We’re inching out of lockdown Britain but a night at the movies might be some distance away. Streaming movies, Blu-Rays and DVDs may be our only ways to enjoy a good film for a while yet.
Here is my list of films (not documentaries) that feature engineers as characters to inspire your choice of viewing – and reflect on how engineers are depicted in the media. We don’t get as much coverage as police detectives, lawyers, doctors, or serial criminals, but let’s see if we can add to these twelve engineers in the movies.
In 2000, I wrote about civil engineers in fiction (copies are still available!) and in 2005 I funded a one-off prize for the most favourable representation of a civil engineer in fiction – shared by Robert Harris for his book Pompeii, (though he never claimed it!) and the computer programming team behind Lara Croft, Tomb Raider Legends, who created a woman civil engineer as Lara’s sidekick in the Amazon rainforest. I gave a runners-up prize to David Lindsley for his book ‘Far Point’ and he has continued writing. The premise was that if we had more engineers as characters in books, film, TV drama, sit-coms – any media outlet would do – we’d find it easier to recruit to the profession. It’s still very rare to find an engineer as a fictional character. I’d like to know of others we can add to the list and perhaps we can spread the word.
There’s plenty of scope for conflict, hubris, catharsis, despair and joy in engineering. Budding scriptwriters and authors take note!
Image credits from Wikimedia: Images of posters, and the copyright for them is most likely owned by either the publisher or the creator of the work depicted. It is believed that the use of scaled-down, low-resolution images of posters
to provide critical commentary on the film, event, etc. in question or of the poster itself, not solely for illustration
from the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation,
qualifies as fair use under the copyright law of the United States.