Then there were eight great engineering movies: Time to take it down to the Final Four!

Last week’s voting brought the real engineers out of the woodwork. I’m going to assume those engineers were responsible for the 25% jump in the number of voters. They also helped push some outstanding engineering movies closer to the final match up.

Apollo 13 kept trouncing any and all comers, so far, beating out Iron man 72% to 28%. And two of my personal favorites, Bridge on the River Kwai and Flight of the phoenix beat their opponents by 40%, two comedic approaches to engineering, Real Genius and Weird Science. The popular Star Trek movie edged out an engineering favorite, The world’s fastest Indian (which is about an Indian motorcycle, not a native of Calcutta or the wild west) by just 5%. And Gravity went down by 6% to Tucker: A man and his dream, somewhat of a surprise.

In the battle of the space operas, 2001: a space odyssey trounced an arguably easier understood movie, Space Cowboys, by almost 40%. The right stuff, another space-oriented flick, also did well, beating The fly by 60%. But the space epic Star Wars: Episode V lost out to Andromeda Strain, a classic suspense thriller.

Now it’s time to vote again and winnow the field to the Final Four. Will it be a blow out for the space-based tales? Or will voters be looking for engineering details and a person or event(s) they can relate to? My only wish at this point is that every voter actually saw each movie. But even if you haven’t, go to our World’s Greatest Engineering Movie site to see how the brackets are turning out and cast your vote sometime before Sunday night (April 13).

Discuss this Blog Entry 5

69 olds (not verified)
on Apr 8, 2014

I think "Flash of Genius" (2008) should be nominated. A true story about persistence and the little guy taking on a corporation.

Harry Andreas (not verified)
on Apr 10, 2014

Somewhat disapointed. I've seen most of the movies nominated, and very few of them were actually about engineers or engineering. The entry criteria should have been tighter. A drama about science is not engineering. Science fiction is not generally about engineering. Where's the beef?

on Apr 11, 2014

We let readers/viewers nominate movies and we went with what we got. I'm curious as to what tighter criteria you would suggest and what movies you would nominate. And I hope you're voting in the competition.

jbayless (not verified)
on Apr 14, 2014

Ah, I just missed voting!
If I had found this earlier, I would have nominated October Sky. But Apollo 13 is a great one.

on Apr 14, 2014

You can still vote in rounds 4 and 5. And October Sky was in our initial list of 32.

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What's A Skeptical Engineer?

A questioning, sometimes humorous look at technologies, engineering, and the world.


Stephen Mraz

Steve serves as Senior Editor of Machine Design.  He has 23 years of service and has a B.S. Biomedical Engineering from CWRU. Steve was a E-2C Hawkeye Naval Flight Officer in the U.S. Navy. He...
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