Breaking the Code
'Breaking the Code' tells the story of the mathematical genius, Alan Turing who, seconded to top secret Bletchley Park during World War II, designed the first computer, which enabled the Allies to crack the German Enigma code and, some would argue, win the war. On Churchill's instructions, Turing was given all the resources he required - and his personal behaviour was tolerated. Turing was a practising homosexual at a time when it was illegal.
At Bletchley, Turing's genius was recognised immediately - as perhaps were his sexual predilections. While discussing the practical applications of his scientific research, Turing speaks what is perhaps the central line of the film: 'I have always been willing - indeed eager - to accept moral responsibility for what I do'. It was that uncompromising stance, plus his unworldly genius which was Turing's strength in scientific research, but his personal undoing.
After the war, Turing continued research, but became progressively entangled in the law after voluntarily reporting a burglary to the police. When asked whom he suspects, Turing suggests a casual male lover. Surprisingly, he confesses to his homosexuality - it was illegal - and is charged. Later, Turing goes on holiday to Corfu and picks up a young Greek boy. Shortly afterwards, Turing commits suicide.
Summarised as baldly as this, 'Breaking The Code' sounds rather bleak: it is not. It is frequently funny, always compassionate and provides real insight into the dilemmas and problems homosexuality in a genius presents; not just to Turing, but to his family and professional colleagues.
- Type of film
- Running Time
- 90 mins
- 35mm Fuji
- Herbert Wise
- John Drury
- Executive Producer
- John Drury
- Director of Photography
- Robin Widgeon BSC
- Principal Cast
- Derek Jacobi, Prunella Scales, Richard Johnson, Amanda Root and Harold Pinter
- Screen Writer
- Hugh Whitemore
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Last updated 26th November 2005