School for Secrets

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School for Secrets
"School for Secrets" (1946).jpg
British quad poster
Directed by Peter Ustinov
Produced by George H. Brown
Peter Ustinov
Screenplay by Peter Ustinov
Starring Ralph Richardson
Music by Alan Rawsthorne
Cinematography Jack Hildyard
Distributed by General Film Distributors (UK)
Release dates
7 November 1946 (London) (UK)
Running time
108 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

School for Secrets (also known as Secret Flight) is a 1946 British black and white film written and directed by Peter Ustinov and starring Ralph Richardson. In leading supporting roles were David Tomlinson, Raymond Huntley, Finlay Currie, Richard Attenborough, John Laurie and Michael Hordern.[1] Developed with the full cooperation of the Air Ministry, the film celebrates the discovery of radar.[2]


A group of British scientists work to develop a radar system. School for Secrets tells the story of the 'Boffins' - research scientists - who discovered and developed radar and helped avoid the German invasion of Britain in 1940. Five different scientists, led by Professor Heatherville (Ralph Richardson), are brought together to work in secrecy and under pressure to develop the device. Their dedication disrupts their family lives as they are forced to sacrifice everything to make a breakthrough. Their success is illustrated by the effect radar has on the fighting abilities of the RAF over the skies of Britain in the summer and autumn months of 1940. However, Germany is also planning its own radar capability and British commandos are dispatched to strike a German installation. The scientists then complete their work just in time for the Battle of Britain.


Critical reception[edit]

TV Guide wrote, "as would be expected from young writer-director Ustinov (he was 25 years old at the time), a nice sense of humor is integrated into the proceedings, a refreshing change from the deadly serious propaganda films that dominated the screen at the time. Unfortunately, portions of School for Secrets are too talky and tend to drag on past the point of interest, but the action scenes are excitingly handled and manage to keep the narrative aloft" ;[3] while Britmovie called the film a "sprightly melodrama. With its starry cast of character actor and witty dialogue, Ustinov focuses more on the diverse characters than scientific advances." [4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "School for Secrets". BFI. 
  2. ^ Typical Men. 
  3. ^ "School For Secrets". TV Guide. 
  4. ^ "School for Secrets".