Smithsonian In Popular Culture

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    Displaying 36 records

    The Day the Earth Stood Still Year: 1951Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: Sci-FiSynopsis: Klaatu, an alien from a planet 250 million miles away comes to Earth to warn its people that future of their planet is at stake. The film is set in Washington, DC. Relationship to the Smithsonian: The opening scene of the film includes a spaceship flying over the Smithsonian Castle. People are filmed standing in front of the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building and the National Museum of Natural History watching the spaceship land on the Ellipse.  
    Earth vs. The Flying SaucersYear: 1956Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: Sci-FiSynopsis: Released one year before the launch of Sputnik, this film depicts UFOs invading Earth on a quest of world domination. Two scientists, a married couple, must work on missiles to help save Earth from flying saucers.Relationship to the Smithsonian: They filmed scenes that featured The Smithsonian Castle. The trailer included scenes of flying saucers flying through the towers of the Smithsonian Castle.  
    Orville and WilburYear: 1972Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: DramaSynopsis: The film depicts the early efforts of the Wright Brothers and exploring the dynamics of thier family life in Dayton, Ohio. Relationship to the Smithsonian: The film follows the hardships the brothers endure as they contest the establised "Science of the Smithsonian Society."  
    The FrontYear: 1976Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: DramaSynopsis: In 1953, a cashier poses as a writer for blacklisted talents to submit their work through, but the injustice around him pushes him to take a stand.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY  
    The RescuersYear: 1977Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: Animated, FamilySynopsis: An animated film where two heroic mice help save a kidnapped girl and the theft of world’s largest diamond.Relationship to the Smithsonian: At the end of the film, the diamond is sent to the Smithsonian “Institute.”  
    CruisingYear: 1980Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: DramaSynopsis: A police detective goes undercover in the underground S&M gay subculture of New York City to catch a serial killer who is preying on gay men.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY  
    The French Lieutenant’s WomanYear: 1981Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: DramaSynopsis: Based on a novel of the same name, film stars Anna and Mike are cast in a period piece drama that explores the relationship of Charles Smithson, a Victorian gentleman and paleontologist, and Sarah Woodruff. The lines of reality and fiction begin to blur when the actors begin an off-camera affair.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The role of Charles Smithson is loosely based on James Smithson, founding donor of the Smithsonian.  
    First Monday in OctoberYear: 1981Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: DramaSynopsis: The first woman on the Supreme Court is a conservative who both debates and dates a liberal Justice.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed outside the Smithsonian Castle and Arts and Industries Building. The Rotunda of the Arts and Industries Building was used as a movie set.  
    ManhunterYear: 1986Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: HorrorSynopsis: FBI profiler Will Graham comes out of retirement to investigate a serial killer called the “tooth fairy.” He enlists the help of imprisoned serial hiller and cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, whom he captured.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The movie was not filmed at the Smithsonian, but it was set there.  
    Working Girl Year: 1988Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ComedySynopsis: When a secretary's idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss' job.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY  
    Ghostbusters IIYear: 1989Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: Action, ComedySynopsis: After saving New York City from a ghost attack, the Ghostbusters -- a team of spirit exterminators -- is disbanded for demolishing parts of the city during the battle. But when Ghostbuster Peter Venkman learns that spirits have taken an interest in his son, the men launch a rogue ghost-chasing mission.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Dana Barrett works as an art restorer at an art museum that was filmed at the National Museum of the American Indian--New York.  
    Chances AreYear: 1989Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: RomanceSynopsis: Corinne Jeffries loses her husband on their first anniversary. Years later her daughter makes a friend who turns out to be her husband reincarnated.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Corine Jeffries is a museum curator of the First Ladies Collection at the National Museum of American History. Several scenes were filmed with the First Ladies Collection. There are also several shots that show the exterior of the Smithsonian Castle and the Enid Haupt Garden.  
    The Silence of the LambsYear: 1991Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: HorrorSynopsis: An Academy Award winning film where FBI Agent Clarice Starling investigates a serial killer known as Buffalo Bill. She must turn to Hannibal Lecter – a serial killer known for eating his victims – to save a Congresswoman’s daughter.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The movie was not filmed at the Smithsonian, but it was set there. A Smithsonian entomologist identifies the moth found in the victims.  
    Batman ForeverYear: 1995Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ActionSynopsis: Batman faces off against two foes: District Attorney Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face, and the Riddler, a disgruntled ex-Wayne Enterprises inventor seeking revenge against his former employer by unleashing his brain-sucking weapon on Gotham City's residents. As the caped crusader also deals with tortured memories of his parents' murder, he has a new romance, with psychologist Chase MeridianRelationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY - the set of Riddler's party  
    Star Trek: First ContactYear: 1996Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: Sci-FiSynopsis: Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise must face a Borg threat to save the birth of the Federation.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Caption Picard mentions the Smithsonian in a line of dialogue.  
    AmistadYear: 1997Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: DramaSynopsis: Africans, stolen from their home, begin a mutiny aboard the slave ship Amistad traveling in 1839. They are taken captive and tired for murder. However, abolitionist lawyer, Roger Sherman Baldwin, defends them arguing they are citizens of a different country.Relationship to the Smithsonian: John Quincy Adams is shown sleeping through the congressional debate about James Smithson’s bequest.  
    Big DaddyYear: 1999Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ComedySynopsis: Sonny Koufax has spent his whole life avoiding responsibility. But when his girlfriend dumps him, he's got to find a way to prove he's ready to grow up. In a desperate effort, Sonny adopts 5-year-old Julian to impress her.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY; used as set of the Social Services building.  
    Autumn in New YorkYear: 2000Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: DramaSynopsis: Autumn in New York follows the exploits of Will Keane, a New York restaurateur, infamous verging-on-50 playboy, master of the no-commitment until he runs into an unexpected dead end when he meets Charlotte Fielding. Charlotte is half Will's age. It is a season long encounter that will shatter Will's preconceptsions. Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY  
    The Royal TenenbaumsYear: 2001Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ComedySynopsis: Royal Tenenbaum and his wife Etheline had three children and then they separated. All three children are extraordinary --- all geniuses. Virtually all memory of the brilliance of the young Tenenbaums was subsequently erased by two decades of betrayal, failure, and disaster. "The Royal Tenenbaums" is the story of the family's sudden, unexpected reunion.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY; used as the set of the City Public Archives  
    Atlantis: The Lost EmpireYear: 2001Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: Animated, FamilySynopsis: An animated film about a young historian named Milo Thatch and his quest to find the lost city of Atlantis. Thatch believes he has the key to find Atlantis. After assembling an expedition team to find the lost city, adventure begins.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The opening scene shows Milo’s museum, which is a drawing of the Smithsonian Castle.  
    Analyze ThatYear: 2002Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ComedySynopsis: Mobster Paul Vitti is released into Dr. Ben Sobol's care, where only more chaos ensues.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY  
    How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Year: 2003Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: Romance, ComedySynopsis: Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive and ladies' man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY  
    National TreasureYear: 2004Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ActionSynopsis: After listening to family stories of treasure hidden by freemasons during the American Revolution, Ben Gates hunts for hidden world’s greatest treasure. With the help of an archivist and computer whiz, Gates must find the artifacts before treasure hunters sell it to the highest bidder.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Ben Gates donates some of the artifacts to the Smithsonian.  
    Inside Man Year: 2006Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ActionSynopsis: A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY  
    Get SmartYear: 2008Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ComedySynopsis: Maxwell Smart, CONTROL Agent 86, is sent on his first assignment as a field agent to stop a terrorist group called KAOS with more experienced Agent 99.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Includes exterior shots of the Smithsonian. The headquarters of CONTROL are located inside of the National Museum of Natural History. The movie includes an interior scene of Max walking through the Rotunda of the National Museum of Natural History.  
    Bottle ShockYear: 2008Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: Comedy, DramaSynopsis: In 1976, sommelier Steven Spurrier travels to Napa Valley, California to find wines for a contest called “Judgement of Paris.” The owner of a vineyard, Chateau Montelena, does not want to participate but his headstrong son has something else in mind.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The end of the movie explains the winning chardonnay was sent to be displayed at the National Museum of American History.  
    Julie and JuliaYear: 2009Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ComedySynopsis: Blogger Julie Powell’s and chef Julia Child’s life stories intertwine while Powell attempts to cook all of the recipe’s in Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Julie Powell visits Julia Child’s kitchen at the National Museum Julie Powell visits Julia Child’s kitchen at the National Museum of American History and leaves a bar of butter to honor Child’s love of butter.  
    Night at the Museum: Battle of the SmithsonianYear: 2009Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ActionSynopsis: In the sequel to Night at the Museum, Security guard Larry Daley heads to Washington, DC to find artifacts from his museum accidentally sent to the Smithsonian Institution.Relationship to the Smithsonian: This is the first time SI is allowed it’s name to be in the title of a feature film. They filmed scenes at the Castle, NMNH, and NASM. Film uses SI collections.  
    Transformers: Revenge of the FallenYear: 2009Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ActionSynopsis: In this sequel to the blockbuster film Transformers, the Autobots once again fight the Decepticons in a battle for the universe.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The Udvar-Hazy center’s SR-71 Blackbird was featured in the film as the Austobot names Jetfire.  
    Black Swan Year: 2010Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: DramaSynopsis: A committed dancer struggles to maintain her sanity after winning the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake".Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY  
    ArthurYear: 2011Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ComedySynopsis: Alcoholic billionaire playboy Arthur Bach must marry a woman he does not love, or he will be cut off from his $750,000,000 fortune. But when Arthur falls in love with a poor waitress, he must decide if he wants to choose love or money.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY  
    The Adjustment Bureau Year: 2011Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: Romance, Sci-FiSynopsis: The affair between a politician and a contemporary dancer is affected by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY  
    The Amazing Spider-ManYear: 2012Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ActionSynopsis: Teenager Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man, finds a mysterious briefcase that was his father's, he pursues a quest to solve his parents' disappearance. His search takes him to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, setting him on a collision course with Connors' alter ego, the Lizard.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Filmed at NMAI NY; used as the set of the police department  
    The Young and Prodigious T.S. SpivetYear: 2013Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: Comedy, Drama, FamilySynopsis: Based on a book called The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet: A Novel, it’s the story of young T.S. Spivet, a cartography prodigy, who is asked by the Smithsonian Institution to give a speech about his work. Unbeknownst to his parents, he takes off from Montana to deliver the speech.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The Smithsonian asks T.S. Spivet to speak at one of its museums.  
    Captain American: The Winter SoldierYear: 2014Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ActionSynopsis: Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, struggles to adapt to life in the modern world. However, when a powerful enemy arises, Captain America, along with S.H.I.E.L.D. member Falcon and Black Widow, are called into action to stop him.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Scenes were filmed outside the Smithsonian buildings on the National Mall. They also shot scenes inside the National Air and Space Museum’s Milestones of Flight gallery and the area surrounding it.  
    Wonder Woman 1984Year: 2020Creator/Author: Medium: FilmGenre: ActionSynopsis: Diana Prince works curating ancient artifacts at the National Museum of Natural History, and only performing heroic acts as Wonder Woman in disquise. Diana finds herself up against Maxwell Lord and the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agilityRelationship to the Smithsonian: Prince works for the National Museum of Natural History; a lot of the movie takes place in the “gem lab”; they have a benefit event in the “museum." Diana and Steve Trevor walk around the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture garden and into the National Air and Space Museum to see the planes.