Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest 1959 staring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. This is the only movie I know of where anyone actually says they are an industrial designer, Eva Marie Saint tells Cary grant she is an industrial designer – but in reality she is a spy.
The Island 2005 staring Ewan McGregor as a cloned industrial designer – he never actually states that he is an industrial designer but it is inferred from the fact that he is a designer, from what he designs and from the tools of an industrial designer present in his home / studio – I have often wished I had a clone in the office to provide another designer that would do things as I would do them.
Jacques Tati in his classic Traffic 1971 – Tati plays the designer of a camping car and its exhibition at a European motor-show. We to see him sketching in his studio off of the factory floor where the exhibition is being built and interacting with sales staff and builders of the car and exhibition and the tribulations of installing a motor-show exhibition. Having designed camping vehicles and designed and installed motor-shows I can really relate to this one. Tati’s Mon Oncle 1958 is also a wry commentary on modernist design.
Tucker: The Man and His Dream 1988 – Not Preston Tucker but Industrial Designer Alex Tremulis who designed the body work for the Tucker 48, in the movie he is portrayed as Chief Designer; actually Philip Egan was Chief Designer be he isn’t in the film – which is a good story based on fact rather than particularly accurate.
Whist not a movie but a popular television series The Good Life 1975 – 78 stared Richard Briers as Tom Good. Disgusted with his successful job designing plastic toys, such as his infamously successful plastic hippo; to go in cereal packets – he quits his job on his 4oth birthday to live a self-sufficient life style turning his middle class suburban home into a farm. Whilst referred to as a lead draftsman he is clearly designing plastic stuff – a fair description of much industrial design.
Not industrial design but another under represented design specialisation in Flood-tide 1949 staring Gordon Jackson as an aspiring yacht / ship designer – the movie has some spectacular settings in the massive tow tank facility and drafting hall of the old Harland and Wolff shipyards.