According to a Monday story in Deadline Hollywood, the London Film Festival will headline a showing of “The Imitation Game” which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley and depicts the war time exploits of Alan Turing. Turing, a brilliant mathematician, practically invented computer science to break the German Enigma Code. Because of his feat, Winston Churchill credited Turing as being the one man most responsible for winning the war in Europe, Because the allies could decipher the code, they could anticipate the Germans’ every move.
Turing, who went on to develop many of the principles of computer science, is a tragic figure because he happened to be gay in a Great Britain where homosexuality was illegal, due to a law passed during the reign of Queen Victoria. He was caught and convicted when an affair with a student was discovered in 1952. He was offered the choice between prison and chemical castration. He choose the latter, but died two years later when he imitated a favorite scene from “Snow White” by eating an apple laced with cyanide.
The apple that ended Turing became the inspiration for the name of the Apple Computer company. The law that Turing was convicted under was eventually done away with. Queen Elizabeth II has granted Turing a posthumous pardon.
According to a story in the UK Daily Mail, the movie underwent a touch a controversy when Turing’s biographer, Andrew Hodges, objected to some details in the script that are fictional. In particular he stated that the movie exaggerated the relationship between Turing and Joan Clarke, played by Knightly, a brilliant cryptographer who worked for Turing at the famous Bletchley Park facility. The film also establishes a fictional relationship between Turing and John Cairncross, a member of the notorious Kim Philby spy ring.
“The Imitation Game” is due to be released in the United States on November 21, It will be released in Great Britain a week earlier. The film also stars Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, and Mark Strong.