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As the film announces at the start, it based on a true story. The
essentials are true, and to get so much history into a film things have
to be condensed. Unfortunately unnecessarily inaccurate things were
portrayed which didn't save any time. For example, Turing mutters under
his breath so most audiences will not notice, that the Poles made the
first crucial breakthrough. By the start of the war, the Poles led by
Marian Rejewski had been breaking Enigma for over six years and built
the first machine, called a "bomba" in 1938.
In July 1939 the Poles passed on all the information to the French and
British including details of the bomba and their successes at a meeting
which included Denniston. The problem started to mount for the Poles
and later the British when other rotors could be swapped in and the
indicator method was changed by the Germans. The film is correct in
showing that Turing's genius was using known words from the coded
messages to reduce the myriad of possibilities. This idea happened in
1939 and so he started from the outset to design the British "bombes"
to use this method, not after they had been running for months.
Four senior code-breakers, not just Alan Turing, but also Gordon
Welchman, Stuart Milner-Barry and Hugh Alexander wrote to Churchill in
1941 over Denniston's head about the shortage of staff and praising
Edward Travis. In February 1942, Denniston was demoted and transferred
elsewhere. His successor, Edward Travis, transformed the procedures.
Cairncross, played by Downton's ex-chauffeur, never appeared at
Bletchley until 1942 and the alleged blackmail is an unnecessary
The idea that there would be a chart on the wall in Hut 8 showing the
latest positions of all Atlantic convoys is laughable. This chart was
in a secure bunker in Liverpool that was as closely guarded as
Turing's team had no input into how the information was to be used, but
it is true that Ultra intelligence had to be supported by other
information and so patrols were sent out to find what was known to be
Lastly Turing would never, ever, have disclosed even the existence of
Bletchley Park to a detective he had just met.
The performance of Benedict Comberbatch is exceptional, and the rest of
the cast good. Keira Knightley is pretty enough to have turned even
Turing, but, despite the lines that told us, she never gave the
impression she had a double first in mathematics from Cambridge.
Good film, though it could have be closer to reality without making it
longer or more complex.
Tags for The Imitation Game Full Movie
, Keira Knightley
, Matthew Goode
, Rory Kinnear
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