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Just saw the movie Hidden Figures.

I'm an engineer, and I'm also a NASA/space nerd. I've read more than 40 books on the mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. I've met and discussed topics with two of the authors and I've met four astronauts... drank a few beers with one on several occasions. Yeah, I'm a nerd.

The movie was entertaining, but also provided a horribly inaccurate portrayal of technical aspects of mission control and the interactions that controllers would have had with the 'computers' and even the astronauts themselves. The movie would have you think that mission control was located in Langley. Uhhh.... The first Mercury missions were controlled by folks sitting in Cape Canaveral. Not Langley.:rolleyes:

Shepard, Grissom, and Glenn were launched during the course of the movie, but we never saw Chris Kraft or Gene Kranz.... not even once?:mad2:

Several of the scenes were also pathetically bad.... obvious third grade lessons - explaining simple flight dynamics principles to the movie going audience. Many scenes are also obvious attempts to dazzle the audience with mathematics vocabulary lessons in Euler and Euclidian geometry terms.

I guess the point of the movie is to explain that black women played a large part in the success of the early space program. It does that well. It also smacks you in the face with a lot of the racism that existed in the early 1960's.... especially in the white male, white shirt, black tie, dominated engineering world. I'm sure it existed and I appreciate the crap that these women had to endure during the course of their careers. I just wish the movie had done a better job of being a little more historically and technically correct with the NASA details.
 

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hello
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Despite it's many flaws that I agree with as you pointed out I enjoyed the movie as well. We watched a screener dvd of this film a few weeks ago.
 

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Roll Out Jeremy
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It's not perfect. But it is an important movie. One of those forgotten stories that is right under our nose. My father in law worked with them at the NASA Ames super sonic wind tunnel. The movie neglected the westward shift of the computers work force.....
 

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Roll Out Jeremy
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I found Hidden Figures and Lion to be very refreshing uplifting stories. I was pretty tired of fiction....
 

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What the Hell is going on
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I found Hidden Figures and Lion to be very refreshing uplifting stories. I was pretty tired of fiction....
Just saw this movie (I'm way behind in my movie going). While I understand that the movie had to dumb down some of the science some of the scenes were face palm worthy. For example, the one lady fixing the HAL 9000 computer because of a misplaced alligator clip. It was enjoyable in a paint-by-numbers sort of way.
 

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while I appreciate the showcasing of women of color and their contributions to the space race, will probably pass on watching this one...

don't like my science diluted and dumbed down.
 

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Quiet, daddy's drinking
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while I appreciate the showcasing of women of color and their contributions to the space race, will probably pass on watching this one...

don't like my science diluted and dumbed down.
I understand your issue, it's why I don't like to watch lawyer movies. But sometimes you just have to let it go.
 

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I understand your issue, it's why I don't like to watch lawyer movies. But sometimes you just have to let it go.
I can tolerate a certain amount of cinematic license, but some screenwriters take the level of dialogue for anything even remotely complicated down to 2nd grader levels of comprehension...

yeah, the average ticket buyer isn't a rocket scientist, but the trailers for Hidden Figures made me cringe...the leading characters seemed downright cartoonish.

might be wrong about the film, but based on what I've seen and read, it would probably grind my gears to sit thru it...
 

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Devoid of all flim-flam
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A nice, sweet film. Maybe a bit simplistic, but it gave us loving portraits of three fine women who deserve to be better known. And wasn't it great to watch the Kevin Costner character warm up just a little bit as the film progressed? Yeah, my slide rule wanted to curl itself up onto a circular slide rule a couple moments along the way, but that's Hollywood for ya.
 

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Master debator.
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I don't think the love interest did anything for the movie, maybe it was just me.
 

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I just wish the movie had done a better job of being a little more historically and technically correct with the NASA details.
Curious as to your take on the historical accuracy of The Right Stuff (my favorite movie of all time). I liked Hidden Figures. Good, not great, worth seeing.
 

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Curious as to your take on the historical accuracy of The Right Stuff (my favorite movie of all time). I liked Hidden Figures. Good, not great, worth seeing.
Funny you mention The Right Stuff. The scene of the tracking station in the Australian Outback was actually filmed on Edwards Air Force Base in California. Something I learned when I moved to the area.

Being a car guy, I noticed there was a parking lot scence in Hidden Figures that had a late 60's or early 70's Mercedes-Benz amongst the vehicles of the period. There must have been a NASA engineer experimenting with time travel :)
 

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I enjoyed the movie. I figure it was a movie and they want to sell popcorn so they take liberties. If it was a documentary I would expect more accuracy and waited for it to be on netflick. I am glad to have seen it however.
 

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Just saw it yesterday. Yeah, I'm not exactly an early adopter of pop culture. Thanks to this thread I was ready for the "science", although it did really bug me when they implied their tiny-a****d control room in Langley was from where there was voice contact to John Glenn. And moving an oscilloscope probe will hardly ever fix anything, since it's supposed to present just about zero loading. Moreover, how does reading a book on Fortran help you understand a maze of identically-colored wire wrap?

Even though the early 60's details were good, I noticed a couple of movie bloopers. For one, most of the eyeglasses had the iridescence of an anti-reflect coating. Outside of maybe camera lenses, I doubt such a thing was available 50 years ago. Of course, it was important to have lots of geeky glasses in the movie, and maybe that was the only way to make them work under movie lighting. For another, in the scene where Katherine talks to her daughters in the bedroom, one girl's hands keep changing position with camera angle. It seems they filmed the camera shots at two different times and she didn't put her hands in the same place.

Funny, I never quite realized that Glenn was scheduled for 7 orbits and not just 3. So the movie corrected ME on one big item. And hey, I left the theater feeling good, which was the point, I guess.
 
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