Movies with Rube Goldberg Machines in them.
November 21, 2006 9:46 PM   Subscribe

What feature length films have Rube Goldberg machines in them? Can you think of movies that have scenes with machines/devices that are either rube goldberg machines or rube goldberg-esque?
posted by allthewhile to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
posted by weston at 9:53 PM on November 21, 2006

The only one that comes to mind for me right now is the obvious one - Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. But others are gnawing away at the edges of my memory, so I may come back to this thread later...
posted by toddshot at 9:54 PM on November 21, 2006

There's the classic cooking-breakfast-with-contraptions scene. Back to the Future has one, as does Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
posted by Paragon at 9:58 PM on November 21, 2006

Wallace and Grommit movies.
posted by rossination at 10:02 PM on November 21, 2006

Various evil-doer's machine in the James Bond films? In particular machines designed to kill Bond.
posted by orthogonality at 10:03 PM on November 21, 2006

posted by Bookhouse at 10:06 PM on November 21, 2006

Is there one in that movie Young Einstein?
posted by allthewhile at 10:06 PM on November 21, 2006

Batteries Not Included, little flying machines making repairs on the building and each other.
posted by Freedomboy at 10:08 PM on November 21, 2006

I seem to recall the dad (Rick Moranis) in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids having lots of breakfast-gadgets like Paragon mentioned.
posted by djb at 10:09 PM on November 21, 2006

Apparently the "Breakfast Machine" is also in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - there are also lots of other references at Wikipedia. I can't vouch for their accuracy, but they seem to tie in with the other answers here.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 10:20 PM on November 21, 2006

Waiting has one, but you only see it on the special features disc.
posted by davey_darling at 10:25 PM on November 21, 2006

posted by Pollomacho at 10:27 PM on November 21, 2006

Would some of the ancient traps in Raiders of the Lost Ark qualify? In particular, the one that starts the giant boulder rolling while the door lowers to seal the entrance?

There could be many examples from the Egyptian mummy / tomb raider genre.
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:28 PM on November 21, 2006

The Goonies
posted by cacahuete at 10:28 PM on November 21, 2006

One of the Back to the Future movies opened with a rube goldberg device, possibly the first.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:41 PM on November 21, 2006

The Way Things Go defines the genre.
posted by phrontist at 10:44 PM on November 21, 2006

Some of the deaths in Final Destination reminded me of Rube Goldberg machines...
posted by shanevsevil at 10:52 PM on November 21, 2006

Keyword: Rube Goldberg @ IMDB
posted by Rhomboid at 10:56 PM on November 21, 2006

Yeah, the Final Destination "trilogy" all have long, complicated series of events that result in death. From memory, number two has two scenes the most Rube Goldberg-esque (I also think it's the best of the three).
posted by krisjohn at 11:09 PM on November 21, 2006

The life drain machine in The Princess Bride touches on being RubeGoldbergest.
posted by Mitheral at 11:14 PM on November 21, 2006

'Delicatessen' has several scenes of a woman who tries to kill herself with Rube Goldberg machines. The whole film is RG-esque. 'City of Lost Children' (same director) also features a RG machine at some point.

Jacques Tati's films are also often RG-esque.
posted by beniamino at 11:51 PM on November 21, 2006

Home Alone! Various burglar torture devices. Remember Macaulay Culkin as a child? Still inspires abstinence when rational thought can't corral my testicles.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 11:52 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

Several of the kid's traps in the Home Alone movies could qualify.
posted by Robot Johnny at 11:52 PM on November 21, 2006

I believe there was an X-Files episode in one of the later seasons called Goldberg Variations that had a device in it.
posted by stray at 12:06 AM on November 22, 2006

There's a Family Guy episode with one, but I can't find a clip on YouTube. I think it ends up shooting him in the arm or something.
posted by concrete at 12:16 AM on November 22, 2006

Here are ones that I seem to remember, but can't be certain:
- Darkman? haven't seen it in ages but I think there's a small Rube Goldberg machine as ignition for a bomb.
- Real Genius has some elements of this in backgrounds and pan shots.
- Around the World in 80 Days, 2004?
- Hudson Hawk?

Some Buster Keaton shorts have mechanical sequences -- I'm thinking especially of The Electric House. Not strictly Rube Goldberg machines, but goofy gadgets.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:26 AM on November 22, 2006

Matthew Modine's character in Married To The Mob had some kind of whacky breakfast-and-getting-dressed machine.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 12:30 AM on November 22, 2006

The Inventor's early cookie-making machines in Edward Scissorhands qualify as -esque :)
posted by -harlequin- at 12:52 AM on November 22, 2006

The thief and the cobbler. There was a post about it a little while ago. 52489. You can get a link to the torrent in that thread.
posted by JackarypQQ at 1:18 AM on November 22, 2006

stray is thinking of the X-Files episode "The Goldberg Variation", which is a great episode (and even features on Wikipedia's Rube Goldberg Machine page -- a decent source of answers to this question, btw), but not a feature length film
posted by krisjohn at 2:23 AM on November 22, 2006

While not really rude-goldbergy in any way - the opening credits of "Lord of War" may be interest to you. They follow the path of a bullet from its creation to its inevitable insertion in a young "freedom fighter's" head.
posted by jaded at 3:53 AM on November 22, 2006

Did Wild Wild West have some? I didn't watch it, but the bits I couldn't avoid seeing looked like it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:05 AM on November 22, 2006

Ahem. The Money Pit.
posted by adipocere at 5:35 AM on November 22, 2006

I have a vague memory of Dennis Hopper making one in Speed to blow something up.
posted by jvilter at 6:33 AM on November 22, 2006

Both Willy Wonka movies obviously.
posted by JJ86 at 7:20 AM on November 22, 2006

Robots, an animated feature length, has a really cool sequence where a RG machine serves as the public transportation system of a city.
posted by jamaro at 7:22 AM on November 22, 2006

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