Movie clips for teaching; what’s yours?

I like to use movies to illustrate points in my teaching. It breaks up the class introduces a new mode of interaction but above all stimulates imagination.

Here are some of my favourites and I wonder what yours is?

Carry On Doctor, (1969): Jim Dale attempts to give an injection but fluffs it because of an unseen action by Frankie Howerd. Question; is jim-daleJim Dale competent or not at I.M. injection?


Minority Report, (2002): Precog Agatha asks, “Is this now?” A useful question when talking about phenomenology. This has turned up again in 2016 in the TV show Westworld. No spoilers here, but Delores asks William, “Is this now?” after a series of disorientating experiences

12 Angry Men (1957): Useful for a variety of purposes but I like the scene where members of the jury are arguing that the evidence is compelling. Henry Fonda produces a knife that casts doubt on the evidence. Useful for illustrating the importance of criticality and the pitfalls of acceptance.

Carry On Nurse, (1959): Hattie Jacques is not happy with the state of the ward and at being criticised by a doctor. She yells at the ward sister, who yells at the staff nurse, who yells at the student nurse, who yells at the orderly who in turn has nowhere to go. Organisational behaviour at its finest and a great example of cascading.

The Help, (2011): My thanks to Prof Joanne Hughes for this one. The Help is a great movie for showing students how qualitative research can be conducted. Its a great example of narrative research being conducted in a natural setting and of course, the ethics can be mind boggling.

Apollo 13, (2002): The CO2 levels are rising and the team have to figure out how to insert a square peg into a round hole. A great scene to illustrate problem solving, team work and creativity. The rest of the movie too has many nuggets in it for a variety of situations.

Inception, (2010): There’s a clip in here where Leonardo DiCaprio explains to Ken Watanabe what inception is and to me it sounds like a great way of explaining teaching.


Saving Private Ryan, (1998): You could probably extract messages from the entire film; theres so much in here about leadership and resilience and ethics. One of my favourite clips is when each member of the squad has some advice to give the rookie until the last man tells him to be careful he doesn’t step in the bulls**t. Everyone has a point of view.






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