Segments in this Video

Jim Watson's Dream of Immortality (03:11)


Jim Watson and his sister discuss the possibility of achieving fame by discovering the secret of DNA. Watson puzzles over the secrets of creation.

Maurice Wilkins' DNA Research (02:59)

In Naples, 1951, Watson attends a conference on DNA and has a revelation. Watson's sister befriends Maurice Wilkins, and Watson approaches Wilkins, saying, "I'm one of the believers."

Rosalind Franklin's DNA Research (03:29)

Rosalind Franklin leaves Paris. At King's College in London she meets with Professor Randall. She works independently on DNA research.

Watson at Cambridge (03:53)

Watson comes highly recommended to Cambridge University to pursue his research. Watson meets Francis Crick. They discuss genes and nucleic acid and discover they both share the same passions.

King's College (03:27)

Rosalind Franklin meets Maurice Wilkins in the laboratory. Crick admits to be puzzled by Wilkins' work on the DNA project. Watson is fascinated by the crystalline nature of DNA.

Scientific Gossip (04:25)

Wilkins questions Franklin. She remains aloof. Watson and Crick discuss current scientific gossip about DNA. Wilkins wonders about Rosalind and looks forward to seeing her at a party.

Discussion About DNA (02:05)

Watson and Crick discuss DNA. They speculate about its nature and make-up. Crick suggests it may be in the shape of a helix.

Goal-Oriented Scientists (05:26)

Rosalind continues to work in Wilkins' laboratory studying DNA. Professor Randall spies on Rosalind and takes her work to Wilkins. Wilkins sees confirmation of the helical structure of DNA.

Watson, the Girl Watcher (03:24)

Watson introduces himself to two women in order to trick them into revealing where they live. He finds out Wilkins will attend dinner at the Crick's home.

Buried Treasure (02:41)

Wilkins explains how he operates his lab. Watson only admits to doing experimental work on DNA. Crick admits that he and Watson are doing work on DNA structure.

Watson and Wilkins (04:27)

Franklin gives a lecture on DNA and Watson attends. Wilkins asks Watson about Franklin. She is an enigma for the men around her. Linus Pauling wants copies of Wilkins's DNA photos.

Possible Structure of DNA (05:33)

Crick and Watson puzzle over Franklin's lecture and the possible structure of DNA and crystal bonding. Franklin and Wilkins go to Cambridge to see Watson and Crick's first model of DNA.

Failure of the DNA Model (04:09)

Watson and Crick's DNA model proves to be a failure. They are told to stop working on DNA, as it is Wilkins' project. Franklin discusses her work with Vittorio.

Watsons and Franklin's Personal Lives (04:17)

Watson continues on his laboratory work. Franklin discusses relationships with a female colleague. Watson complains that he does not have love in his life.

Helical Structure (04:30)

Watson thinks he may have proof of helical structure of DNA. Watson, Crick, and Franklin come closer to establishing the helical structure of DNA. Pauling's passport is cancelled.

B-Form of DNA and Bonding Properties (04:07)

Wilkins wants to pursue independent work on the B-form of DNA. Franklin acquiesces. Crick and Watson agree that negative-positive bonding may be the secret of DNA bonding properties.

Speculation on the Helix (04:22)

Randall speculates on the helical structure of DNA. Crick explains the attraction of purines and pyrimidines. Crick and Watson receive criticism for their theory of bonding.

Franklin's Research and Decision (04:16)

Crick and Watson struggle with the concept of paired bases. Franklin shares her research with Wilkins. Franklin’s asymmetrical structure of DNA disputes Crick’s helical structure.

Rosalind Franklin's Plans (04:41)

Peter Pauling joins Watson and Crick. They ask questions about Linus Pauling's work. Franklin discusses her work with Vittorio. She ponders her feelings about leaving her DNA work to Wilkins.

Threat of Linus Pauling (04:32)

Watson and Crick fear that Linus Pauling will beat them to a discovery of the true structure of DNA. Pauling's model has three chains, a fact that thrills Watson and Crick because it is a failed model.

Collaboration and Conflict (03:06)

Watson presents Pauling's work to Franklin. They both agree his work makes no sense. Watson wants to collaborate with Franklin. She throws Watson out of the laboratory.

New Approach to a DNA Model (01:49)

Watson describes the helix photo to Crick. Crick and Watson receive permission to build a new model of DNA.

DNA Model Progresses (03:05)

Franklin gets closer to proving the helical structure of DNA. Watson and Crick continue their model-building. Wilkins waits for Franklin to leave before he pursues his own work.

Crick's Discovery About DNA (02:34)

Crick and Watson read Franklin's work. They see something in the research that Franklin does not see. Crick sees that the two chains run in opposite directions. Crick rebuilds the model.

Pairing the Bases (02:49)

Watson and Crick struggle to determine the bonding of the bases. Franklin continues her work and concludes that a double helix is the key. A colleague's suggestion spurs Watson on.

Cracking the DNA Code (02:32)

Watson and Crick unlock the secret of pair bonding, thereby cracking the DNA code. At the same time, Franklin nears the end of her stay at King's College.

Double Helix Model (03:11)

Crick and Watson see the beauty of their model of the secret of life. They can see that the simplest and most beautiful shape causes life to replicate itself.

Nobel Prize for DNA Research (06:04)

Watson and Crick offer Wilkins the opportunity to share in the glory. Franklin admits she did not see the links. Watson, Crick, and Wilkins receive the Nobel Prize in 1962.

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Double Helix

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
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3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



This fast-paced dramatization starring well-known actor Jeff Goldblum is about the race to solve one of the greatest mysteries of 20th-century science—the structure of DNA. It is the story of the diligent research, creative analysis, and perseverance of James Watson and Francis Crick that led to the discovery. With the help of their colleague, Maurice Wilkins, they also earned the 1962 Nobel Prize. Students of biology and genetics will benefit from the process of problem solving used to identify the structure of DNA, as well as the clear, concise summary of research evidence. A BBCW Production. (108 minutes)

Length: 108 minutes

Item#: BVL7453

ISBN: 978-1-4213-6617-3

Copyright date: ©1987

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

"A fascinating look into the reality of the scientific research process."—School Library Journal

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.