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Me & Isaac Newton (1999)

Seven of today's top scientist/researchers are the subject of this humourous exploration of real people behind the white lab coats; more about what makes the tick than what they have per-se... See full summary »


Michael Apted

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Paul G. Allen ... Presenter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gertrude Elion Gertrude Elion ... Herself - Chemist
Ashok Gadgil Ashok Gadgil ... Himself - Environmental Physicist
Michio Kaku ... Himself - Theoretical Physicist
Maja Mataric Maja Mataric ... Herself - Computer Scientist
Steven Pinker ... Himself - Cognitive Scientist
Karol Sikora Karol Sikora ... Himself - Professor of Cancer Medicine
Patricia Wright Patricia Wright ... Herself - Primatologist


Seven of today's top scientist/researchers are the subject of this humourous exploration of real people behind the white lab coats; more about what makes the tick than what they have per-se accomplished. Chosen because the subjects are the very best in their particular fields, featured are Gertrude Elion, Ashok Gadgil, Michio Kaku, Maja Materic, Steven Pinker, Karol Sikora and Patricia C. Wright. Written by Len Massaar

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Release Date:

3 November 2000 (USA) See more »


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,382, 17 November 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$32,269, 17 December 2000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

An impressive documentary
6 January 2007 | by anthonyrSee all my reviews

An impressive documentary about the personal motivations behind the abstract and often impersonal face of science. It shows that scientists are not unlike anyone else, but are driven to do what they do from a passion and love for curiosity and a desire to unravel mystery and to understand the world. It's also about the idea that scientists need to take personal responsibility for what they do, in order to leave the world a better place for the things they create or discover.

It's a quiet, contemplative documentary, not filled with bombastic edits, computer animations, etc., and it's not even meant to teach you science, but to show you the mind of a scientist, what makes him or her tick, so if you are expecting to learn about theoretical physics or gene therapy or the development of language, you won't be happy with the film. It's unfortunate the film is titled "Me & Isaac Newton" because it implies that Newton's life and work will be discussed (it's not). If anything, it should have been called "Me & Albert Einstein", since Einstein is mentioned several times as an inspiration, and his words are quoted at the end of the film. (The title is a quote from one of the scientists, who is seen skating alone -- just "me & Isaac Newton" -- at an ice rink for relaxation & meditation, and he's referring to the classical laws of motion evident at the skating rink, as opposed to the theoretical work he does which is beyond Newton's classical physics.)

The 7 scientists are engaging and personable; you'd want to spend time talking to each of them about their work. Frankly, that's a tribute to the filmmaker, who made cinematic sense of a complex subject matter and interwove the stories of 7 lives into a very compelling and inspiring documentary. This film should be shown to any child who demonstrates an interest in science or art, or a curiosity about the world.

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