There have been various films made down the ages that focus on earth-shattering discoveries—for instance, Columbus’s discovery of America.
These films highlight the trials and tribulations, the blood, sweat, and tears to make the world a better place to live in. These five films take you along with the discoverer’s path strewn with hurdles of all kinds, yet they emerge victorious by overcoming these not-so-small obstacles. They persevere despite the odds and come out of it wiser, stronger, and victorious.
The Story of Louis Pasteur
What would be the world be without pasteurized milk? Ah, we shudder to think. You need to thank Louis Pasteur for the same. The film also focuses on finding a cure for diseases such as anthrax and hydrophobic, or rabies as most people know it!
Pasteur was the one who encouraged the doctors to sanitize their hands and their equipment before surgeries. Pasteur’s discoveries on germs and vaccines have been able to save many lives. This French microbiologist changed the way we look at germs.
The film, The Story of Louis Pasteur follows the scientist’s journey, played by Paul Muni, was an important film to bring out his struggles as he locks horn with the chief antagonist, Dr. Charbonnet. The film had its share of critical acclaim along the way and went on to win three Academy Awards in 1937. Muni’s amazing portrayal of Louis Pasteur won him the Oscar in the Best Actor category.
The Race for the Double Helix aka Life Story
This was a telefilm aired on BBC that captures the race among scientists to discover more about the structure of the DNA molecule. The two scientists who made the discovery were James Watson and Francis Crick, played effortlessly by Jeff Goldblum and Tim Pigott-Smith. The film, The Race for the Double Helix went on to win several awards. It also got recognition from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, no less.
The discovery of the DNA structure is one of the most important discoveries of the twentieth century. The two scientists also won the Nobel Prize sharing the award with Maurice Wilkins. Their discovery threw light on how genetic makeup is processed and encoded.
Fat Man and Little Boy
While the atomic bomb’s invention never made anyone’s life better, it is still a significant milestone in mankind’s history. Paul Newman plays the titular role as General Leslie Groves, and Dwight Schultz plays J. Robert Oppenheimer.
It was a collaborative effort based on previous discoveries, such as uranium enrichment and weapon designs. ‘The Manhattan Project’ as it was named, discovered two atom bombs, ‘little boy’ and ‘fat man.’ The twin cities of Japan, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki bore the brunt of the infamous discoveries. The discovery of atom bombs also kickstarted the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union. Well, this destructive discovery has left an everlasting impact on us and the generations to come. We are still reeling under its devastating impact.
We have grown up hearing his quotes,’ survival of the fittest,’ and this film dramatizes Charles Darwin’s journey and how he comes up with evolution theory. Paul Bettany essays the role of the famous scientist. It also features Jennifer Connelly as Darwin’s wife, Emma and Martha West as Annie, Darwin’s daughter. Benedict Cumberbatch plays his fellow scientist, Joseph Hooker.
The film is all about how his beliefs clash with his wives, a religious devout. He struggles to put together his work, On the Origin of Species. However, he continues to publish his work and his in-depth analysis of the populations of organisms. It still forms the central core of modern-day life science. Most modern-day scientists now accept an important film on the significant contribution of the man whose proposition on all living species has descended over time from common ancestors.
Scientists never have it easy. Most of the time, scientists have to go against society, government, and authorities to make life-changing discoveries. The struggle is real and the challenges they face are beyond what words can fathom. But they do it all to make our lives better. And these movies pay a fitting tribute to those unsung heroes of science. These films will also give you a glimpse of the great minds and how they chose the less-trodden path to emerge as a champion.