werner Von Braun's career, from the 1920s until the late 1950s. (106 mins.)
Director: J. Lee Thompson
“ Wernher von Braun (1912-1977) ” - mike_sean
 
34.
The Dam Busters (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The story of how the British attacked German dams in WWII by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective. (124 mins.)
“ Barnes Wallis (1887-1979) ” - mike_sean
 
35.
“ George Washington Carver (1864-1943) ” - mike_sean
 
36.
Madame Curie (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Despite himself, accomplished physicist and avowed bachelor Pierre Curie falls for brilliant student Marie, and together they embark on the discovery of radium. (124 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
“ Marie Curie (1867-1934), Pierre Curie (1859-1906), and Henri Becquerel (1852-1908) ” - mike_sean
 
37.
Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
True story of the doctor who considered it was not immoral to search for a drug that would cure syphillis. (103 mins.)
“ Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915) ” - mike_sean
 
38.
The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The biography of the pioneering French microbiologist who helped revolutionize agriculture and medicine. (86 mins.)
“ Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) ” - mike_sean