6.3/10
19,592
177 user 118 critic

Enigma (2001)

Trailer
0:32 | Trailer
A young genius frantically races against time to crack an enemy code and solve the mystery surrounding the woman he loves.

Director:

Michael Apted

Writers:

Robert Harris (novel), Tom Stoppard (screenplay)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dougray Scott ... Thomas Jericho
Kate Winslet ... Hester Wallace
Saffron Burrows ... Claire
Jeremy Northam ... Wigram
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ... Puck (as Nikolaj Coster Waldau)
Tom Hollander ... Logie
Donald Sumpter ... Leveret
Matthew Macfadyen ... Cave
Richard Leaf ... Baxter
Ian Felce Ian Felce ... Proudfoot
Bohdan Poraj Bohdan Poraj ... Pinker
Paul Rattray ... Kingcome
Richard Katz ... De Brooke
Tom Fisher ... Upjohn
Robert Pugh ... Skynner
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Storyline

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 Anna <dimenxia@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A thousand million, billion+ possibilities - 24 hours to get it right, and when you eventually do, it gets changed again... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a sex scene and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final feature film with a full music score composed by John Barry. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jozef 'Puck' Pukowski: Tell me, are we hoping for the U-Boats to find our convoy?
Pinker: Of course not.
Baxter: I am.
[receives stares]
Pinker: You c-c-can't mean that!
Baxter: What? Sacrifice a convoy to get back into Shark? Of course I would. How many men has Stalin had to sacrifice so far? A million? Two million? It's called "the greater good."
Cave: Spoken like someone who isn't in the middle of the North Atlantic at this moment.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Enigma: Putting It All Together (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Black Bottom
(1926)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Lew Brown and Buddy G. DeSylva
By kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Limited, Redwood Music Limited, Stephen Ballentine Publishing Company,
Henderson Music
Performed by Howard Lannin & His Orchestra
Licensed by kind permission of BMG Entertainment International (UK & Ireland) Limited
See more »

User Reviews

 
Who was listening to whom?
7 January 2006 | by FleapitSee all my reviews

Purely as a film I give ENIGMA 6 out of 10; as an historical document – zero. Generally I do not necessarily expect a film with an historical content to be a piece of cinematic non-fiction but merely a source of entertainment, so I score it on this basis. If the distributors claim it as a true historical record then that is another matter. Enigma has a fairly good plot but suffers from poor direction and frequently indistinct dialogue. It centres around a young man and a young girl working at the Government's code deciphering establishment at Bletchley Park and their involvement in the breaking of the German U-boat cipher SHARK (or TRITON to give it its original German name). As the mechanics of the breaking of SHARK has little story value a sub-plot involving a femme-fatale as German spy is introduced.

During 1941 our Atlantic convoy losses were becoming unsustainable so the ability to read SHARK was imperative. The film has a section in which the code breakers are shown helping a naval lieutenant to pinpoint the position of U-boats in the Atlantic based on wireless direction finding information. This was not the work of Bletchley Park so is historically wrong. In fact,convoys and U boats were tracked by the Admiralty in London.

The film also purports that breaking SHARK was the sole factor in helping to bring down convoy losses. The truth is somewhat more ironic. Whilst we could not read TRITON/SHARK the Germans could read the Royal Navy Cipher No. 3! However it took us a year to find out. It was this cipher which was used to transmit the rendez-vous points for departing convoys to RN escort vessels in the North Atlantic. The Germans picked this up at their listening stations and promptly re-transmitted it to their U-boat wolf packs who were then able to proceed to the rendez-vous ready to pick off their prey. This information was sent in SHARK so once it was broken we knew that RN Cipher No.3 was being compromised and had to be changed. As a result convoy losses decreased.

The reason for the weakness in Cipher No.3 was that when WWII started the Royal Navy was essentially still using code book methods from the Great War and were very slow to adopt mechanical encipherment, similar to Enigma. On the other hand the RAF introduced it in the 1930s for use on the Defence Teleprinter Network run by the GPO. For this the Type-X machine was developed and was featured in the film for reading German enigma code. The German Enigma machine itself features prominently in the opening sequences of the film with several close-ups and supporting dialogue explaining how it worked.

Did the Germans know that we could read their enigma messages? This is a moot point as officially they did not but both Rommel and Doenitz, the U-boat commander, were highly suspicious; Rommel because convoys from Italy to North Africa were frequently sunk and Doenitz because U-boat code changes only gave him a short term advantage against convoys. In both cases the leakage was blamed on spies, although it has been suggested that Doenitz's staff were very possibly convinced but dare not tell Hitler that Enigma was compromised, so they just contented themselves with improving the system. Unlike the British centralised Intelligence centre at Bletchley Park the Germans had separate intelligence staffs for each of the three services with the inevitable rivalry between them. This weakened their counter intelligence operations which, coupled with the extreme secrecy surrounding Ultra, meant that our success against Enigma went undetected.

The film is well worth seeing for its entertainment value and just a wee peek at the work of Bletchley Park but for anyone interested in learning the truth about this fascinating story I suggest that they read the official history entitled "British Intelligence in WWII" by Professor Sir F. H. (Harry) Hinsley (himself an alumnus of BP), or just Google "Bletchley Park".


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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Germany | Netherlands

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

7 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enigma See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$156,587, 21 April 2002

Gross USA:

$4,301,582

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,713,204
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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