Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain's top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.Written by
A caption at the end states that cracking Enigma was kept secret by the government for fifty years after the war. It is true that the history of wartime code-breaking was officially declassified in 1996. Notwithstanding the government's secrecy, the earliest book that revealed Enigma had been cracked, F.W. Winterbotham's The Ultra Secret, appeared in 1974, and Andrew Hodge's book about Turing was published in 1983, so what had happened at Bletchley Park was not a secret for the entire fifty years. See more »
Are you paying attention? Good. If you're not listening carefully you will miss things. Important things. I will not pause, I will not repeat myself, and you will not interrupt me. If you think that because you're sitting where you are and I am sitting where I am that you are in control of what is about to happen, you 're mistaken. I am in control, because I know things that you do not know.
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Written and Performed by Milan Svoboda (BMI) 100%
Courtesy of Warner/Chappell Production Music See more »
Well crafted but mostly fictitious film about Turings involvement at Bletchley Park
This is well-made and well-acted film, with an important message. However, the danger with films like this is that the masses think they are getting a history lesson, but in this case they are most definitely not.
The film takes enormous creative liberties all the way through, by adding conflicts where there none; by portraying Turing as if he were autistic when he was not; and by inserting a number of fictions about Turing's character and achievements.
Perhaps the most glaring fictionalised part of the movie, which will no doubt upset many historians as well as the descendents of those actually involved at Bletchley, is the lie that Turing singelhandledly invented and built the machine that could break Enigma's code. The machine was actually invented by Polish crytanalysts before Turing even started working at Bletchley! Turing's involvement came later, when he helped mathematician Gordon Welchman (who is not even mentioned in the movie) designed a newer model that looked for likely letter combinations.
I also want to mention that the conflict between Turing and Denniston (played by Charles Dance) is completely fictional, and Denniston's family have taken issue with the film's negative portrayal of him. Denniston picked out Turing based on his work at Cambridge, and Turing never went to Winston Churchill to complain, and Denniston never tried to fire him!
Contrary to what the film depicts, Turing was an approachable person with a keen sense of humour, and was well liked at Bletchley. There are many more inaccuracies, such as his lack of knowledge of German, his dislike of sandwiches and the scenes about his compulsions regarding carrots and peas. All of this is fiction. I could go on... but I've pointed out the main issues I wanted to raise.
So once again, as with so many bio-pics (recent examples being Churchill and Dunkirk) an opportunity is missed and we are presented with a mixture of fact and fiction - fiction that goes well beyond what we generally call artistic licence, to the point that people living today connected to those war-time efforts are deeply offended.
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