Martin, a PhD student in mathematics, enrolls at Oxford in the hope of meeting his mentor, Professor Seldom. The young man manages to find lodging at Mrs. Eagleton's but in this house a stifling atmosphere prevails due to the landlady's attitude. Indeed Mrs. Eagleton, who happens to be a friend of Seldom's, is a haughty and unsympathetic woman who also stifles her daughter Beth. At the university, things do not fare much better as Martin is put in his place by his idol during one of Seldom's lectures. But his private life changes for the best as he starts an affair with Lorna, a beautiful girl he met during a game of squash. One night Seldom and Martin who find themselves at Mrs. Eagletons's discover her dead body. They are interrogated by the police. Soon afterwards they decide to lead their own private investigation...
Motion Picture Rating
Rated R for language, sexual content/nudity and some violence/disturbing images
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Did You Know?
During the initial introduction between Martin (Elijah Wood
) and Mrs. Eagleton (Anna Massey
), they speak about her replica of the German Enigma cipher machine. Mrs. Eagleton states everything was done manually to break the Enigma messages. She also states, "there were no computers in those days (World War II)" and "calculations were done by hand." Actually, the British, working in Bletchley Park, did build a computer, called "Colossus" by January 1944. Colossus was constructed with up to twenty-four hundred vacuum tubes, and programmers used approximately one inch wide paper tape to store programming. By the end of the war, Bletchley Park was using ten Colossus computers to break various German cipher machines, including Enigma. See more
(at around 14 mins) In the classroom scene, Martin announces that he believes in the number pi, and explains that by this he means the golden section, related to the Fibonacci sequence. The goof is that this number is universally referred to as phi, not pi, which is reserved for the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle. See more
Since man is incapable of reconciling mind and matter, he tends to confer some sort of entity on ideas because he cannot bear the notion that the purely abstract only exists in our brain. "The beauty and harmony of a snowflake" - how sweet. "The butterfly that flutters his wings and causes a hurricane on the other side of the world" - we've been hearing about that damn butterfly for decades, but who has been able to predict a single hurricane? Nobody! Tell me something. Where is the beauty and ...
The background to the credits sequence is a representation of a blackboard full of equations and mathematical formulae. See more
The King of Denmark's Galiard
Written by John Dowland
Performed by The Forge Players featuring Freddie Wadling
Courtesy of Warner Music See more