The Imitation Game – A Historical Review

Caution, minor spoilers will be present.

The Imitation game is a 2014 historical film released based on the story of Alan Turing, and his invention of “Christopher,” which is today credited as one of the world’s first ever computers. imitation_game_machine.0.0The movie seemed historically accurate, taking note of many details of turning life, such his attempts to find people who were qualified by finding people who could finish Turing’s crossword puzzle within minutes. However, the movie is based upon a book called Alan Turing: The Enigma, which is a secondary source, not a primary source, meaning that many parts are inaccurate since some of the information behind Alan Turing may still have been classified. For example, in the movie, the concept of “homosexuality” was explored, but not fleshed out, suggesting that there was not enough information about it to delve on it further, eg files behind him still may have been classified since the book was released in 1980. Some minor details in the movie are also historically inaccurate, eg the actual machine was called “Bombe” not “Christopher,” and the concept of a soviet spy. In the movie, a member of Turing’s team, Cairncross is revealed to be a Soviet spy, and is passing messages to the Soviet government about the British. In reality, Cairncross did not work on creating Bombe, but rather served as a translator for the German messages. Meaning he may have been added to create more intensity. To sum it up, the movie is mostly historically accurate, however some minor points are inaccurate due to the base of the movie being a secondary source, and some elements are added to make the movie more intense, and to add a sense of plot twist.

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