A missing message from rogue mathematician Alan Turing surfaces as part of the celebrations for his 100th birthday... in code it provides the key to a century old puzzle that if solved will... See full summary »
Floating dead in space, transport ship Genesis becomes an unsolvable mystery. All hands on board have been killed. What began as a simple transport mission for the crew of the Genesis, ends... See full summary »
Hideous Kinky is the story of two sisters (seven and five years old) traveling with their hippie mother from London to Morocco. They encounter many adventures, new experiences, and ... See full summary »
A biography of the English mathematician Alan Turing, who was one of the inventors of the digital computer and one of the key figures in the breaking of the Enigma code, used by the Germans... See full summary »
While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho ... See full summary »
Three Polish mathematicians are the first to crack the sophisticated Enigma code used by the Germans just before the Second World War. They build replicas of the Enigma machines and manage ... See full summary »
Charlotte CA110, a cyborg stewardess on a distant space station, is accused of having murdered a famous composer. As the circumstances surrounding his death are revealed, so too is the truth behind their relationship.
Since 1929, Infinitum Research has been testing biological enhancements such as light refraction on innocent subjects. Funded by our own government, Infinitum continued illegally after the ... See full summary »
During the heart of World War II, in March of 1943, cryptoanalysts at Britain's code-breaking center have discovered to their horror that Nazi U-boats have changed their Enigma Code. Authorities enlist the help of a brilliant young man named Tom Jericho to help them break the code again. The possibility of a spy within the British code-breakers' ranks looms and Tom's love, Claire, has disappeared. To solve the mysteries, Tom recruits Claire's best friend, Hester Wallace. In investigating Claire's personal life, the pair discovers personal and international betrayals. Written by
When Hester Wallace decodes the long list of Polish names the camera zooms in on the name "Zygalski". Henryk Zygalski was a Polish mathematician who helped to break Enigma. See more »
During the train journey towards the end of the movie, the view from Jericho's compartment shows the train going in opposite directions before and after the stop at the station, despite the fact that the train is seen leaving the station in the same direction as it arrived. See more »
A decent spy yarn but falls far short of the true story
A couple of years ago PBS aired a 2-hour episode of Nova (the American equivalent of the BBC's Horizon) called 'Decoding Nazi Secrets.' It was a fascinating documentary about the work done at Bletchley Park, as well as some material about its American counterpart, Arlington Hall. I had wished it was even longer, for I suspected that what was left out was as interesting as what was included. Among the many memorable characters in the story, none stood out more than Alan Turing, a painfully shy, socially awkward, utterly brilliant genius. I found myself wishing that someone would make a theatrical film about the Enigma code and a film of Alan Turing's life, or both.
Unfortunately, this isn't it. In March of 1943, code-breakers at Bletchley Park discover to their horror that the German navy has changed the code sets used to communicate with U-boats at sea. These were based on the famous and diabolically complex encryption machine known as the Enigma. Authorities enlist the help of a brilliant young man named Tom Jericho (played by Dougray Scott) to help them break the code again. The possibility of a spy within the British code-breakers' ranks is raised, and Tom's love interest, Claire (Saffron Burrows), has disappeared. To solve these mysteries, Tom recruits Claire's best friend, Hester Wallace (Kate Winslet). While investigating Claire's personal life, the pair discovers personal and international betrayals involving the now-infamous Katyn massacre in Poland. Of course, Tom and Hester fall in love.
Dougray Scott actually does bear some physical resemblance to Alan Turing, but there the comparison ends. Turing's sorry, shabby reward for the instrumental role he played in winning the war for Britain was to be persecuted during the Cold War because his homosexuality was viewed as a security risk, to the point that he committed suicide. While 'Enigma' looks good and plays fairly well as a decent espionage film, the viewer who knows the factual background of this piece of fiction will probably be disappointed. The best part for me was the recreation of the physical setting at wartime Bletchley Park, especially the Enigma machines themselves and the famous Bombes, which were invented by Turing (Jericho in the film). These were among the world's first computing machines; they were a stroke of brilliance by Turing: Instead of looking for what a coded message WAS, they operated according to the principle of eliminating what it was NOT. This cut the number of possibilities by better than 90% and greatly simplified the work of the human code-breakers. It is somewhat surprising that this rather wan film is the work of Tom Stoppard and Michael Apted; they have done better.
65 of 85 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?