Einstein and Eddington

Synopsis: 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, Ed
Director(s): Philip Martin
Production: HBO Films
  5 nominations.
94 min

Slowly and carefully!

Keep it coming.

Gently now.

Ver careful.

Careful with the telescope.

Dyson! What are you doing?

We need some help here!

All right, men, come on,

put your backs into it.

Nearly there.

Come on now, just one more push.


All right, men, not far to go.

Another foot.

- And up.

- That's it!

It's bad news, I'm afraid.

The photographic plates,

they've been damaged.

It's the heat.

They weren't stored properly.

All of them?

There are only eight

which will work.

Then we have eight photographs.

We won't have any at all if this

weather doesn't lift by tomorrow.

If the cloud breaks

at quarter past two tomorrow...

and we look up into the heavens,

take photographs of the eclipse...

...we will be scientists at our work.

We'll be looking at

the poetry of existence.

And if Einstein's right, the universe

will never look the same again.

Well, it had better stop

raining then, hadn't it?!

Got it!

Match points.

This is it. Three years, we've been

playing this pair, we've never won.

Seize the moment, Eddington.


We've won. We've won.

Well played.

Well played, old boy.

Well played.

William, I think it was in.


I think the ball was in.

The sun was in your eyes,

you couldn't possibly see.

You've taken five years of defeat

with impeccable politeness, Eddington.

- Accept this victory with good grace.

- No, the ball was in.

Let him have his moment.

He's off to fight.

Don't spoil this.

He didn't tell me.

I don't consider it a victory.

I think you've made that very clear.

- Sorry, I'm being...

- What? Pig-headed?

- Yes.

- And stubborn.

You're very fond of William,

aren't you?

I could see at the tennis.

You should tell him.

What's that?

Some of the committee had

doubts about appointing you

on account of your youth.

- Sir Oliver.

- You must be the sister.

Know what I said? I said

there have been nine directors

of the Cambridge Observatory

since Isaac Newton was here.

Each of them have slept where

you'll sleep, eaten where you'll eat

and each of them was as damned sure

about Newton as the man before.

Tea would be nice.

And cake.


I told them, "You listen to me,

what is there to do after Newton?"

We have the truth,

we know how the universe works.

We need a director who can measure

and describe what we know to be true.

We need Arthur Stanley Eddington.

Bugger theory. Give me

the best measuring man in England.

The jam's home-made.


I'll leave you men to talk,

shall I?

Perhaps there'll be

a Mrs Eddington soon.

There's a minimum height of 5' 7".

For astronomers' wives?

My son Raymond is 5ft 6in.

You know what they did?

The recruiting officer

measured him in his shoes.

Oh, I see, the army.

Which, um...?


We're damned proud of the boy.

I know you're a Quaker

and won't fight.

I've no quarrel with that.

But you're worried.

Because you're an Englishman,

you feel your patriotism

is in conflict with your faith.

I can help.

The University of Berlin

is gathering together

the best German scientists.

For reasons obvious.

German science is putting itself

at the right hand

of German military ambition.

I see.

There's one man they want

very badly. We don't know why.

We don't see the point of him.

What does this have to do with me?

I want you to look at this

man's work and give a lecture.

We need English science to remind

everyone just how strong we are.

Newton's truth is

a great strength to us all.

Good man.

What's his name?

Albert Einstein.

What are we doing?

I'm steering the boat.

Without looking?

The wind direction, the tiller.

- Yes.

- Close your eyes.

Hans, Eduard, all of you,

listen to me! What do you see?

A man on a boat on a lake

with his sons.

The man is taking off his socks.

He rolls them into a ball.

Ready, Hans?

And he hurls the socks

at the people on the bank.

What is the speed of the socks?

The speed of the boat

added to the speed of the socks.

But what about light?

What about light?

What if I shine a beam of light at you

on the bank from my boat?

What is the speed of the light?

The speed of the boat

added to the speed of the light?



Why not?

Why not?

Come on, boys,

we'd better get home.

Hey, wait for me!


He was in the lake!

All aboard!

Why were you in the lake?

In the interests of science.

Were there any women impressed by

your performance? There usually are.

I was talking to the children.

You talk to the boys about

your work, but not to me?

Any pudding?

- Where are you going?

- I'm leaving.

You can't leave, I'm working.


Mileva, please!



When we were students, you said

to me we would share our work,

we are physicists together.

You lied!

What I'm doing now,

I can't talk about it.

I don't have the energy

or the time to share it with anyone.

What is it? What is your work?!


Max! Max Planck!

Hello, Albert.

You don't remember me, do you?

You don't even remember my name!


It's fine. She's always leaving.

So, nine years' work on gravity

and all you have are questions.

Beautiful questions, of course,

but no answers.

Perhaps conditions are

not right here in Zurich.

I think you need some help.

I don't need anything.


If you are content

to remain an obscurity

at a second-rate university...

Why are you here, Max?

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Peter Moffat

Peter Moffat is an English playwright and screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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