Some of the above examples highlight some pretty bad movie science. I thought I'd share a movie clip that was on the other end of the spectrum!
Everyone's familiar with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory--the 1971 musical film starring the immortal Gene Wilder. The film's protagonist is Charlie Bucket, a child from a poor family whose genuine heart leads him to success where several other spoiled/privileged children fail. Early on, we're shown Charlie's education, including the following chemistry demonstration. The clip is a little modified from the original at the end (it was the only one I could find!).
It's a remarkably accurate portrayal of life in chemical academia. After all, all the hallmarks are there:
- Disregard for proper PPE/lab safety.
- Intellectual snobbery/faculty egotism.
- Over-eager undergrads who don't know what they're doing.
- Secrecy and irreproducibility.
Just like life in the lab! (Of course, Pure Imagination is perhaps more apt to describe the pragmatism of many projects).