7.0/10
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Codebreaker (2011)

The highs and lows of Alan Turing's life, tracking his extraordinary accomplishments, his government persecution through to his tragic death in 1954. In the last 18 months of his short life... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Alan Turing
... Franz Greenbaum
... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Asa Briggs ... Himself - Codebreaker, Bletchley Park
Jean Valentine ... Herself - WRNS and Bombe Operator, Bletchley Park
David Leavitt ... Himself - Alan Turing's Biographer
Rolf Noskwith ... Himself - Codebreaker, Bletchley Park
Dermot Turing ... Himself - Alan Turing's Nephew
Christopher Morcom ... Himself - Christopher Morcom's Nephew (as Christopher Morcom QC)
Ian Stewart ... Himself - University of Warwick (as Professor Ian Stewart)
Martin Davis ... Himself - Author, 'Engines of Logic' (as Professor Martin Davis)
Matt Parker ... Himself - Queen Mary, University of London (as Dr Matt Parker)
... Himself - Co-Founder, Apple
Alma Whitten ... Herself - Google (as Dr Alma Whitten)
Tony Sale ... Himself - National Museum of Computing
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Storyline

The highs and lows of Alan Turing's life, tracking his extraordinary accomplishments, his government persecution through to his tragic death in 1954. In the last 18 months of his short life, Turing visited a psychiatrist, Dr. Franz Greenbaum, who tried to help him. Each therapy session in this drama documentary is based on real events. The conversations between Turing and Greenbaum explore the pivotal moments in his controversial life and examine the pressures that may have contributed to his early death. The film also includes the testimony of people who actually knew and remember Turing. Plus, this film features interviews with contemporary experts from the world of technology and high science including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. These contributors bring Turing's exciting impact up to the present day, explaining why, in many ways, modern technology has only just begun to explore the potential of Turing's ideas. Written by Patrick Sammon

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Not Rated
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Details

Official Sites:

Channel 4 [UK] | Official site

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Release Date:

21 November 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Codebreaker  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Alan Turing: Fuck them. Fuck them sideways.
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Connections

Features Blade Runner (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Lili Marlene
Lyrics by Hans Leip
Music by Norbert Schultze
Performed by Marlene Dietrich
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User Reviews

 
A very superficial, uninformative and uninformed biography
30 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

I knew I was in trouble when this documentary pointed out that Alan Turing had borrowed "The Game of Logic," "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" from the library at the same time, but failed to point out that all three books were written by the same author, Lewis Carroll. That Carroll was both mathematician, observer, and writer of fiction would seem to be key to who Turing was, but was either unknown to or neglected by the filmmakers.

The documentary continues along the same lines, superficially describing who Alan Turing was and what his contributions were without "connecting the dots" between his observational skills and his intellectual skills. It shows, at best, a Wikipedia-level knowledge of who he was. Even the title "Codebreaker" is misleading. Turing's contributions at Bletchley Park are barely dealt with and not in any way informatively dealt with. One could make the case, I suppose, that the title is a play on words, referring Turing's breaking of the gentleman's code of conduct, but that's not stated in the film.

I felt like this was pretty much of a loss of an hour or so of my time.


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