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Galileo and the Movies

Abstract

We analyze the character of Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), one of the most famous scientists of all time, as portrayed in three significant movies: Luigi Maggi’s Galileo Galilei (1909), Liliana Cavani’s Galileo (1968), and Joseph Losey’s Galileo (1975), the last one of which was based upon Bertolt Brecht’s drama, Das Leben des Galilei (1947). We investigate the relationships between the main characteristics of these fictional Galileos and the most important twentieth-century Galilean historiographic models. We also analyze the veracity of the plots of these three movies and the role that historical and scientific consultants played in producing them. We conclude that connections between these three movies and Galilean historiographic models are far from evident, that other factors deeply influenced the representation of Galileo on the screen.
  • Content Type Journal Article
  • DOI 10.1007/s00016-010-0027-4
  • Authors
    • Cristina Olivotto, Università degli Studi di Milano Dipartimento di Fisica Via Brera 28 20121 Milan Italy
    • Antonella Testa, Università degli Studi di Milano Dipartimento di Fisica Via Brera 28 20121 Milan Italy

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