Enigma

There will never be a shortage of fascinating war stories to tell, and Enigma is no exception. Directed by Michael Apted (Coal Miner's Daughter, The 7 Up series, Enough), produced by Mick Jagger and Lorne Michaels, and penned by Tom Stoppard (adapted from the Robert Harris 1995 bestseller), this production boasts a variety of talents, including a top-notch cast. The story (circa 1943) revolves around genius codebreaker Tom Jericho (Dougray Scott), who is o­n temporary leave from his duties at Bletchley Park (England's top-secret decoding headquarters) to get over his infatuation with the beautiful, but promiscuous Claire (Saffron Burrows), who has mysteriously disappeared. Claire is a transcription clerk at Bletchley Park suspected of disclosing vital information to the Germans. With Claire's plain-Jane flatmate Hester (Kate Winslet), Tom deciphers some vital cryptograms found hidden in Claire's room, thus saving the Allied convoy stalked by Nazi U-boats. Though Enigma may be a romantic thriller, some real facts remain. Bletchley Park was the birthplace of the modern computer and code-breaking central for the Allied forces during WWII, boasting over 12,000 employees. The fictional Tom was based o­n real-life mathematician Alan Turing, inventor of the "bombe machine"(a device that decoded the letter combinations generated by the Enigma machine), who is hailed by today's computer hacks as the father of modern computing. The Enigma machine was the main coding device used by the German forces, believed by them to be unbreakable code-wise. Turing (a homosexual), committed suicide after the war by eating a poisoned apple, hence Applemac's legacy to him, the bitten apple logo. Bletchley Park's code-breakers never received official recognition. Their work (which hastened the war's end), was kept secret for 30 years. Bletchley Park is now a museum housing wartime memorabilia. 

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