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  • The Andromeda Strain on Random Pretty Accurate Movies About Pandemics

    (#3) The Andromeda Strain

    • Paula Kelly, David Wayne, Arthur Hill, Eric Christmas, James Olson, Kate Reid, Ramon Bieri, Peter Hobbs, Frances Reid, George Mitchell, Kermit Murdock, Peter Helm, Joe Di Reda, Carl Reindel, Mark Jenkins

    What It Gets Right: For being based off of a 1969 sci-fi thriller by Michael Crichton, 1971's The Andromeda Strain gets a lot of things right when it comes to biosafety with unknown viruses. According to SciFi Addicts, the elite crew studying an extraterrestrial virus that has wiped out an entire town didn't spare any expense when it came to safety. In fact, the scientists' facilities in the film have all the bells and whistles of a Biosafety Level 4 facility. This is the most secure level of working conditions, as it is designed for scientists studying agents or viruses that are highly infectious, deadly, and have no known therapies or vaccines.

    Fans of the film also note that it pays attention to smaller, scientific details - like the fact lasers aren't visible unless there is a gas in the air.

    Where It Falls Short: The alien contagion is not only able to mutate, but it can also absorb mass, synthetic materials, and energy itself. This makes the scientists in the film fear that even if they had to nuke their facilities in the case of an outbreak, it would only strengthen the agent. Since the Andromeda Strain is technically extraterrestrial, however, it is easy to see why the filmmakers took some creative license with its abilities. Even scientists of the time worried about the power of extraterrestrial agents.

    As microbiologist Joshua Lederberg told Popular Mechanics in 1962, "The return of such samples to Earth exposes us to a hazard of contamination by foreign organisms... [including] the introduction of a new disease which would imperil human life."

  • I Am Legend on Random Pretty Accurate Movies About Pandemics

    (#11) I Am Legend

    • Will Smith, Emma Thompson, Salli Richardson, Willow Smith, Alice Braga, Dash Mihok, Marin Ireland, April Grace, Charlie Tahan, Darrell Foster, James Michael McCauley

    What It Gets Right: Virologist Robert Neville (Will Smith) has a heavy conscience. The scientist initially helps create a mutated measles virus that acts as a cure for cancer. Unfortunately, the virus mutates, quickly becomes airborne, and turns humans into vampire-esque mutants, leaving Neville one of the few immune to the disease.

    This method of preventing cancer isn't a sci-fi creation. Virologist and cancer biologist Patrick Lee has tested the reovirus as a form of cancer therapy. When combined with other forms of therapy, like the use of an ATM inhibitor, the method offers promising results. 

    Where It Falls Short: "I thought the movie was very entertaining but the scenario it presents is highly unlikely, almost impossible," Lee told Science Daily. And other scientists agree. Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, virologist and director of the Laboratory for Immunopathogenesis and Infectious Diseases at Columbia University Medical Center, says that viruses aren't capable of mutating as shown in the film.

    "Viruses don't mutate and become airborne. They typically fall into a couple of different categories - respiratory, STDs, and vector-borne like insects, ticks and mosquitoes. They don't change from tick-borne to pneumonic. They just don't do that," Lipkin told Popular Mechanics.

  • Flu on Random Pretty Accurate Movies About Pandemics

    (#12) Flu

    • Soo Ae, Jang Hyuk, Cha In-pyo, Yu Hae-jin, Kim Ki-hyeon, Ma Dong-Seok, Lee Hee-joon, Park Hyo-joo, Park Min-ha, Lee Sang-yeob, Kahlid Elijah Tapia, Park Jung-Min, Tom Bauer, Boris Stout, Kim Hyung-seok, Choi Byung-mo, Khoi Dao, Choi Jung-hyun, Yang Myung-heon, Lee Seung-joon, Andrew William Brand, Noh Gi-hong, Lee Dong-jin, Wesley Marshall, Lee Sang-hyung, Wayne W. Clark, Kim Moon-soo, Jo Hwi-joon, Ham Jin-seong, Son So-yeong, Lee Young-soo

    What It Gets Right: Kim Sung-su's South Korean film Flu does what most pandemic movies do well: examine the collapse and chaos of society as a lethal, airborne virus wreaks havoc only miles away from a large city, where it can quickly spread. The virus in question, H5N1, AKA bird flu, takes the lives of the infected within 36 hours.

    In real life, this strain of the flu is particularly lethal. Of the 600 people infected worldwide, 60% have succumbed to the virus. 

    Where It Falls Short: Despite its high mortality rate, the H5N1 strain found in nature doesn't pass from mammal to mammal. Rather, people diagnosed with the deadly flu directly interacted with infected birds. Scientists did create a H5N1 strain that is contagious between humans to study it, but it is under lock and key at laboratories.

    If this new strain of bird flu were to start infecting a human population, it wouldn't be a freak occurrence like in Flu.

  • 28 Weeks Later on Random Pretty Accurate Movies About Pandemics

    (#7) 28 Weeks Later

    • Rose Byrne, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner, Imogen Poots, Robert Carlyle, Catherine McCormack, Harold Perrineau, Emily Beecham, Raymond Waring, Garfield Morgan, Tommy Gunn, James Fiddy, João Costa Menezes, Jude Poyer, Amanda Walker, Beans Balawi, Dean Alexandrou, Didier Dell Benjamin, Mackintosh Muggleton, Tristan Tait, Philip Bulcock, Daniel Jefferson, Andrew Byron, William Meredith, Debbie Kurup, Roderic Culver, Selina Lo, Shahid Ahmed, Amanda Lawrence, Ed Coleman, Karen Meagher, Stewart Alexander, Gareth Clarke, Chris Ryman, Jane Osborn, Tom Bodell, Matt Reeves, Meghan Popiel, Kish Sharma, Drew Rhys-Williams, Jane Thorne, Maeve Malley-Ryan, Simon Delaney, Sarah Finigan, Joseph Ripley, Thomas Garvey

    What It Gets Right: In 28 Days Later, audiences are introduced to the rage virus, a highly contagious, lethal disease that infects within 20 seconds of contact. In the sequel, 28 Weeks Later, the British are dealing with the aftermath of the initial infection. American armies come in and set up a "Green Zone" where there are no infected people.

    A woman returns from the Red Zone and seems to be okay - but she is an asymptomatic carrier of the rage virus. Asymptomatic carriers - or people who have a virus but show no symptoms - are a very real threat when it comes to the spread of infectious diseases.

    Where It Falls Short: As critics noted with the first film, the rage virus itself is impossible, as no virus is able to replicate so quickly that it produces symptoms in 20 seconds. There are also some moments when audiences really have to suspend their disbelief, like when two children are able to leave the military-guarded Green Zone and return to the Red Zone without detection. 

  • 80,000 Suspects on Random Pretty Accurate Movies About Pandemics

    (#5) 80,000 Suspects

    • Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Cyril Cusack, Yolande Donlan

    What It Gets Right: In this 1963 British cult classic, Dr. Steven Monks (Richard Johnson) makes his way to the town of Bath, where he discovers a smallpox outbreak. In an effort to reduce panic and contain the disease, Monks goes through a rigorous and realistic procedure to eliminate possible patients and quarantine those infected. 

    Where It Falls Short: 80,000 Suspects melds together the medical thriller and romantic drama genres, which led to some creative license with the viral spread. In order to heighten the drama, the contagious smallpox manages to take both Monk's wife, Julia (Claire Bloom), and his extramarital lover, Ruth Preston (Yolande Donlan), but Monks himself is completely okay. While it is possible he could have avoided the infection - the virus isn't contagious until the fever starts - the virus's targets feel more poetic than realistic.

  • And the Band Played On on Random Pretty Accurate Movies About Pandemics

    (#8) And the Band Played On

    • Ian McKellen, Steve Martin, Richard Gere, Phil Collins, Lily Tomlin, Anjelica Huston, Alan Alda, Richard Jenkins, Matthew Modine, B. D. Wong, Swoosie Kurtz, Glenne Headly, Donal Logue, Saul Rubinek, Richard Masur, Tchéky Karyo, Bud Cort, Patrick Bauchau, Dakin Matthews, Nathalie Baye, Charles Martin Smith, Ronald Guttman, Christian Clemenson, David Dukes, Ken Jenkins, David Clennon, Jeffrey Nordling, Stephen Spinella, David Marshall Grant, Lawrence Monoson, Alex Courtney

    What It Gets Right: San Francisco Chronicle journalist Randy Shilts wrote his fact-dense book And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic at the height of the AIDS epidemic in 1987. The 1993 HBO film adaptation attempts to capture the real-life complexity surrounding the outbreak, from political infighting to disbelief and denial in the communities the virus affected most. The film is full of accurate statistics and facts of the disease's initial toll and its path of spread. 

    Where It Falls Short: According to the actual scientists who worked to pinpoint the mysterious HIV and its transmission methods, the film adaptation takes a lot of creative license when it comes to the who's who of the scientific community. The film portrays Robert C. Gallo (Alan Alda), the National Cancer Institute researcher who co-discovered the malicious virus, as a straight Hollywood supervillain. Many HIV activists felt that the caricaturization of the researchers muddled any real data or science the movie conveys. 

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About This Tool

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, we believed that people all over the world have suffered a great deal, both economically and culturally. Throughout the entire human history, humans have been fighting pandemics. A virus with only a few thousand ATCGs will bring serious pandemics. Some good movies about infectious diseases reflect real historical events. 

We will surely be able to overcome this epidemic and pay the highest tribute to all medical staff. You could find random 12 pretty accurate movies about pandemics, the random tool also shows more details about each movie, such as directors, actors, release year, and more. You will be able to search for other interesting things with the tool.

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