Civil Engineers on Film
One of the things I’m most likely to be found complaining about is the profession’s lack of media attention. Where are the highly dramatized TV shows about the day-to-day lives of Civil Engineers, and when was the last time a Civil Engineer saved the world from a prime-time intergalactic threat?
This weeks blog post pays tribute to five (possibly the only five) film and television characters who were civil engineers…
William “Bill” Davis
Family Affair, US Television Series (1966 – 1971)
You know it’s going to be a desperate list when you have to go almost fifty years back… Still ‘Bill’ Davis is an inspiration to Civil Engineers: developing major projects across the world while still maintaining his Playboy lifestyle. At this juncture I should point out: I’ve yet to meet a Civil Engineer who has time for a lifestyle, let alone a Playboy one…
2012, Hollywood Movie (2009; confusingly)
A true hero of the profession. Both unnamed and uncredited, and apparently unlocatable on the internet; nevertheless this five-second incidental character makes his mark. When asked by the protagonist “are you a scientist”, this luminary bastion responds: “No, I’m a Civil Engineer”.
Captian Reeves and Major Hughes
The Bridge on the River Kwai, British/American Film (1957)
Credited as being one of the best films of all time, The Bridge on the River Kwai is ultimately about building a bridge (and some other drama stuff). Although the installation is military, and therefore the men were not, in the strictest sense of the word, Civil Engineers; such pedantry cannot be afforded of these baron pickings…
Prison Break, US Television Series (2005 – 2009)
I bet this was the first character most of the people reading thought of. Michael is a structural engineer; albeit one who works for a prison-building architectural firm as an easy explanation as to why he can just pickup the plans for the jail holding his brother. Still, a win’s a win.
The Thirty-Nine Steps, British Film (1935, remade: 1959, 1978, 2008)
Perhaps one of the most remade films in the world (unjustified fact), The Thirty-Nine Steps is the first of five novels featuring mining engineer and action-hero Richard Hannay. (Civil Engineering is a wide umbrella, and mining works easily fit within it).
So that’s it, the only five Civil Engineering “stars” of the silver screens. I’m more than interested if anyone can dig-up anymore!