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Skywatch (1960)

Light Up the Sky! (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 4 December 1961 (Denmark)
A comedy drama set in a WWII British Army Searchlight Squad. They are an odd bunch of misfits but somehow manage to get the job done.


Lewis Gilbert


Vernon Harris (screenplay), Robert Storey (based on the play "Touch It Light" by)


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Cast overview:
Ian Carmichael ... Lt. Ogleby (as Lt. Ian Carmichael)
Tommy Steele ... Eric McCaffey (as Gunner Tommy Steele)
Benny Hill ... Syd McCaffey (as Gunner Benny Hill)
Sydney Tafler Sydney Tafler ... Ted Green (as Gunner Sydney Tafler)
Victor Maddern ... Lance Bombardier Tomlinson (as L/Bombadier Victor Maddern)
Harry Locke ... Roland Kenyon (as Gunner Harry Locke)
Johnny Briggs ... Leslie Smith (as Gunner Johnny Briggs)
Cyril Smith Cyril Smith ... 'Spinner' Rice (as Gunner Cyril Smith)
Dick Emery Dick Emery ... Harry - Driver (as Gunner Dick Emery)
Cardew Robinson Cardew Robinson ... Compere
Susan Burnet Susan Burnet ... Jean
Sheila Hancock ... Theatre Act
Fred Griffiths Fred Griffiths ... Mr. Jennings


A comedy drama set in a WWII British Army Searchlight Squad. They are an odd bunch of misfits but somehow manage to get the job done.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 December 1961 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Skywatch See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Criterion Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The first feature film of Sheila Hancock. See more »


Syd McCaffey: Jack and Jill went up the hill for a bit of hanky-panky. Jill came down with half a crown - he must have been a Yankee.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: Lt. Ian Carmichael Ian Carmichael) introduces the Troop he had the honour to command. See more »


Featured in Benny Hill: The World's Favorite Clown (1991) See more »


Touch It Light
by Lionel Bart and Mike Pratt (as Michael Pratt)
Performed by Tommy Steele and Benny Hill (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Odd mixes of laughs and seriousness
25 October 2016 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

LIGHT UP THE SKY! is one of those British WW2 comedies that acted as precursors to DAD'S ARMY and at times the similarities between the two productions are remarkable. This film's plot sees a constantly exasperated Ian Carmichael in charge of a searchlight squad whose job is to literally light up the sky whenever an enemy plane approaches. It sounds like a relatively straightforward job but of course in a comedy like this almost everything goes wrong.

Given the limited nature of the men's mission, a lot of this film is padded out with endless comedy scenes and character work. Some characters are homesick, others are in love, and the arguments are endless. Sadly, this didn't make very satisfying viewing for me, even though the cast is exemplary, featuring a mix of straight and comic actors. Victor Maddern is the depressed corporal, Tommy Steele and Johnny Briggs the fresh recruits, and the reliable Sydney Tafler one of the men. Benny Hill stands out as a soldier with a stand-up routine. There are also cameos from Dick Emery, Sheila Hancock, and Cardew Robinson.

I found Carmichael a bit of a distraction in this film as it looks like he's wearing false eyebrows, although I could be wrong. The bookend scenes in which he breaks the fourth wall to address the viewer directly are fun. LIGHT UP THE SKY! is an odd mix of character drama and humour, and the tragic moments of the story sit uncomfortably with the belly laughs elsewhere. I've seen better British war comedies from the era, for example CARRY ON SERGEANT.

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