GUEST EDITORIAL: 7 Biographical Movies About Scientists



Seven Biographical Movies About Scientists

People find the reading of biographies of some of the most notable individuals in the world interesting. You cannot see what it changes in them until you have sat and read one. The film industry has not fallen short of the same approach to its greatest movie creations. One common category is that of biographies of individuals such as scientists. If you find biographies of scientists interesting, then you cannot miss looking out this list of biographical movies about scientists. 

A Beautiful Mind 

A Beautiful Mind is a creation of the year 2001. If you are a fan of the game theory, then you just found the film that puts everything game theory in context. This movie draws the picture of American mathematician and Nobel Prize Winner in Economic Works, John Forbes Nash Jr. 

John made immense contributions to partial differential equations, game theory, and differential geometry. Through his works, John provides light to the issues that control chance and decision making in everyday life. Actor Russell Crowe plays John Nash's character. The film won four Academies and used in a worldwide awareness campaign about Schizophrenia. 

Gorillas in the Mist 

This film is a creation of the late eighties, sometime around 1988. Gorillas in the Mist’s main character, Sigourney Weaver, represents the character of primatologist, ethologist, and zoologist Dian Fossey. The film captures her motivations, actions, and dedication to studying gorillas in the mountains of Virunga, Rwanda. Her love for primates was sparked by the fact that after the divorce of her biological parents, the mother got married again. 

The foster father did not take in Dian as his own and would not entertain her at all costs. She found friendship in animals going on to be one of the most celebrated primatologists in the world. Gorillas in the Mist demonstrates her efforts in not just the study of gorillas but also her part in projects for safety and conservation of primates across the world. 


This 2009 film is a depiction of the life of an English scientist, biologist, naturalist and geologist, Charles Darwin. Many people already know of his contributions to the theories of the science of evolution. This movie goes before the time he publishes his works, "On the Origin of Species." 

In the film Creation, Charles appears to be experiencing a battle within himself.  Having lost his daughter, Charles Darwin, loses his faith in God. He goes on to try proving not every creation in this world was that of God. Darwin finds it a challenge choosing between his sacrifice to the life of science and the love he had for his quite religious spouse whose faith is not shaken by their daughter’s demise. 

The Theory of Everything

This movie about five years ago, 2014, earned its main actor, Eddie Redmayne, an Academy Award for Best Actor. Eddie plays the role of A Brief Story of Time author, and Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking. Stephen Hawking, at the time of demise at the age of 76, had lived with motor neuron disease for 55 years. He ends up becoming one of the world's most loved, inspirational, and influential scientists when anticipated he would live for only two years after contracting the disease in 1963. 

Stephen Hawking is also known for inspiration quotes, with one of his most common being "Life Would Be Tragic If It Weren't Funny.” This film, the theory of everything, captures Stephen’s early 20s, his romantic life, his realization of his motor neuron conditions, and after that, efforts that led to massive realizations in the science of Physics, particularly black holes.

The Imitation Game 

This movie, created in 2014, casts Benedict Cumberbatch, the main actor in The Hobbit, Sherlock Holmes, among other blockbusters. The Imitations Game captures the life of cryptanalyst, mathematician, and computing maverick Alan Turing. With his mental magnificence, Alan helps his allies to victory in World War II. 

Alan Turing, known as the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, helped the British rule to breakdown German ciphers and codes beating Nazis in multiple engagements. In this film, the same is depicted with Benedict as Alan creating a machine that can read a code of the Enigma Machine, something the MI6 of Britain thought was impossible to crack. This strengthened their counter efforts making them outshine the German army. 

Temple Grandin 

This film, created in 2010, is a story of an autistic woman, Mary Temple Grandin, a renowned scientist known for her efforts in educating people on the humane ways of handling livestock. Temple was one of the first people to document their autism experiences. 

The film Temple Grandin stars Actress Claire Danes and depicts her journey from livestocks handling to autism advocacy. At an early age, Temple is prone to tantrums, and when taken to the hospital, her first diagnosis reads Schizophrenia.

 Later on, she visits her aunt and realizes they use squeeze chutes to calm animals. She tries it on herself, and it is discouraged, considering people saw it as a sexual thing. Her teacher encourages her to study science. Later she develops a dip that makes animals enter dips voluntarily. Thereafter, farmers alter the device making animals drown. In an autistic conference, an autistic individual finds it hard to respond to questions, and luckily, from the audience, Temple talks about how she dealt with her autism. This starts her journey in autistic advocacy. 

The Story of Louis Pasteur

One interesting story a student could go for is that Louis Pasteur. Louis Pasteur was a famous French microbiologist that had interests in vaccination, pasteurization, and microbial fermentation. 

Pasteur achieved successes in the causes and prevention of diseases such as puerperal fever. He also created the first rabies and anthrax vaccines. His contribution to the medical industry has been a motivation for many leading to films such as The Story of Louis Pasteur. The film captures the times he predicts the death of Napoleon III’s family. Once the death has happened, Pasteur is accused of murder and has to run to a place known as Arbois, where he develops anthrax vaccines and later rabies treatment that save animals in his escaped homeland. 

The list of biography movies about scientists is lengthy. Biographies are always exciting, depending on your interests and profession. You will not miss that one biography that pushes you to read it. The above are just but a few and should not limit you. Biographies improve worldviews and make us open-minded and creative. To others, they are motivational and mark the beginning of new lives. If you find reading boring, or you wish to put you read in context. This list of biography films about scientists should make it fun and easy for you to learn.  

About the Author

Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at TopWritersReview.