December 28, 2017

What's your favorite movie that depicts the work you do?

WaPo has 24 answers, e.g., Cal Ripken picks "Bull Durham." Too obvious? Not as obvious as the cable guy who picks "The Cable Guy," because "it’s the only movie we have." At least you have one. I'm sure there are many kinds of employment that never show up in movies because the people who make movies just don't think of people working in all sorts of areas. Most movies go back to the same few occupations: cop, criminal, cowboy, actor, business executive, astronaut, prostitute, gambler, bartender, lawyer, teacher, shopkeeper. "The Cable Guy" is an example of choosing a rarely looked at type of work for the purpose of presenting us with a weird character. I'm sure you can think of some other areas of work where there's just one movie with a person who does that.

156 comments:

Tom said...

Money Ball in the sense that it addresses adaptive, transformative organizational change.

bagoh20 said...

"Weekend at Bernie's"

I'm Bernie.

Rabel said...

Nowadays - Grumpy Old Men.

Unlike the movie I still haven't hooked up with Ann-Margaret.

Anonymous said...

If anyone can suggest a movie about a professional copy editor, I'll be interested to hear of it.

Dr Weevil said...

I'm amazed no one's mentioned Repo Man yet. Too obvious? Or too implausible a picture of what actual repo men do?

meep said...

Billion Dollar Bubble for actuaries - it's only a made-for-TV movie and hard to find a copy, but it's about a real fraud and James Woods plays the actuary. It's fairly funny

meep said...

we actuaries often have to reach... Double Indemnity is up there, but it doesn't really have an actuary in there

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictional_actuaries

Lyssa said...

I'm a lawyer, and there are a billion movies about lawyers, but to the best of my knowledge, there are no movies about regulatory compliance non-litigating lawyers like myself, which is absolutely nothing like the sort of lawyer that goes to court or makes deals. (Not that movie depictions of those kinds of lawyers are particularly realistic, as a rule.)

Sydney said...

I know physicians appear in movies frequently, but I don't particularly like any of those I've seen. I do have a couple of books about doctors that I am fond of - The Citadel and Diary of a Medical Nobody.

rhhardin said...

Prostitude with a heart of gold.

Middle aged female district attorney.

Aged female former important first lady.

rhhardin said...

Right wing white extremist terrorist group. The bad guys in every terrorism movie.

Sydney said...

Little Miss Sunshine is probably the only movie with a Proust scholar.

Birches said...

I've always liked Mr. Mom.

Luke Lea said...

I'm not sure but didn't early movies, especially silent, depict a wider variety of manual workers? More recently we have Nurse Ratchet, Chauncey the gardener, construction workers in The Money Pit, wildcatters (a species of gambler?) in Giant and There Will Be Blood, cubicle workers in The Office. Can't think of any farmer movies.

LakeLevel said...

Certainly "The Paper Chase" must be the only major film with a Law School Professor as a primary character.

Wilbur said...

The Bank Dick.

tcrosse said...

Full-time internet troll.

Mary Beth said...

Can't think of any farmer movies.

"Field of Dreams" or "Babe".

Ann Althouse said...

"I know physicians appear in movies frequently..."

I managed to leave doctors off my list of careers that are shown frequently. No reason...

Ann Althouse said...

There are movies about lawprofs. And bloggers.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Parenthood is one of my top five favorites. Quote it all the time.

Morgan said...

I've seen a lot of programmers (few to none depicted authentically), but has anyone seen a movie with a technical writer?

traditionalguy said...

Anatomy of a Murder with Jimmy Stewart playing a Michigan trial lawyer’s trials and tribulations with client and with the prosecutor at the same time It is so true to life that it amazes me everytime I see it.

Quaestor said...

Billion Dollar Bubble for actuaries...

"The Apartment" (1960) is about an actuary. And it's pretty funny, too.

Ann Althouse said...

"Certainly "The Paper Chase" must be the only major film with a Law School Professor as a primary character."

It's like being a cable guy. There's only one choice.

Or... there's "Reversal of Fortune." Dershowitz is the lawyer, but he's a lawyer while being a law professor.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Breaking bad.

Yancey Ward said...

I was a chemist in pharmaceutical research, so we have been depicted as villains for the last 25 years on both the small and big screen. However, the closest I have ever seen to what a synthetic chemist might actually be doing was in Breaking Bad- the synthesizing of molecules, not necessarily illegal ones.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Oops. Please disregard the above comment.

buwaya said...

Apollo 13

or,

From the Earth to the Moon
(1998 HBO series - its great)

Ron Winkleheimer said...

In movies that glorify hacking, its always turns out that the guy in charge of computer security is really the bad guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmz67ErIRa4

buwaya said...

"has anyone seen a movie with a technical writer?"

My wife is a technical writer too.
Call it a team. Apollo 13 had a great deal of opening of documentation binders.
So there's that.

meep said...

I dunno, we've debated whether Jack Lemmon's character in The Apartment was actually an actuary, esp. with the executive shenanigans, but it's possible.

(and by "we", I mean the folks on the Actuarial Outpost)

Lauren Davison said...

What I love about the Odd Thomas books! I've worked at a tire shop for years, which is his "dream job", even over being a fry cook...

meep said...

This is one of the threads where we discuss actuarial characters in movies

http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showthread.php?t=62791

buwaya said...

I would add "The Right Stuff", but the focus, in that one, is off the engineers.
Still, their influence is unmistakable and they are there in the background.

The kids, all of them, are much closer to "Apollo 13" and etc.
I always worked for various contractors.

fleg9bo said...

While there are plenty of bouncers in films, I've never seen one with a bouncer in a petting zoo.

buwaya said...

Engineering is, seen from the inside, a mystical field.
The matter of it is prosaic, the detail-work of rearranging nature, but its aspirations are ineffable.

Rather more, I think, than even the man in the cockpit,

"And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

Anonymous said...

Ha! I used to be a commercial printer (large format/multi-color) not many movies about that. I can only think of a couple movies with printing in them.

Old to new: Mr. 880 (counterfeiting), Eraserhead, To Live And Die In L.A. and Catch Me If You Can.

Catch Me If You Can is the only movie I've seen with a large sheetfed machine, I used to run one of those Heidelbergs like in the movie. Web-presses don't count here.

Birkel said...

As a professional chariot rider, I prefer Ben Hur.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

I've seen a lot of programmers (few to none depicted authentically)

Heck, they can't even accurately depict a GUI, which is really, really odd given that nearly everyone can recognize Windows just by looking, and a goodly proportion can even tell KDE from Gnome. Most of the made-for-TV user interfaces look extremely fake and frankly unusable in any real-world scenario. Sometimes, a director thinks outside the box and assumes the viewer is not a total idiot who might get confused by cluttered desktop of a real working system. For example, in Jurassic Park (1993) all the system installed in the park central control room are Silicone Graphics workstations, probably a "product placement" deal which may have helped defray a small portion of the CGI production costs. And there it is the IRIX Indigo desktop environment in all its McIntosh-style glory! (I wonder how SG avoided a "look and feel" lawsuit, maybe John Sculley considered it sincere flattery.) The Speilberg went ape and allowed the rebooted machines to start up in a thoroughly goofy, slow as molasses in January pseudo-3D graphical file manager, which I suppose was just a silly McGuffin to inject more tension. Will the 11-year-old computer genius find the startup file before the genius Deinonychus figures out doorknobs? It was clever girl versus clever girl. But if Lex was really that smart ("This is a Unix system. I know this.") she'd have bombed out of that crap and just typed "ls".

fivewheels said...

"If anyone can suggest a movie about a professional copy editor, I'll be interested to hear of it."

I never saw "Bright Lights, Big City", is that close? I feel like I read the book when I was a kid, but barely remember it.

And there's some editing content in "Shattered Glass", I suppose.

buwaya said...

"all the system installed in the park central control room are Silicone Graphics workstations"

In those days a real real-time system would have had HP's.

FWBuff said...

@Althouse, "Legally Blonde" has several law professors as major characters.

Meade said...

The Wrestler.

David Begley said...

Dan Whitney is Larry the Cable Guy and he is from Nebraska.

Anonymous said...

Along Came Polly....for the Risk Management profession!

Anonymous said...

Desk Set with Katharine Hepburn

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I doubt you were as rude and acerbic as Charles Kingsfield, Jr., but your cruel neutrality may have been every bit as bracing to generations of Wisconsin Law students.

Unfortunately the closest movie I've seen to what I did for a living is "The Social Network," a partially fictionalized story about how Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook. A lot of us who build computer software for a living (built, in my case) are a bit like Zuckerberg, except most of us have somewhat better social skills (even the Asperger types) and most of us have a conscience. Which is why he is a gazillionaire and we aren't. Most of the rest of the movies where software plays a role are about hackers, and the script writers make the interfaces more graphic and sophisticated than they are in real life, and portray hacking as being much too easy. Hacking is only easy if their target falls for a cheesy phishing scheme.

whitney said...

Every now and then there are movies depicting my occupation. They are always romantic comedies

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"If anyone can suggest a movie about a professional copy editor, I'll be interested to hear of it."

There's Bright Lights, Big City where Michael J. Fox plays a fact checker at The New Yorker and Frances Sternhagen plays his boss.

campy said...

I can't think of any movies I can relate to, as an orphaned billionaire who dons a cape & cowl to fight crime by night.

David Begley said...

Legally Blonde is a favorite of mine.

john said...

Chinatown. And not because of the, hmmm, incest. It's the hydrology.

gnossos said...

Life of a merchant mariner - 3 way tie:

Rene Clement's Walls of Malapaga

Mamet's Lakeboat

Sofia Coppola's (!) Lost in Translation

Kate said...

I'm a William Holden just waiting for my Gloria Swanson.

Lucien said...

"The Pelican Brief" had a law prof. (who was romantically involved with a student).

Bay Area Guy said...

Rain Man

William Chadwick said...

"Boogie Nights" . . . although I think the Marky Mark character was kind of on the small side.

But seriously . . . in terms of various day jobs I've had, "Office Space" captures the horror. In terms of my vocation, that Sean Connery movie where he plays the reclusive writer teaching the ghetto kid how to write conveys a lot of what being a writer entails.




buwaya said...

re William Holden -
I've known several William Holdens.

The ones in "Love is a Many Splendored Thing" and "The World of Suzie Wong"
Not the same William Holden, in each, but pretty close actually.

Also, known the equivalents of Nancy Kwan, and especially Jennifer Jones (actual mestiza ones). My aunt for one.

Also, the characters William Holden played in those probably worked for the CIA.

rhhardin said...

Did you know Don Rickles was in Run Silent Run Deep. The only actor I recognized.

theCase said...

Surprised no one mentioned "Office Space" which aligns with most anyone stuck in the other-worldly existence in corporate America (where's your TPS cover sheet?). Jennifer Aniston was cute too...

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Bridges at Toko Ri" or "Apollo 13"

David said...

There is probably room for another law prof film. Kingsfield was Old School. I had several profs like him, especially UVA Law Dean Hardy C. Dillard. But my sense is that these people do not exist any more. I'm thinking a feminist (and female) law prof invested with an astonishing superpower that she has vowed never to use again. She falls in love with the head of the CIA (a man) who turns out to be an evil genius and may also have a superpower also. She tries to find a way to use her superpower to rid him of his evil, but the fate of the world hangs in the balance. What is her power? Will she use it? What about his power? Inspiring victory of the human spirit of utter tragedy? (Remember: both is a possibility.)

wildswan said...

Pro-life activist. We are in plenty of movies as the creepy, evil hypocrites or the bomber or the shooter. We're like Christians, but worse. Movies showing us somewhat as what we were? I don't know of one movie. There are German movies about the White Rose group whose members were executed by the Nazis. But they were in a different world facing death for writing pro-life pamphlets.

Quaestor said...

In those days a real real-time system would have had HP's.

Oh, fudge on your Hewlett-Packard chauvinism.

CWJ said...

"About Schmidt"

Another actuary. In fact, the extras at the beginning of the movie were in fact real actuaries and other insurance company employees.

DannyG said...

Not much for pharmacy, at least positive. In Murphy's Romance the main character (played by James Garner) was a small town druggist. Probably the best. Honourable mention to John Wayne in "In Old California).

Mark said...

In my former life of law, probably Judgment at Nuremberg.

Jokah Macpherson said...

I'm a clown, and I would say It was pretty spot on.

Quaestor said...

Rain Man

I get it. Bay Area Guy is a professional savant!

But seriously folks... References to Rain Main summon up one of my pet peeves (Who am I kidding? I don't have pet peeves. I have a menagerie of peeves, Quaestor is a veritable Ark of Peeves. They go in two by two, bounce around for a couple months, and come out terminally seasick.) "Rain Man" made it unacceptable to describe those who used to be rather colorfully categorized as idiot savants, i.e someone remarkably brilliant in a very limited aspect yet unable to function in most areas of daily existence above IQ-30 level intelligence, as anything other than savants — persons of extraordinary wisdom and insight. Which brings up a problem, what are we to do with actual dyed-in-the-wool savants?

Michael K said...

"No Highway" was a pretty good movie about engineers, although the book was better.

There are very few movies about surgeons I can stand.

People are horrified when I say "MASH" and the only other one I can think of is just a scene in "Bullet."

The black surgery resident was so good, I thought he was a San Francisco City Hospital resident but he was an actor.

Michael K said...

Sailing is another area with few good movies although it is not actually an occupation.

"Wind" is quite good.

There are only a few novels about sailing that are not about Napoleonic Wars

buwaya said...

"Which brings up a problem, what are we to do with actual dyed-in-the-wool savants?"

My wife, expert in textile technologies, recommends hydrogen peroxide.

Professional lady said...

Traditional guy - I would pick Anatomy of a Murder also. It was filmed in Marquette, Michigan where the actual murder the movie is based on took place. The book was written by a lawyer that became a Michigan Supreme Court judge. His name escapes me at the moment.

Curious George said...

Glengarry Glen Ross

Of course those days are gone but it rang close to true back in the late 70's when I started out in sales.

"Third prize is you're fired!"

dustbunny said...

In the Big Lebowski there was a nilhilist pretending to be a cable guy in a porn movie.

rehajm said...

Wall Street + The Accountant / .5 x The Social Network

Tim at large said...

Better Living through Chemistry was a pretty funny movie about a pharmacist.

Rt1 Rebel said...

Gung Ho and A Civil Action, and although neither is particularly close to what I do, one actually is about a former employer.

Lem said...

What’s the movie where your employer is violating some osha regulation requiring winter heat? The bathroom is the only room with heat. You can imagine where I’m posting from.

People here need the job that badly.

Greg Hlatky said...

The book was written by a lawyer that became a Michigan Supreme Court judge. His name escapes me at the moment.

John Voelker, writing under the pen name Robert Traver. The book made him well off enough he abandoned the law and wrote about fishing.

traditionalguy said...

@Professional Lady, Thank you for your agreement on Anatomy of a Murder's uniqueness. And I forgot another lawyer's good one: The Caine Mutiny Court Martial play. It is powerful as an Audible Play. Which tempted Hollywood to do a fair job making into the movie called Caine Mutiny.

Reality histories told by those that lived them always Excite me, while Disneyland fantasy type movies bore me.

0_0 said...

Michael K-

Most of the hospital scenes in Bullitt were shot at San Francisco General hospital: the entrance, the tunnels, the door to the outside steps.

It's mostly still there, behind and under the new Zuckerberg SFGH facade.

Jack Wayne said...

These are all new movies. Best baseball movie ever - It Happens Every Spring (1949) with Ray Milland. My guess is that every profession hasn’t been depicted in film. Maybe not as the lead. But considering all of the movies made, it’s entirely possible nothing has been left out.

Tim at large said...

I worked on a certain kind of software system that is sometimes depicted in thrillers. The depiction is generally absurd. I think that The Bourne Identity did a creditable job,IIRC.

Michael K said...

"John Voelker, writing under the pen name Robert Traver. "

He and the lawyer who played the judge, Joseph N Welch, became good friends during the movie shoot and traveled to Europe together. Welch got sick and came home early and died,.

Welch was the Army lawyer in the Army McCarthy hearings and who said the famous line "Have you no decency, Sir?"

The plot was simplified from the book but both were excellent.

Michael K said...

Yeah, the SFGH scenes were authentic but the guy who played the surgery resident and the OR scene were the best I've seen in a movie.

Most surgery scenes are wrong but that was great, and the MASH scenes were very good.

I love the "Doc Martin" TV series but they get a few things wrong and the funniest is the doc using the right eye to look in the patients's left eye with an ophthalmoscope.

That physical diagnosis act is hard to teach and I;m not surprised the actor gets it wrong. 99% of the people who watch the series don't know the difference.

My other favorite medical movie is one that few have heard of. It is "The Hospital" with George C Scott and Diana Rigg,

It is a black comedy and it is so good (although dated) that I show it to my students every year, or did when I was still teaching.

Feste said...

Twelfth Night.

Phil 3:14 said...

I used to co-teach an elective class for Med students on "Physicians in the movies". We tried to demo different stylistic portrayals (I.e doctor as evil, doctor as arrogant, doc as iconoclast etc.)

phantommut said...

Choose me. I've done almost everything. (The difference is I've never actually killed -- or even significantly damaged -- another human.)

Jeff Weimer said...

I was in the Navy and "The Last Detail" is my favorite because it has the...details...right about life in the Navy, at least as it used to be.

Kyzernick said...

Back in the day, I'd have said Glengarry Glen Ross. Hawking mortgages during the height of the subprime era certainly felt shady as fuck, but the money was good and I never wrote a loan that I really didn't think would get paid back - I passed those on to others with fewer scruples. These days, probably Office Space. Work isn't as mind-numbing or soul-crushing as that movie makes it out to be, but it's certainly not glamorous and there are certainly some oddballs that I work with who'd fit right into the world of that movie.

wwww said...



Moneyball

Interesting,not crazy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William Chadwick said...

Re my post above, the movie I was thinking of, with Sean Connery as a reclusive writer, is "Finding Forrester."

Fr. Denis Lemieux said...

Best depiction of a Catholic priest I've seen in movies is in Gran Torino. Neither idealized or villified - just a realistic flawed guy doggedly doing his job, which is to get Clint Eastwood's character back to the sacraments. Succeeds, too.

pious agnostic said...

"Office Space" without a doubt. When it came out, I was working on banking software to prepare for Y2K, just like the guys in the movie. We cheered.

John Smith Smith said...

Mary Poppins has a chimney sweep.

He even sings a song about being a chimney sweep.

He notes in the song that, while you might think that "in life" he is "on the bottommost rung", he really isn't - he considers himself to have good luck, and hopes that the good luck "rubs off on" 'you'.

The movie also has a professional nanny, who is also happy with her profession.

Fr. Lemieux - you are the second person to recommend I watch Gran Torino, so I now plan to watch it.

tcrosse said...

When I was in the Navy, the big favorite was The Sand Pebbles, because it treated enlisted men sympathetically, instead of as broad low-class clowns, as in South Pacific or Mr Roberts.

Freeman Hunt said...

Best movie about making movies: Day for Night.

Bay Area Guy said...

Senator John Blutarsky - Animal House

Freeman Hunt said...

About what I do: I Remember Mama.

ndspinelli said...

The Conversation.

Freeman Hunt said...

Incidentally, I Remember Mama stars my favorite actress.

Freeman Hunt said...

"If anyone can suggest a movie about a professional copy editor, I'll be interested to hear of it."

Don't they have those in The Last Days of Disco?

Freeman Hunt said...

"Every now and then there are movies depicting my occupation. They are always romantic comedies"

Prince/ss or prostitute?

Richard Dillman said...

Let’s see, portrayals of English Professors. Most film portrayals of English profs are caricatures or cartoons. At times we rise to the buffoon level. The best portrayal of an English teacher/professor in my limited viewing experience was Dead Poets Society, with Robin Williams. I particularly enjoyed the creative use of passages from Thoreau and Whitman. Nevertheless, Williams was still cast as an extreme romantic, who lectured from desktops to naive prep school students.

Richard Dillman said...

Let’s see, portrayals of English Professors. Most film portrayals of English profs are caricatures or cartoons. At times we rise to the buffoon level. The best portrayal of an English teacher/professor in my limited viewing experience was Dead Poets Society, with Robin Williams. I particularly enjoyed the creative use of passages from Thoreau and Whitman. Nevertheless, Williams was still cast as an extreme romantic, who lectured from desktops to naive prep school students.

Henry said...

Parisian photo-booth mechanic. Name the movie.

Quayle said...

My Dinner with Andre.

I'm a bored, spoiled child whose just been lying in my bathtub all day, just playing with my plastic duck, and usually I'm just thinking, "Well, what can I do?"

Henry said...

Apollo 13 has a great sequence in which engineers have to figure out a plan to save the astronauts and communicate it to them. It's a tangential nod to technical writing.

George M. Spencer said...

Play It Again, Sam....life of the freelance writer...suave millionaire playboy with dames and lots of 'em.

Henry said...

"If anyone can suggest a movie about a professional copy editor, I'll be interested to hear of it."

Wonder Boys -- one extra and the female lead.

CWJ said...

Henry,
"Amelie" Also porn shop employee and flight attendant.

mockturtle said...

They don't make movies about pulp and paper chemists, not surprisingly.

Mark Daniels said...

I'm a pastor.

Film pastors seem mostly to fall into several categories: clueless innocents; fire-breathing moralists; sociopaths; money-grubbing manipulators; sexual predators. There are and have been pastors for whom these descriptions work, of course. But it's odd to see how consistently these stereotypes are portrayed in films and TV shows.

Some of my favorite portrayals of clergy appear in:

1. 'The Keys to the Kingdom' starring Gregory Peck. Thomas Mitchell plays an atheist friend to Peck's priest.

2. 'Bishop's Wife' with David Niven as the spiritually-struggling bishop.

3. 'Alias Nick Beal,' with the aforementioned Mitchell as a district attorney standing off against an evil Ray Milland. George Macready turns in an interesting performance as a clergyperson.

4. 'Luther' with Joseph Fiennes in the title role. Luther, of course, was a theological genius, but he was, at heart, a pastor. He was also imperfect. That complexity comes across in this movie.

On television, Father Mulcahy of 'MASH' is a variant of the clueless innocent. Over the course of the series though, Mulcahy's character was given greater depth than in the early seasons. (This is the opposite of what was done with Radar O'Reilly, who moved from the early episodes in which he was portrayed as sort of a sly conman to being an Iowa naif through much of the run.)

Guildofcannonballs said...

Traffic.

Zendo Deb said...

My main hobby - sailing - has shown up in a couple of good movies. "All Is Lost" being particularly good. "White Squall" also being good. "Wind" was a fairly good look at the insanity of racing.

Since most of my family is in education I'm surprised I didn't see "Stand and Deliver." One of the best movies about teaching. And it also has a scene with a guy who is a programmer (the main character quits programming to teach math. His friend sponsors a field trip....) Helps that it is based on a true story, and has some good talent.

mockturtle said...

Mark Daniels: Thanks for the tip about the movie on Martin Luther. I'm reading my fourth biography of Luther right now and wasn't aware of any recent films of his life.

Henry said...

CWJ -- Cudos.

traditionalguy said...

Film Pastors shown in a Presbyterian tradition is done 100% realistic in A Man Called Peter. It really happened here in Atlanta, just the way his wife wrote it.

LordSomber said...

"Mad Men" + "Office Space" is the simplest I could explain mine.

And maybe a light sprinkling of "Idiocracy."

TerriW said...

Mark Daniel: What did you think of the pastor in You Can Count On Me? (Great film, terrible title.)

I homeschool, so we're usually villains. My favorite ridiculous homeschool bad guy was the kid from Spellbound. He even got villain music!

(My takeaway of homeschool characters in shows is that the creators appear to not be aware of anything beyond a cheap stereotype.)

Larry Day said...

"Touching the Void" - Realistic and nerve racking footage of what ragged edge mountaineering is really like.

Mr. Majestyk said...

Being a larger-than-life four-star general, I would have to say "Patton."

Mr. Majestyk said...

Of course, if I were a watermelon farmer, I would have to say "Mr. Majestyk."

Lucien said...

Mark Daniels, The Apostle with Robert Duval should be on your list. I watch it about once a year, it's so good.

I'm in the oil business, and Deepwater Horizon, Syriana and Armageddon (oil drillers save the Earth!) are all really bad examples of what I do for a living. At least in Armageddon we're the heroes.

The thing is I love books that give "slice of life" insight into particular careers. "A Little Bit Sideways" is a great book on the daily life of a (non-superstar) NASCAR team. "The Warrior Elite" about the training of Navy SEALs. "The Force" about a Xerox sales team. "Mr. China" about a Western private equity guy who tried (and mainly failed) to build a commercial enterprise in China. "My Years With General Motors" about, yes, being the CEO of General Motors.

It's a shame there are no really good movies about careers. The best I can think of is "Mac", a 1990s movie written by and starring John Turturro, about the life of a building contractor and real estate developer.

mockturtle said...

Film Pastors shown in a Presbyterian tradition is done 100% realistic in A Man Called Peter. It really happened here in Atlanta, just the way his wife wrote it.

Excellent movie. I was going to suggest that one, too.

Larry Day said...

If you haven't seen "Touching the Void", you can watch the whole thing for free here. "Bloody brilliant". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNvBbtUcRkM

Archilochus said...

My Cousin Vinny. (NYU JD 2013.)

Carter Wood said...

A movie about a copy editor/proof reader: Jimi ni Sugoi! Kôetsu Girl Kôno Etsuko. From IMDB:

Kouno Etsuko joins a publishing company with her sights set on becoming a fashion editor. But she is assigned to the very unglamorous proofreading department which examines and fixes errors in manuscripts. Dressed in flashy clothes, Etsuko goes beyond her proofreading work to see the writers in person and also get into actual locations to verify facts. She tries to do each job to perfection for a transfer to the fashion magazine editorial department. Despite her worries about the gap between her ideal job and reality, Etsuko dedicates herself to the work of proofreading in her own unique way and gradually starts to realize its allure.

320Busdriver said...

Have to say Sully.

The A320 is a well designed airliner. It beats the pants off the B737 in so many ways. And Captain Sullenberger has already determined that it does well in a water landing so I have no need to test that scenario. Just don't forget to push the ditching switch if you plan on using rafts on your next landing.

Rick M said...

"Deepwater Horizon" a 2016 movie depicting BP causing the death of 11 people. Saddest movie for me. The project flooded the Gulf of Mexico with crude oil, shocking lack of care for human life on display. Well, I'm an engineer that worked for BP and understand the pressure BP placed on employees that would result in similar tragedies. Sad to look back on that time in my life, I was lucky enough to move on to a company that viewed risk differently.

Pirate Queen said...

Food writer aka cookbook editor,Christmas in Connecticut. A favorite!

WA-mom said...

Trading Places was the only movie ever made about commodities traders.

Also Crazy People about my occupation in advertising.

WA-mom said...

Trading Places was the only movie ever made about commodities traders.

Also Crazy People about my occupation in advertising.

Batman AZ said...

Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) as an accountant in Ghostbusters.

gadfly said...

Ben Affleck as The Accountant doesn't follow my career well. His life is too boring.

Krumhorn said...

What about the ghostbusters in Ghostbusters?

Or the toy sheriff in Toy Story?

- Krumhorn

pacwest said...

Sleepless in Seattle. The scene where Hanks and Reiner are dealing with a customer that wants a sub-zero refrigerator that won't fit--"We can do that, but we'll have to flip the entire house around"

Been there, done that.

gadfly said...


Blogger Rick M said...
"Deepwater Horizon" a 2016 movie depicting BP causing the death of 11 people. Saddest movie for me. The project flooded the Gulf of Mexico with crude oil, shocking lack of care for human life on display. Well, I'm an engineer that worked for BP and understand the pressure BP placed on employees that would result in similar tragedies. Sad to look back on that time in my life, I was lucky enough to move on to a company that viewed risk differently.

The movie stayed away from the dirty details, such as the other companies involved - Transocean which owned the platform, Haliburton whose crew did the cementing in the well, and Cameron International who supplied the blowout preventer that malfunctioned. The government, through the Coast Guard, had responsibilities for safety - but knew nothing about the wells and certainly knew nothing about reacting to the spill.

One of the first lawsuits filed after the collapse of the platform did not name BP or the above companies. Sued instead were 17 companies whose fireboats responded to the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon.

“It was the flooding of the Deepwater Horizon and the resulting sinking of the rig that directly caused the piping to break and begin spewing millions of gallons of oil into the ocean,” Lloyd Frischhertz and Gerald Maples, lawyers for the spill victims, said in a complaint filed in federal court in New Orleans.

The question was whether the salt water sprayed across the burning platform overran the ballast system that kept the rig upright, thus changing its weight distribution, and causing it to list. But the Coast Guard had failed to provide an expert who knew something about fighting oil fires.


Rusty said...

Strangely enough there is no movie about the fast paced,dangerous life of designers and builders of industrial production equipment.

Meade said...

Wisconsin Death Trip

Humperdink said...

Animal House in my early years. The phrase "young and stooopid" does not do my behavior justice. I praise the Lord I am not in jail (and for the statute of limitations). I have made restitution.

As an aside, Louie Gommert was the sub host for Rush yesterday. He opening included an analysis of why there is a statute of limitations. I did not know Gommert was a judge is his previous life.

JAORE said...

Office space?

Hind sight? I'm happily retired.

jae said...

"Can't think of any farmer movies."

The Astronaut Farmer- covers all sorts of angles ;)

As a sysadmin I have to agree with everyone who has pointed out just how cringe-worthy depictions of computer technology and "hacking culture" can be throughout Hollywood and international productions. The closest I've come is a TV series, Mr. Robot, and they clearly went to a great deal of trouble to get it right while also keeping in mind that nobody wanted to watch three solid episodes depicting a month-long brute-force password attack.

So, yeah, Mr. Robot.

jnseward said...

As a computer programmer, I would have to say The Matrix.

Deb said...

late to the party but: Party Girl with Parker Posey and Desk Set with Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracey.

Gospace said...

Die Hard had a someone deep in the bowels of the airport with all the plans of the tunnels and where everything goes; obviously a stationary engineer.

Lot's of movies have scenes in boiler rooms with lots of pipes and steam and processes going on- without any operators ever showing up in the scenes. It's almost like the plants run themselves.

Tom said...

Okay, I admit it: Deuce Bigalow

Real American said...

Liar Liar

Marty said...

I'm a dentist. Not many to choose from, but "Novocaine" is by far the best.

Scott Gustafson said...

The only movie about an Economics Professor that I am aware of is A Beautiful Mind. Economists and economics principles show up here and there. My favorite movie about monetary policy is The Wizard of Oz.

Kirk Parker said...

"In those days a real real-time system would have had HP's."

Or PDP-11's.

"Prince/ss or prostitute?"

The job is pretty much the same, the title differs depending on what social class you come from.

Brian McKim and/or Traci Skene said...

Do documentaries count? "Comedian" by Seinfeld. Otherwise, "Mr. Saturday Night" comes close not so much to accurately depicting what I do but it sometimes accurately portrays how comedians think, interact with each other. It is not all that contemporary and it is not a pretty or mostly positive portrayal, but it has some truth to it.