In The Royal Festival Hall, Sir Peter Ustinov, then in his 80s, had compered a concert in his inimitable manner. There, I had reminded him of this film, "SCHOOL for SECRETS" which he directed when Britain was emerging from the war. It was now 60yrs later, but he immediately reeled off the names of all the actors! The film was Ustinov's transition from MOI (Ministry of Information) film-making to that delicious, comfortable style of British cinema which was about to enter its best times.
In a gentle drama, so reminiscent of Ustinov's style, "SCHOOL fOR SECRETS" portrayed the story of the development of RADAR. You may imagine the production as being in similar vein and time setting to that of the film "ENIGMA" which portrayed fiction based on fact but with a 60 year time backshift. It is a classic marker which ought to be revived and you should see this film which also illustrates film-making under the conditions of post-war austerity when low-budget production was the norm.
IT SHOULD ALSO BE REMADE. I propose this because, due to the operation of the Oficial Secrets Act and the 30 yrs (+)release rule, Ustinov's production was not allowed to research the development of the technology, nor the associated apochrypha and anecdotes. Without RADAR, we shoud not have won the war. It is also the basis of the amazing electronic age in which we live. Today, two generations are almost ignorant of both the historical and the scientific bases of our freedom. They need to be educated and this story about the technology and those who developed it, to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude, needs to be retold.
Sir Richard Attenborough who played a role in the film may be pleased to advise on the remake. Meanwhile, enjoy the original version!
Ian M Barrett.