Friday, 28 November 2014

Aptly Named Film Of The Week

IMDB's plot summary of The Imitation Game:

At Cambridge University, young Alan Turing quickly establishes himself as a groundbreaking thinker with his theories about the potential of computing machines. When war between Britain and Germany is declared, these theories are put into active practice.

Turing easily passes a test to become a member of a top-secret group assigned to decode critical German naval communications. Much to the surprise of the commanding officers, so does a woman, Joan Clarke, Turing and Clarke become fast friends, and are soon engaged to be married. But Turing is gay, struggling with his identity at a time when it is illegal and subject to terrible punishment.

Ho hum, that reminds me of a film that came out a decade ago...

IMDB's plot summary of Enigma:

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.

OK, The Imitation Game is a bit more true to life in that Turing really was gay but Jericho (the quasi-Turing character) is avowedly straight; however in Enigma it is sort of hinted that Hester is a lesbian but she and Jericho end up getting married anyway, depite having bickered with each other constantly for the first three-quarters of the film. So Enigma is the mirror image of The Imitation Game and vice versa.


Bayard said...

I see poor old Tommy Flowers gets left out, again.

The Stigler said...


Well, he wasn't gay, was he?

Turing was brilliant, deserves the credit he gets, but I have no doubt that he'd be almost unknown outside the world of computer science if he'd been straight. That said, I have heard The Imitation Game doesn't make a big deal of it.

Flowers' story is depressing in different way. He'd built the machine to break Enigma, spent more than he got back, and then couldn't commercialise it. We could have had Silicon Valley in this country, if the ministry men hadn't been so stupid.