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Castles in the Sky (2014)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 23 June 2014 (UK)
It is the mid-1930s and the storm clouds of WWII are forming in Germany. This film charts the work of Robert Watson Watt, the pioneer of Radar, and his hand-picked team of eccentric yet ... See full summary »


Gillies MacKinnon


Ian Kershaw
2 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Eddie Izzard ... Robert Watson Watt
Laura Fraser ... Margaret Watson Watt
Arran Tulloch Arran Tulloch ... Pat
Lesley Harcourt ... Helen - Secretary
Alex Jennings ... Henry Tizard
David Hayman ... Frederick Lindemann
Julian Rhind-Tutt ... Albert Rowe
Karl Davies ... Arnold 'Skip' Wilkins
Stephen Chance Stephen Chance ... Scientist
Carl Heap Carl Heap ... Scientist
Celyn Jones ... Edward 'Taffy' Bowen
Iain McKee ... Higgy
Joe Bone ... Bainbridge Bell
Nick Elliott Nick Elliott ... Navy Guard
Tim McInnerny ... Winston Churchill


It is the mid-1930s and the storm clouds of WWII are forming in Germany. This film charts the work of Robert Watson Watt, the pioneer of Radar, and his hand-picked team of eccentric yet brilliant meteorologists as they struggle to turn the concept of Radar into a workable reality. Hamstrung by a tiny budget, seemingly insurmountable technical problems and even a spy in the camp, Watson Watt also has to deal with marital problems as he chases his dream. By 1939, Watson Watt and his team have developed the world's first Radar system along the south east coast of England - a system that, in 1940, will prove pivotal in winning the Battle of Britain. Written by John

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Early in the film, in a scene set in 1935, a British Air Ministry official is looking at photos of Luftwaffe aircraft. Photos of a Heinkel 111, Junkers 87 Stuka and Messerschmitt 109 are shown. Prototypes of these planes were flying in 1935 but the photos depict much later versions of the aircraft. For example the Stuka is a Junkers 87-G version with under-wing cannons which didn't appear till 1943. See more »

User Reviews

A fine historical drama with a likable star performance from Eddie Izzard
24 June 2014 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

Set from the rise of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany in the 1930's until the Battle of Britain in 1940. Scottish engineer Robert Watson Watt is hired by the British Government to develop his new idea, something which would go on to be known as radar. He has to endure many set-backs and class snobbery, while his marriage is put under enormous strain by the enforced secrecy and workload but eventually gets his theory put into practice, saving many lives in the process and helping win the Battle of Britain.

This British historical film is quite light-hearted despite the very serious subject matter. Much of this comes down to a playful script with quite a lot of comic moments between Watt and his team as they work towards their goal. But the singular main reason is the presence of star Eddie Izzard in the central role. He reigns in his comic persona and plays the role with seriousness but he still can't help but be amusing at times nevertheless. It's a very good, measured performance that benefits greatly from Izzard's very likable persona; even if his Scottish accent was a bit strange some of the time! At heart, this is a quite simple and solid example of a British period drama. It's elevated somewhat though by the simple fact that it's a true story about characters who never seem to have been given the big screen treatment before. We do care for these characters and we want them to succeed, so this ensures that we are onside and involved throughout. It's obviously a film which has been made on a moderate budget, so this means that certain decisions have had to be made such as black and white archive material showing the horrors unfolding in Europe and footage from the movie The Battle of Britain to illustrate certain aspects of that conflict. But they are integrated perfectly well into the flow of the film. Otherwise the modest budget has been utilised well to ensure the period detail is convincing, while the cast as a whole are all very good in their respective roles. So, all-in-all a very solid little movie about a relatively unheralded British hero, underpinned by a fine performance by Eddie Izzard.

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Release Date:

23 June 2014 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Castles in the Sky See more »

Filming Locations:

Scotland, UK See more »

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