I was sitting in my dentist’s chair the other day and it occurred to me that I could think of only two films (The Little Shop of Horrors, and The In-Laws) which featured dentists as main characters. And then I began to wonder if there were any occupations that had never had a featured character in a movie. I couldn’t think of any. Can you?
You left out Marathon Man
Maybe auto mechanics? They turn up to move the plot along, but I don’t know of any movies that featured one prominently.
Wasn’t the main character in The Whole Nine Yards a dentist too?
Steve Martin played a dentist again in Novocaine, and there’s the obvious The Secret Lives of Dentists.
I don’t think I’ve seen a movie with an animator as a character. Hell, game testers just got a movie, where’s mine?
Insurance underwriters. I’m sure there’s a rich vein of drama to be mined there, too, but Hollywood is too blind to see it.
The animator in The Holy Grail had a small, but pivotal role.
“Cool World” or was he just a cartoonist?
And Cusack’s character in “One Crazy Summer” is also an aspiring animator/cartoonist.
Son of The Mask. Yes, it was one of the worst movies ever made, but the main character was an animator.
If anyone else wants to put forth an occupation, that would be great…
(Just so I’m not the only one getting shot down.)
Mechanic: Second banana in the Herbie movies was the mechanic/navigator.
Waiter. How about where a main character is a waiter?
How about an entomologist. You know, a bug doctor?
There’s Waiter, a black comedy about a guy who’s a waiter.
I also found a 1993 imdb film called The Waiter starring David Schwimmer. And there’s the recent Waitress.
Most of the occupations featured in Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. Examples: tire recycler, bus wash drain sludge emptier, mushroom farmer, scuba diving sewer obstruction remover, etc.
What about printing press operators? I worked at a magazine printer for a while. They all smoked at the presses, which gave me the willies. Think of what Bruckheimer could do with smokers and lots of flammable materials.
Sewage treatment plant operator. Although they’re called wastewater treatment plants or wastewater reclamation facilities in these more delicate days. (And I do admit that there is often more industrial wastewater than actual sewage coming into any given plant on any given day.)
You could have one character that is an amateur bird watcher (plants attract water birds). Or one that is trying to raise guppies in the final settling tank for sale to pet shops. (Hint - without breeding selection, guppies quickly devolve into tough, plain little fish that can’t be sold to pet shops. On the other hand they eat mosquito larvae and act as a first warning that they system is going sour. Sort of like canaries in mines.)
My Dad was more than slightly OCD, which must have been amusing to the other guys at the plant. You can also get rabbits and possums, even at city plants. (Which can only be used as a food source if you have the background and the knack.)
There’s the tension between the older guys who saw it as blue collar and the newer level of automation, lab work, and computer useage. And the tension between the fact that it’s now popular as ‘green’, while still being unrelievably ‘brown’. There’s City budgeting. Maintenance vs expansion. Grants and the potential for graft. Hey, there are possibilities, here.
There is the 1987 movie Slam Dance, directed by Wayne Wang, with Virginia Madsen, Tom Hulce, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Harry Dean Stanton - the main character’s profession (cartoonist) is woven into the plot.
I don’t know what he did specifically, but Art Carney’s character Ed Norton on the The Honeymooners was a sewer worker of some sort.
Thought of another one: Myth buster.
Was Robin Williams a Pharmacist in that creepy movie, or just a clerk at a pharmacy that developed pictures?
That would be a pretty widely-practiced profession without ever having much of a movie role.