7.3/10
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25 user 6 critic

Einstein and Eddington (2008)

Drama 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 prove his ideas.

Director:

Philip Martin

Writer:

Peter Moffat
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5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Tennant ... Arthur Eddington
Richard McCabe ... Frank Dyson
Patrick Kennedy ... William Marston
Ben Uttley ... Tennis Player 1
Gyuri Sarossy Gyuri Sarossy ... Tennis Player 2
Rebecca Hall ... Winnie Eddington
Jim Broadbent ... Sir Oliver Lodge
Andy Serkis ... Albert Einstein
Jacob Theato Jacob Theato ... Eduard Einstein
Callum Williams Callum Williams ... Hans Einstein
Lucy Cohu ... Mileva Einstein
Donald Sumpter ... Max Planck
Lucy Briers Lucy Briers ... Librarian
Anton Lesser ... Fritz Haber
John Bowe ... Leopold Koppel
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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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Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert Einstein's character is seen throwing his socks upon the crowd on a dock early in the movie. However, he never wore socks into adulthood in real life due to their propensity to make holes in the big toe. See more »

Goofs

Oliver Lodge's son Raymond was indeed killed at Ypres but by shrapnel, not gas, and nearly five months after the first use of gas at Ypres in any event. Nor was he in the Cambridgeshire regiment - he was a Second Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment. See more »

Quotes

Fritz Haber: [Elsa accompanies Einstein as he fetches his mail in the senior common room of the University. As they enter the room, the other faculty members looks up]
Fritz Haber: This is the senior common room.
Albert Einstein: [Einstein looks at Haber]
Fritz Haber: She's a woman...
Albert Einstein: [Einstein looks at Elsa]
Albert Einstein: Do you know Haber, I think you could be right. Quick, what should we do? God knows. Anything might happen.
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Connections

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

User Reviews

 
Great actors, great story
11 December 2008 | by gray4See all my reviews

This is a superb drama, combining a well-presented scientific and historical explication of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity alongside a gripping portrait of the moral dilemmas that scientists have to struggle with as they try to reconcile the demands of country and conscience.

The twin leads –British scientist Arthur Eddington (David Tennant) and Einstein (Andy Serkis) – lead very different lives but face not only similar scientific opposition and derision but also similar pressures to back their country's efforts to win the First World War. Tennant shakes off the Dr Who expectations in pointing up the problems of a gay pacifist Quaker who tries to prove the new-fangled theories of 'enemy' scientist Einstein – a theory especially dangerous because it undermines the ordered view of the universe created by English scientist Isaac Newton. Einstein's complicated private life is compounded by his revulsion at fellow scientists' work in developing poison gas. Both Tennant and Serkis get right into the skin of their characters - two brilliant actors on top form.

The drama brings over very effectively the transition from the comfortable life of the scientists in pre-war Cambridge and Switzerland to the tragedies of war. Jim Broadbent as Sir Oliver Lodge and Donald Sumpter as Max Planck lead the scientific establishments in Cambridge and Berlin as they pervert their scientific beliefs to condone mass killing on a scale never before seen. The main female roles have rather less to do, but Rebecca Hall as Eddington's sister, Lucy Cohu as Einstein's abandoned wife and Jodhi May as his mistress all add an extra warmth to the production and help to avoid the danger of focusing only on clever men using symbols and formulae to bemuse their colleagues (and the audience).

The settings – Cambridge, Berlin and West Africa, where Eddington photographed a total eclipse of the sun to prove the Einstein's theory was right – provide a powerful backdrop to the human drama, making it all the more believable. All in all, a very successful and informative BBC and HBO drama that maintains tension and excitement throughout.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 2008 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Einstein et Eddington See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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