Hit Film “The Imitation Game” Inaccurately Portrays Turing and the Enigma Code

Patti MayonnaiseJanuary 3, 2015558 Views

As most would probably venture to guess, the average mathematician’s life would not make for a major Hollywood blockbuster. On the other hand, Alan Turing was not what one would deem a typical mathematician. Whether you are evaluating Turing’s accomplishments in terms of being the ingenious inspiration for the modern day computer or his life saving code breaking skills which thwarted Nazi attacks during World War II, the renowned mathematic whiz made waves unlike anyone within his realm of expertise. It is no surprise that the film has managed to garner imitationthe attention that it has despite what would otherwise be a rather dull subject.

While Benedict Cumberbatch delivers a riveting performance that is gaining momentous attention from the Academy, some historians are calling foul due to the tremendous degree of artistic license which was taken. This is no surprise concerning Hollywood and nothing new. However, most would argue that Turing’s real life story was truly compelling enough without putting the old Tinsel Town spin on it. The closet homosexual and genius code breaker did so much throughout the war and affected our lives today in numerous ways. In fact, Alan Turing even outlined his own personal conception of a computer in a research paper published back in 1936. One of the most noteworthy of Turing’s biographers has mentioned that the most thrilling dramatic components of the mathematician/hero’s life was not even illustrated in the film.   imitation2

It is said that the Germans had developed a much more elaborate form of the Enigma code by the early 1940s which was utilized for naval communications. Through this desperate time of the war, Turing and his American team members had even attempted running numerous bombes parallel to the electrical aspects in order to quicken the process of breaking the code. This 1942 Enigma upgrade had consequences that reached well beyond World War II. These directly coincided with the digital computer we know today. There is even a storyline within the film in which Turing does not report a Soviet spy for fear of being exposed as a homosexual. Just as with many Hollywood portrayals, those seeking accuracy should do their own research and take Tinsel Town’s interpretation with a grain of salt.

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