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Einstein and Eddington (2008)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary | Drama | History  -  23 November 2008 (UK)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,566 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 1 critic

Docudrama about the development of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, and Einstein's relationship with British scientist Sir Arthur Eddington, the first physicist to experimentally justify his ideas.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Frank Dyson
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William Marston
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Tennis Player 1
Gyuri Sarossy ...
Tennis Player 2
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Sir Oliver Lodge
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Jacob Theato ...
Eduard Einstein
Callum Williams ...
Hans Einstein
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...
Lucy Briers ...
Librarian
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John Bowe ...
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Storyline

Sir Arthur Eddington is a renowned physicist at Cambridge University and an expert in the measurement of the physical world. He along with all of his colleagues are also avowed Newtonians. Sir Oliver Lodge suggests that he read a new thesis put forward by a German-Swiss scientist named Albert Einstein who is suggesting that Sir Isaac Newton may have got it wrong. The expectation is that Einstein's theories will be disproven but Eddington admits that his General Theory of Relativity has merit. These are turbulent times as England and Germany are at war and Eddington's own loyalty is called into question when, as a Quaker, he refuses to fight. In the end, Eddington develops a series of tests to either prove or disprove Einstein's theories. For his part, Einstein has his own struggles during this period: the breakdown of his marriage, his integration into the university in Berlin and his own strident pacifism that led him to oppose German militarism and the First World War. In the end, ... Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

23 November 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Einstein i Eddington  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The scene where Einstein insults the other University's scientists is supposed to be a day after the deployment of gas at the second battle of Ypres. Amongst the scientists is Fritz Haber. In actuality Haber would have not been present as he was present at the front to see the deployment of the chemicals. See more »

Quotes

Arthur Eddington: Pick up the tablecloth.
[Winnie and Frank hold up the tablecloth]
Arthur Eddington: Space. The tablecloth is space...
[Holds up a round loaf of bread]
Arthur Eddington: The sun.
[Drops it in the middle of the stretched tablecloth]
Arthur Eddington: What's happening?
Winnie Eddington: What?
Arthur Eddington: What's happening with the sun in space?
Winnie Eddington: Well, the bread is sinking into the tablecloth.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Parkinson: Episode dated 5 May 2007 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
More Hollywood than History
17 November 2012 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

The central approach is quite good: Einstein v Newton during WW1. It's the perfect setting for yet another reminder of the British/German enmity that Hollywood loves to ram down our throats. According to the plot, Einstein is given a top Berlin academic post in order to embarrass the Britons by proving Newton wrong. Whilst in England Sir Arthur Eddington is given a senior Cambridge position just in order to prove the upstart German wrong.

All the standard ingredients are there; nasty German scientists devoted to anti-personnel gas production, stiff old aristocrats interfering with progress and our two cool dudes strutting around their patches telling everyone what's what. But it's not just about giving the Krauts another bashing. Once again the Studios give us a spoon fed morality session with stereotypical bad guys looking like greasy bankers, sold out scientists and pompous officials waging senseless war for their own profit and power. (If only life was that clear cut) Meanwhile the good guys, Eddington and Einstein, are both above the mass killing. Their search for truth is a shining example of how the individual can change the world - or so Eddington tells us in a much edited final speech that could have been written by Thatcher.

The sheer banality of the script is enough to bend space itself. Max Plank makes a stage entrance so contrived that even the Cleethorpes Junior School Drama Society would be embarrassed to stage it. We are treated to Einstein the improvised clown who leaps from boats explaining relativity to knee high children. Then he becomes a disheveled dropout who goes around demanding that the German authorities stop their gas campaign. Once again Hollywood takes 21st century man and sticks him into 19th.century society and once again it doesn't work. Our Einstein is so profoundly rude and abusive to the authorities that you know exactly which century he comes from.

Of course David Tenant as Eddington is superb. Had he not been in the show I don't think I could have stuck it out and written this review. Watch this if you have a crush on him or an obsessive interest in Einstein. But don't expect to learn anything about 'Einstein the Man' in this movie for it was one of the worst pieces of casting and scripting that I've ever had the misfortune to endure.


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