6.4/10
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175 user 117 critic

Enigma (2001)

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A young genius frantically races against time to crack an enemy code and solve the mystery surrounding the woman he loves.

Director:

Michael Apted

Writers:

Robert Harris (novel), Tom Stoppard (screenplay)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dougray Scott ... Thomas Jericho
Kate Winslet ... Hester Wallace
Saffron Burrows ... Claire
Jeremy Northam ... Wigram
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ... Puck (as Nikolaj Coster Waldau)
Tom Hollander ... Logie
Donald Sumpter ... Leveret
Matthew Macfadyen ... Cave
Richard Leaf ... Baxter
Ian Felce Ian Felce ... Proudfoot
Bohdan Poraj Bohdan Poraj ... Pinker
Paul Rattray ... Kingcome
Richard Katz ... De Brooke
Tom Fisher Tom Fisher ... Upjohn
Robert Pugh ... Skynner
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Storyline

During the heart of World War II, in March of 1943, cryptoanalysts at Britain's code-breaking center have discovered to their horror that Nazi U-boats have changed their Enigma Code. Authorities enlist the help of a brilliant young man named Tom Jericho to help them break the code again. The possibility of a spy within the British code-breakers' ranks looms and Tom's love, Claire, has disappeared. To solve the mysteries, Tom recruits Claire's best friend, Hester Wallace. In investigating Claire's personal life, the pair discovers personal and international betrayals. Written by Anna <dimenxia@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Unlock the secret See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a sex scene and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Germany | Netherlands

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

7 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enigma - Das Geheimnis See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£796,776 (United Kingdom), 30 September 2001, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$156,587, 21 April 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,298,329, 24 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hester Wallace adjusts her spectacles 16 separate times throughout the movie. See more »

Goofs

When asked what the Enigma machine does, Jericho explains that "it turns plain text messages into gobbledygook." The word "gobbledygook" was invented by U.S. Republican Maury Maverick on March 30, 1944 (imitating the sound of a turkey) while the film is set in 1943. See more »

Quotes

Claire Romilly: Poor you. I really got under your skin, didn't I?
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Connections

Referenced in Enigma: Cast and Crew Interviews (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful)
(uncredited)
Music composer unknown
Latin words by John Francis Wade (ca 1743)
English lyrics by Frederick Oakeley (1841)
Background music in one scene
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User Reviews

 
A decent spy yarn but falls far short of the true story
29 October 2003 | by mfisher452See all my reviews

A couple of years ago PBS aired a 2-hour episode of Nova (the American equivalent of the BBC's Horizon) called 'Decoding Nazi Secrets.' It was a fascinating documentary about the work done at Bletchley Park, as well as some material about its American counterpart, Arlington Hall. I had wished it was even longer, for I suspected that what was left out was as interesting as what was included. Among the many memorable characters in the story, none stood out more than Alan Turing, a painfully shy, socially awkward, utterly brilliant genius. I found myself wishing that someone would make a theatrical film about the Enigma code and a film of Alan Turing's life, or both.

Unfortunately, this isn't it. In March of 1943, code-breakers at Bletchley Park discover to their horror that the German navy has changed the code sets used to communicate with U-boats at sea. These were based on the famous and diabolically complex encryption machine known as the Enigma. Authorities enlist the help of a brilliant young man named Tom Jericho (played by Dougray Scott) to help them break the code again. The possibility of a spy within the British code-breakers' ranks is raised, and Tom's love interest, Claire (Saffron Burrows), has disappeared. To solve these mysteries, Tom recruits Claire's best friend, Hester Wallace (Kate Winslet). While investigating Claire's personal life, the pair discovers personal and international betrayals involving the now-infamous Katyn massacre in Poland. Of course, Tom and Hester fall in love.

Dougray Scott actually does bear some physical resemblance to Alan Turing, but there the comparison ends. Turing's sorry, shabby reward for the instrumental role he played in winning the war for Britain was to be persecuted during the Cold War because his homosexuality was viewed as a security risk, to the point that he committed suicide. While 'Enigma' looks good and plays fairly well as a decent espionage film, the viewer who knows the factual background of this piece of fiction will probably be disappointed. The best part for me was the recreation of the physical setting at wartime Bletchley Park, especially the Enigma machines themselves and the famous Bombes, which were invented by Turing (Jericho in the film). These were among the world's first computing machines; they were a stroke of brilliance by Turing: Instead of looking for what a coded message WAS, they operated according to the principle of eliminating what it was NOT. This cut the number of possibilities by better than 90% and greatly simplified the work of the human code-breakers. It is somewhat surprising that this rather wan film is the work of Tom Stoppard and Michael Apted; they have done better.


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