20 films about inventors and designers

From a simple cart to a car, from a wooden raft to a boat, from a radio station with an antenna to a computer with a modem, people’s lives are constantly changing. And all this thanks to inventors who are not used to giving in to difficulties – even when the goal seems unattainable, they strive for their dream. But what is behind the discoveries and how is the fate of the creators themselves? Films from the selection about inventors will introduce viewers to amazing stories based on real events.

Leonardo (TV series 2021)

The novelty of the cinema gives the viewer the opportunity to touch the mysterious history of the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci, full of extraordinary adventures , great discoveries and incredible inventions. The storyline follows the process of creating the master’s most famous paintings. The action of the series, in which the director’s fantasy and real facts are intertwined, takes place after the accusations of a genius in the death of his close friend and model Katerina.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Leonardo

Genre:
Drama, biography, history

Actors:
Aidan Turner, Freddie Highmore, Giancarlo Giannini …

Country:
Italy, USA, UK, France, Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.2


Kalashnikov (2020)

The new Russian film about the legendary inventor and designer is based on real events from the life of Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov. The man created the AK-47 when he was not yet thirty. The self-taught inventor had a hard time before he realized his idea. The biographical film covers a long period of Mikhail’s life – childhood, military service, battles with the Nazis, sent to the hospital, participation in weapons competitions and, finally, receiving the Stalin Prize.

Genre:
Biography, history

Actors:
Yuri Borisov, Olga Lerman, Artur Smolyaninov …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
12+


Tesla (2020)

In 1943, Nikola Tesla died alone in a New York hotel without a penny in his pocket, but today we know that this scientist, along with the discovery of electricity, literally created the modern world with all its technological chips. The film paid special attention to the period of the inventor’s life, when he had just emigrated to the United States and got a job in the company of Thomas Edison. In the future, Nicola will face many trials, a quarrel with Thomas, long wanderings in search of a sponsor, an affair with the daughter of a banker and, finally, the invention of an electric motor based on alternating current.

Original title:
Tesla

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan, Eve Hewson …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.3, IMDb – 5.0

Age restrictions:
12+


The sky is measured in miles (2019)

A selection of films about great inventions continues the story of the outstanding Soviet helicopter designer Mikhail Mil. The path to the heights for the aircraft manufacturer began at the age of 12 and was quite thorny and full of personal losses. For decades, the inventor overcame people’s distrust of his ideas. However, perseverance and self-confidence led Mikhail to create the world’s most sought-after Mi-8 helicopter and the most powerful Mi-12 transport helicopter.

Genre:
Military, history

Actors:
Evgeny Stychkin, Maryana Spivak, Andrey Merzlikin …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5

Age restrictions:
12+


Santos Dumont (mini-series 2019)

Some sources claim that Albert Santos Dumont invented the first aircraft that landed and took off in all weather conditions, thus ahead of the Wright brothers. One thing is certain – Dumont went down in history as an aviation pioneer and the first aerial athlete. The plot of the series originates in Brazil, where on his father’s farm, Albert has already begun to show his talent as an inventor by inventing a mechanized line for processing and sorting coffee. And ahead of the boy are great discoveries, and all of them will be connected with the sky – balloons, airships and airplanes.

Original title:
Santos Dumont

Genre:
Biography

Actors:
Joao Pedro Zappa, Tieri Tremoros, Miguel Pinheiro…

Country:
Brazil

Rating:
IMDb – 7.6


Leonardo da Vinci. Undiscovered Worlds (2019)

In 2019, this biopic became the most anticipated art film of the year. The creators have relied on visualization in order to transfer the master’s great works to the screen as accurately as possible. It turned out not just a movie about an outstanding Italian artist, inventor, sculptor and one of the most mysterious masters that mankind knows, but a visual journey into the mind of a genius, filmed in ultra-high 4K resolution.

Original title:
Io, Leonardo

Genre:
Biography

Actors:
Luca Argentero, Angela Fontana, Massimo De Lorenzo…

Country:
Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 5.6

Age restrictions:
12+


Padman (2018)

Arunachalam Muruganantham dreamed of making essential hygiene products available to the women of India. So a simple Indian social worker in the late 90s presented his compatriots with his invention – a technology for the production of inexpensive women’s sanitary pads. Arunachalam boldly challenged the patriarchal taboos, which led to the condemnation of society and even relatives. However, he achieved his goal and in 2006 founded his own company.

Original title:
Padman

Genre:
Biography, comedy

Actors:
Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte, Sonam Kapoor…

Country:
India

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.9

Age limit:
12+


Current War (2017)

In the center of the plot is the confrontation between the “titans of electric current”, the great inventors, engineers and industrialists – Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse. The rivalry lasted for more than 100 years and ended for the United States in 2007 – New York finally switched from direct current to alternating current. And the war began in 1880, when the inventor Thomas Edison took the engineer Nikola Tesla into the company. This drama is not only a film about inventions based on real events, but also a story about selfishness, ambition, and how they prevent a person from reaching a goal.

Original title:
The Current War

Genre:
Biography, history, drama

Actors:
Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Michael Shannon …

Country:
USA, Russia, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
12+


Breathe for us (2017)

When you are young, full of energy and great ideas, you least of all expect trouble, and it hits even harder and more unexpectedly. A serious illness leads Robin Caverdish to a wheelchair and severe depression. Only his devoted wife Diana makes a man live on and not give up. And he does not give up, having lived another 36 years instead of the two allotted to him, becoming a well-known advocate for the disabled and a developer of medical devices to improve the quality of life of bedridden patients.

Original title:
Breathe

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, biography

Actors:
Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Edward Speleers…

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Jang Yong-sil (TV series 2016)

The next film in our top will take the viewer to Korea in the 15th century. The film tells a fascinating story about an engineer-inventor, scientist and astronomer Jang Yong-shil. Despite the fact that the man came from a lower class and was a slave , he managed to win a place in the court of King Sejong and significantly influenced the technological progress of the whole country. On account of a self-taught genius, a device for measuring precipitation, the invention of a sun and water clock, a printing press and an irrigation system.

Original Title :
Jang Yeong-shil

Genre:
Biography, History, Drama

Actors:
Song Il-guk, Kim Sang-kyung, Kim Yong-chul…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
IMDb – 8.1


Joy (2015)

The film is based on the fate of one of the most influential women entrepreneurs in the United States, who managed to rise from the bottom. A divorced mother of two, Joy barely made ends meet, although she had the talent of an inventor since childhood, but there was no time to implement her plans. However, a domestic incident led Joy to the idea of ​​​​creating a unique model of a mop that does not need to be squeezed out by hand. There are many challenges ahead, the ruthless world of big business – and the creation of a product that made Joy famous and made life easier for millions of housewives.

Original title:
Joy

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Edward (2015)

The film tells about the inventions and discoveries of the eccentric Edward Muybridge, “the godfather of modern cinema.” In the second half of the 19th century, the idea of ​​recording the “movement of life” on film took hold of a man – to create what we now call video recording. However, the burning jealousy of the man for his young wife Flora interfered with the search for ways to implement the idea. As the project progressed, so did paranoia about adultery . And what it led to, you will find out by watching a Canadian drama about an outstanding inventor.

Original title:
Eadweard

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Michael Eklund, Sarah Canning, Christopher Heyerdahl…

Country:
Canada

Rating:
IMDb – 6.3


The Imitation Game (2014)

During World War II , mathematical genius Alan Turing developed a decoder that cracked the code of the German Enigma machine, which contributed to the victory over the Nazis. Alan’s invention later became the progenitor of modern computers. Incredibly smart and amazingly collected in his work, the scientist could not arrange his personal life and find a common language with his associates, having scandalous for that time preferences in love relationships.

Original title:
The Imitation Game

Genre:
Thriller, drama, military, biography

Actors:
Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode…

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 8.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Karl and Berta (2011)

A feature film about a great inventor and his no less great companion – the only one who supported her husband’s projects, ridiculed by others. No one believed in the founder of the Mercedes-Benz concern, Karl Benz, when the man shared his dreams of creating a wagon for which horses would not be needed. Nobody but his wife Berta. A film about faith, love and mutual understanding tells the story of how a couple, enduring ridicule and deprivation, went to the dream of creating the world’s first car.

Original title:
Carl & Bertha

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Felicitas Woll, Ken Duken, Hansürgen Hurrig …

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 6.6

Age Limits :
12+


Temple Grandin (2010)

The movie, which combines the plots of Temple Grandin’s books “Opening the Doors Twice” and “Thinking in Pictures”, will tell about the fate of this amazing woman. Temple was born with an autistic mental disorder in the middle of the last century, when these disorders were poorly understood. However, thanks to her courage, the ability to persistently implement her plans, the support of her mother and teachers, the woman became a professor at the University of Colorado, the author of several books and one of the leading inventors in the agricultural industry.

Original title:
Temple Grandin

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Claire Danes, Julia Ormond, David Strathairn …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 8.3


Geniuses (2009)

The list of the best films about inventors will continue with the American comedy about a dream – the true story of two best friends Matt and Sam. While the first one is creating unnecessary inventions, the second one is trying to sell them using his skills as a salesman. The life of friends is going down – they are haunted by constant failures, financial problems and a passion for gambling . But one day they come up with an interesting contraption, which later became a worldwide phenomenon and gave Matt and Sam the long-awaited wealth and fame.

Original title:
Ingenious

Genre:
Drama, romance, comedy

Actors:
Dallas Roberts, Jeremy Renner, Ayelet Zurer …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
12+


Glimpse of Genius (2008)

Biographical film about the current topic of copyright and the fight for justice tells about Professor Robert Kern and his family. The man came up with a truly convenient and necessary part for any car – wipers. Now he patents his invention and is trying to establish production. However, a large corporation steals his idea, and Robert will have to work hard to prove that he is the author of the invention.

Original title:
Flash of Genius

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Greg Kinnear, Tim Addis, Warren Belle…

Country:
Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Korolev (2007)

The film will take the viewer to the era of Stalinist repressions. The young scientist Sergei Korolev turned out to be one of those innocent victims from whom the NKVD officers tried to extract a confession of anti-Soviet activities. The outstanding designer suffered torture, persecution and a sentence as a pest of his country. Korolev made a huge contribution to science and the creation of rocket engine technologies, making every effort to ensure that it was the Soviet man who was the first to be in space . However, the punitive government machine did not recognize reasonable arguments and did not know pity.

Genre: Drama Actors: Sergey Astakhov, Natalya Fateeva, Victoria Tolstoganova … Country: Russia Rating: Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 5.1 Age restrictions: 12+


Flying Scotsman (2006)

The film is based on the true story of Graham Aubrey, who went from an ordinary courier to a world champion and record holder, while having completely empty pockets and mental problems . And sporting achievements are not the only thing the racer became famous for. The man set his main record on a bicycle of his own production, created using a bearing from a washing machine. At a time when his rival had a thousand-dollar bike, Graham set two world records on a homemade one.

Original title:
The Flying Scotsman

Genre:
Drama, sports

Actors:
Jonny Lee Miller, Sean Brown, Joseph Carney …

Country:
Germany, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


The Fastest Indian (2005)

67-year-old motorcycle enthusiast Bert Monroe has always dreamed of taking part in the “Speed ​​Week” race on his old motorcycle and breaking the world speed record. From morning till night, the man works in the garage, improving his Indian and saving up money for a trip from New Zealand to the USA, where he can fulfill his dream. On the way, Bert will meet many people and win dozens of hearts with his desire for a goal and perseverance.

Original title:
The World’s Fastest Indian

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Anthony Hopkins, Aaron Murphy, Chris Williams…

Country:
New Zealand, Japan, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
12+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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