And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

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SCIENCE IN THE REEL WORLD

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It isn’t only science fiction and horror films that have things to say on the subject of science and scientists….
Movies / TV

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Movies:
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From The Green Light (1937):
"How about a bit of dinner tonight together?"
"I can’t I got a date with some friends from Montana – real old-fashioned killers from way back."
"What’s their name?"
"Dermacentor andersoni."
"Impressive, huh?"
"Sure! You don’t think we scientists would be satisfied with calling them just plain wood ticks, like simple folk do?"
Errol Flynn and Walter Abel

"I’m leaving for Montana today. The fellow in charge out there died yesterday."
"Spotted fever?"
"Yes. He let a wood tick burrow into his hide to see what would happen. He found out."
Walter Abel and Errol Flynn

"Here he is. Don’t do that! Confounded amateurs! – ought to be kept out of laboratories! Almost spoiled one of the best experiments ever attempted. This little guy’s just as important as you are!"
Walter Abel to Errol Flynn (of a tick)

"You know, I think you have a real talent for bacteriology."
"Don’t you ever say that to me again!"
Walter Abel and Margaret Lindsay

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From On The Avenue (1938):
What are you studying?
Psychology
And you, dear?
Philosophy
Well, don’t take it too seriously
Because I know a Professor of great renown
And – he is the loneliest man in town
Yes? Really?
He’s as smart as a man can be
But he never has company
Why is he the loneliest man in town?
He ain’t got rhythm
Oh?
Every night he sits in the house alone
Cos he ain’t got rhythm
Too bad!
Every night he sits there and wears a frown
He attracted some attention
When he found the fourth dimension
But he ain’t got rhythm
So no-one’s with him
The loneliest man in town
A lonely man is he
Bending over his books
He would!
His wife and family
Keep giving him dirty looks
Cos he ain’t got rhythm
When they call him up it’s to haul him down
In the month of January
He compiled a dictionary
But he ain’t got rhythm
So no-one’s with him
The loneliest man in town
He’s lonely
He’s lonesome
And he’s all on his ownsome
The loneliest man in town….

I know every planet up in the sky
I’ve imagined them all with my naked eye
I’ve seen everything up in Mars
I know all about falling stars
But still I am a very unhappy guy
I wonder why?
You ain’t got rhythm!
I can read the tea leaves in my cup
But you ain’t got rhythm!
And I just found out how high is up
But you ain’t got rhythm!
I discovered once, while sober
Where the flies go in October
For what I found out about the files
I got the Nobel Prize
But you can’t do the Charleston
And you don’t know how to do
The Black Bottom
The new rhythm---
Heaven! I see heaven!
Through my telescope while gazing
From Mt Wilton’s highest peak
I’ll explain it all in Latin or in Greek
But you’re not so hot while dancing cheek to cheek!
I’ve studied relativity
But when the Astors give a tea
They never think of asking me
Don’t wonder why
Cos you don’t know how to do the rumba
That’s the reason you’re a lonely guy
Oh, Venus is lovely tonight!
And so is Jupiter
Jupiter’s skipping from planet to planet
Jumping Jupiter!
But you couldn’t be stupider!
Cos you ain’t got rhythm
Why, I discovered liquid air!
But you ain’t got rhythm!
And devised a cure for falling hair!
But you can’t get hot!
What?
No, you can’t get hot!
What?
I’m a scientist to my fingertips!
But you can’t do nothin’ with your hips!
And that’s the thing we miss
You mean this?
Yeah! He’s got it! He’s got it! He’s got it! He’s got it!
He has got rhythm!
Yeah!
Alice Faye, The Ritz Brothers, and chorus; lyrics by Irving Berlin

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From Dark Victory (1939):
"Vermont? You don’t mean that narrow, pinched-up state on the wrong side of Boston?"
"That’s the one."
"No kidding?"
"No kidding."
"What are you going to do there, between yawns?"
"Ah, you wouldn’t be interested."
"Oh, come now, doctor! After leading me on like this!"
"Well, I’m going to do scientific research on the growth of cells."
"In little guinea-pigs."
"No, just cells."
"Sounds silly."
"So I’m told."
Bette Davis and George Brent

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From The Lady Eve (1941):
"Do you know Charlie Pike?"
"That the backwards boy who’s always touching toads?"
"He isn’t backwards! He’s a scientist!"
"Oh, is that what it is? Well, I knew he was peculiar!"
Barbara Stanwyck and Eric Blore 

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From Hell And High Water (1954):
"Perhaps you are right. In your estimation, I am a – a female. But first I am a scientist – and a good one! And I am not the only scientist who is not of your sex. There are many! Like Dr Lise Meitner, who played an important part in the development of the atom bomb. Like Madame Curie, who discovered radium. I have grown up in laboratories. All my life I have worked with men. Never have I interfered, and never have they resented me!"
Bella Darvi

"Man! That was quite a mouthful for a female!"
"That’s no female! That’s a scientist!"
Cameron Mitchell and Gene Evans

"What about your assistant, Professor? What makes a girl who looks like that get mixed up in science?"
"She comes from a family of scientists. She was a child prodigy. At fourteen, she entered college. At eighteen, she studied at Goettingen. She is really very brilliant."
"A child prodigy with a body by Fisher, huh?"
Richard Widmark and Victor Francen

"That’s the trouble with you geniuses! Full of big ideas! Now you’re fouling up the whole works! You know that island’s crawling with soldiers!"
"He knows it, too…."
"Then why’d you let a nice old guy like that take a short-cut to the cemetery? He’s no ordinary two-bit Professor, you know! He’s Montell, top man in his field! But he’s old and helpless – doesn’t know his way outside of a test-tube!"
Richard Widmark and Bella Darvi

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From While The City Sleeps (1956):
"You know, you have very nice legs."
"Aren't you sweet?"
"Nice nylon stockings, too. What holds your stockings up?"
"There's a lot your mother should have told you!"
"I didn't ask my mother - I asked you. It's simply a matter of - scientific research."
Dana Andrews and Sally Forrest
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From The Chairman/The Most Dangerous Man In The World (1969):
"But you were right – they want me in China, real bad. So bad I wonder if they’ll let me out again. Well, maybe it’s all for the best. If they offer me a nice lab and a full professorship, who knows? – I may even change sides….
Gregory Peck

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From Silent Assassins (1988):
"Don’t try any tricks, Professor – I happen to be a biochemist!"
Rebecca Ferratti
[To get the full impact of this quote, you might want to read Stomp Tokyo’s review (http://www.stomptokyo.com/movies/s/silent-assassins.html)]

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From Street Fighter (1994):
"Dr Dhalsim! How is your research today?"
"The same. Warped. Corrupted. My science twisted to serve perversion instead of peace."
"Tell you what: after I've crushed my enemies, we'll see about getting you published."
Raul Julia and Roshan Seth

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TV
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From The Simpsons: Bart's Comet (1995):
"And now, to top off our most propane explosion-free Science Week ever, our Grand Finale: the launching of a weather balloon!"
"Yay! Go weather balloon! Hurrah for science! Whoo!"
"'Hurrah for science, whoo'!? I can't say I approve of the 'Whoo!', but the 'Hurrah!' was quite heartening!"
Seymour Skinner and Bart Simpson

"Oh, it won't come down for months! Curse the man who invented helium! Curse Pierre Jules Cesar Janssen!"
Seymour Skinner

"Ah, there's nothing more exciting than science! You get all the fun of sitting still, being quiet, writing down numbers, paying attention---- Science has it all!"
Seymour Skinner

"Let's go burn down the observatory, so this will never happen again!"
Moe Szyslak

From The Simpsons: Radioactive Man (1995):
"The real heroes are out there, toiling day and night on more important things!"
"Television…."
"No! Curing heart disease, and wiping out world hunger!"
"But Milhouse, they haven’t cured anything. Heart disease and world hunger are still rampant. Those do-gooders are all a bunch of pitiful losers, every last one of them! Want results? You have to go to the Schwarzeneggers, the Stallones, and to a lesser extent the Van Dammes."
Milhouse Van Houten and Bart Simpson

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From The Simpsons: Bart The Fink (1996):
"It doesn’t matter how you live or what you did. As long as you’re on TV, people will respect you."
"Respect? Pah! What good is respect without the moolah to back it up? Everywhere I go I see teachers driving Ferraris! Research scientists drinking
champagne!"
Bart Simpson and Krusty the Clown

"Alright, I admit it. I miss the phonies! But that’s all I miss! That, and Shirley Jones’ and Marty Ingels’ New Year’s party."
"What about the great feeling you get from knowing you’re better than regular people?"
"What about being an illiterate TV clown who’s more respected than all the scientists, educators and doctors in the country put together?"
Krusty the Clown, Lisa Simpson, Bart Simpson

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From The Simpsons: Lisa The Simpson (1998):
"Isn't there any way I can change my DNA, like - sitting on the microwave?"
"Well, not according to any movie I've ever seen!"
Lisa Simpson and Dr Julius Hibbert

"She's just upset because I told her her brain's turning to mush. You know, on account of the 'Simpson Gene'."
"'Simpson Gene'! That's just foolishness!"
"Nope - baldness, too!"
Abe Simpson and Marge Simpson

"So - all the Simpson women turn out okay?"
"That's right, sweetie. The defective 'Simpson Gene' is on the Y chromosome, so only men are affected,"
"So I'm not doomed! Oh, Dad, I've never been so glad to be your daughter!"
Lisa Simpson and Dr Simpson

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From Futurama: A Big Piece Of Garbage (1999):

"Face it, Farnsworth: you're over the hill. It's time to leave science to the hundred twenty year olds!"
"You young turks think you know everything! I was inventing things when you were barely turning senile!"
Odgen Wirmstrom and Professor Farnsworth

"Wirmstrom, can you save my city?"
"Of course! - but it'll cost you! First I'll need tenure."
"Done!"
"And a big research grant."
"You got it!"
"Also, access to a lab, and five graduate students - at least three of them Chinese."
"All right - done! What's your plan?"
"What plan? I'm set for life!"
Mayor Poopenheimer and Ogden Wirmstrom

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From Futurama: A Fishfull Of Dollars (1999):
"If anyone ever gets hold of anchovy DNA, they could chop out the oil-making gene, stick it in a bunch of Third World kids, and bam! - cheap, effective robot oil!"
Mom

"They say madness runs in our family. Some people even call me crazy! And why? Because I dared to dream....of my own race of atomic monsters! Atomic supermen with octagonal-shaped bodies!!"
Professor Farnsworth

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From Fururama: I Second That Emotion (1999):

"I wish, just once, Bender could feel exactly what I feel."
"Actually, through the miracle of science, that can be arranged!"
"Uh-oh! Is this gunna be another crazy experiment that crosses a line man was not meant to cross?"
Leela, Professor Farnsworth, Fry

"There's no such thing as mutants! That's a ridiculous urban myth!"
"Oh, don't be so sure! Many scientists believe humans really could mutate down there, due to exposure to toxic waste, radioactive runoff, and good old American faeces!"
Leela and Professor Farnsworth

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From Futurama: Mars University (1999):

"I need it shipped to my office at Mars University. It's a little experiment that may well win me the Nobel Prize!"
"In what field?"
"I don't care! They all pay the same!"
Professor Farnsworth and Leela

"Hey, Professor, whatcha teaching this semester?"
"Same thing I teach every semester: the mathematics of quantum neutrino fields. I made up the title so no student would ever dare take it!"
"'Mathematics of wonton burrito meals....' I'll be there!"
"Please, Fry, I don't know how to teach! I'm a Professor!"
Fry and Professor Farnsworth

"So, what makes Guenter talk?"
"Is he genetically engineered?"
"Oh, please! That's preposterous science fiction mumbo-jumbo! Guenter's intelligence actually lies in his electronium hat, which harnesses the power of sunspots to produce cognitive radiation!"
Leela, Fry, Professor Farnsworth

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From Futurama: Space Pilot 3000 (1999):
"Let me show you around. That’s my lab table, and this is my work stool, and over there is my intergalactic spaceship, and here’s where I keep assorted lengths of wire…."
Professor Farnsworth

"Are we going to fly through space, fighting monsters and teaching alien women to love?"
"If by that you mean transporting cargo, then yes. It’s a little home business I started to fund my research."
Fry and Professor Farnsworth

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