Throwback Thursday: Films about Nobel Prize winners starring Daniel Craig, Daniel Radcliffe
The 2016 Nobel Prize winners rolled out this week. So far, we have this year's winners in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine. The laureates for the literary and peace prizes are to be rolled out before 7 October 2016.
The Nobel Prize winners receive the highest form of adulation and adoration for their scientific, literary and peace contributions to the world. This means that millions of biographers, reporters and filmmakers follow their life stories with great interest.
Apart from films like A Beautiful Mind where Russell Crowe plays the troubled physicist and Nobel laureate John Nash and Invictus which documents Nelson Mandela's life story, here are a few unknown but amazing films about Nobel laureates:
Based on the life of: Martin Luther King Jr.
Who won the Nobel laureate for: King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice in America.
There are countless films, books and documentaries chronicling the life of Martin Luther King Jr but the one that stands out the most is Ava DuVernay's film Selma. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.
Based on the life of: Physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg
Who won the Nobel laureate for: Niels Bohr made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Werner Heisenberg won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932.
In 1941, physicists Niels Bohr (Stephen Rea) and Werner Heisenberg (Daniel Craig) meet to discuss atomic energy and the Nazis in Copenhagen. BBC's television adaptation of Michael Frayn's Tony award winning play shows Heisenberg leading a faltering German research program into nuclear energy, and middle-aged and isolated Bohr as someone who is in contact with allied agents but stills holds a position of great influence in the nuclear physics research community. Did they speculate and come up with the formula of the atomic bomb?
Madame Curie (1944)
Based on the life of: Marie Curie
Who won the Nobel laureate for: She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with physicist Henri Becquerel. She also won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Marie Sklodowska (Greer Garson) is a poor, idealistic student living in Paris struggling to pay her bills. She comes across Pierre Curie, an extremely shy and absentminded man completely devoted to his work as a scientist. They fall in love and get married. The film documents the couples's passionate research and lab work.
Rabindranath Tagore (1961)
Based on the life of: Rabindranath Tagore
Who won the Nobel laureate for: Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 “because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West.”
The Film Division's of India documentary details the life of Rabindranath Tagore by Satyajit Ray. The documentary was made to celebrate Tagore’s birth centenary in May 1961 and the film comprises of dramtized episodes from the poet's life and archived images and documents. Ray was conscious that he was making an official portrait of India’s celebrated poet and hence the film does not include any controversial aspects of Tagore’s life. However, it is far from being a propaganda film.
My Boy Jack (2008)
Based on the life of: Rudyard Kipling
Who won the Nobel laureate for: Nobel Prize for literature in 1907
My Boy Jack is based on the 1997 play by English actor David Haig.
Kipling looses his son who is a soldier in the first World War. The title comes from Kipling's 1915 poem My Boy Jack. The poem is recited in its entirety in the film, which was first produced as a play in England in 1997 and was then adapted for English television last year. The film stars David Haig as Rudyard Kipling, Daniel Radcliffe as Jack Kipling and Kim Cattrall as Kimberly Kipling.
The time is 1914, just before the onset of World War I. Jack Kipling, 17, desperately wants to enlist, but his eyesight gets him rejected from the Royal Navy and then the Army. Even more than a desire to fight the Germans, he is determined to leave home to make a life of his own in which he won’t have to live in the shadow of his famous father.