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Friday Night Spotlight - Science in the Movies
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,Forbidden Planet

Introduction to Science in the Movies

Films touching upon science, whether documentaries or pure flights of fantasy, have fascinated, entertained and educated audiences since the earliest days of cinema. TCM continues its popular Friday Night Spotlight franchise with "Science in the Movies," presenting a lineup of movies that delve into issues of scientific discovery, exploration and alteration, with some side trips into science fiction.

This "Spotlight" is hosted by Dr. Sean Michael Carroll, PhD, senior research associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. Carroll, the author of such popular books as From Eternity to Here and The Particle at the End of the Universe, has contributed to a number of scientific journals and magazines, and appeared on TV shows including the History Channel's The Universe and Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.

Each week our Friday Night Spotlight will focus on two special "scientific" themes, with the first four films of the evening presented by Carroll. These themes range from Rocket Science (Marooned, 1969) to Nuclear Physics (Silkwood, 1983). Nobel Prize Winners include Greer Garson as Madame Curie (1943), a pioneer in the study of radioactivity and the first female to win the Prize; and Russell Crowe as John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics for his work on game theory, in A Beautiful Mind (2001).

Just for fun we include Mad Scientists (Colin Clive in Bride of Frankenstein, 1935; and Spencer Tracy as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1941) and Scientists on a Mission (Forbidden Planet, 1956; Solaris, 1972). Aerodynamics are represented by Charles Lindbergh (James Stewart) and his historic 1927 trans-Atlantic flight in The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), while Great Inventors include Spencer Tracy as Edison, the Man (1940) and Robert Donat as William Friese-Greene, creator of early cinematic cameras, in The Magic Box (1951).

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