Enigma (2001 film)


Enigma (2001 film)

Infobox_Film
name = Enigma


writer = Tom Stoppard
(based on the novel by Robert Harris)
starring = Dougray Scott
Kate Winslet
Saffron Burrows
Jeremy Northam
director = Michael Apted
producer = Mick Jagger
Lorne Michaels
music = John Barry
cinematography = Seamus McGarvey
editing = Rick Shaine
distributor = Miramax Films
released = January 22, 2001
runtime = 119 min.
language = English
budget =
imdb_id = 0157583

"Enigma" is a 2001 film set in World War II. It stars Dougray Scott and Kate Winslet and is based on the novel "Enigma" by Robert Harris.

Plot

The story takes place in March 1943 with the Second World War at its height and is loosely based on actual events. The cryptanalysts at Bletchley Park, England, have a problem: the Nazi U-boats have increased the security of key-changing of their Enigma machine ciphers, leading to a blackout in the flow of naval vital signals intelligence. This could spell disaster in the critical Battle of the Atlantic, on whose outcome Britain's survival depends. The British cryptanalysts have cracked the "shark" cipher before, and they need to do it again in order to keep track of U-boat locations and steer shipping convoys out of their way.

The plot follows the fictional character of the brilliant but maverick working class mathematician Tom Jericho (played by Dougray Scott). He is returned to Bletchley Park from Cambridge to assist with the crisis after a period of recuperation bought on by overwork earlier in the war combined with an unhappy love affair with Claire Romilly (Saffron Burrows), which led to his having a nervous breakdown. Jericho immediately tries to see Claire again and finds she has mysteriously disappeared. He enlists the help of Claire's blue stocking housemate Hester Wallace (Kate Winslet) to follow the trail of clues and learn what has happened to her. Mr. Jericho and Miss Wallace, as they coldly call each other, repeatedly break the rules of the Bletchley Park establishment and the law as their hunt gets more intense. Jericho is closely watched by MI5 agent Wigram (Jeremy Northam), who plays cat and mouse with him throughout the film. Jericho is tolerated at the Park, despite his transgressions, because of the brilliant plan he invents for uncovering the new key. The plan may unfortunately mean sacrificing at least one Allied convoy to the U-boats.

The film follows events as signals intelligence see a convoy spotted and then hunted down by the U-boats, but this gives enough information for the new key to be analysed using electro mechanical Bombe devices.

Tom and Hester at the same time in their unofficial research uncover a British government plot to bury the intelligence information of the Katyn massacre for fear it might weaken American willingness to remain in the war on the same side as Stalin.

This in turn leads to their suspicion that a Polish cryptanalyst, Jozef 'Puck' Pukowski (Nikolaj Coster Waldau) at the park may have been so incensed by his own learning of the massacre that he is prepared to betray Bletchley's secrets to the Nazis in order to take revenge on Stalin. [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0157583/plotsummary Plot summary from "IMDB"] .Retrieved on 2007-08-09.]

Main cast

*Dougray Scott - Tom Jericho
*Kate Winslet - Hester Wallace
*Saffron Burrows - Claire Romilly
*Jeremy Northam - Mr. Wigram
*Nikolaj Coster Waldau - Jozef 'Puck' Pukowski
*Tom Hollander - Logie
*Donald Sumpter - Leveret
*Matthew Macfadyen - Cave
*Corin Redgrave - Admiral Trowbridge
*Nicholas Rowe - Villiers
*Edward Hardwicke - Heaviside

Criticism

The film - and by association the book - have attracted criticism for their portrayal of the Polish role in Enigma decryption Fact|date=October 2008. Critics argue that in the film the fictitious traitor turns out to be Polish whilst only slight mention is made of the contributions of pre-war Polish Cipher Bureau cryptologists to Allied Enigma decryption efforts and that historically the only known traitor active at Bletchley Park was British spy John Cairncross who passed crucial secrets to the Soviet Union. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1999/09/99/britain_betrayed/444058.stm "The Cambridge spy ring" - BBC News, 13 September 1999] .Retrieved on 2007-08-09.]

Miscellaneous facts

* During the film' premiere in Edinburgh, Dougray Scott stayed for only fifteen minutes of the film – he went to a nearby pub to watch a Scottish Premier League football match between Rangers and his favourite team, Hibernian. Co-producer Mick Jagger stayed away altogether. [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0157583/news/ "Jagger No-show At Enigma Premiere", IMDB, 20 August 2001] .Retrieved on 2007-08-09.]
* When Tom Jericho is tapping on the desk with a pencil in the film, he is spelling out "Claire" in Morse code.
* When Hester Wallace decodes the long list of Polish names the camera zooms in on the name "Zygalski". Henryk Zygalski was a Polish mathematician who helped to break Enigma designing the "perforated sheets" also known as "Zygalski sheets".
* The mansion in the film is not the real Bletchley Park mansion – it was shot, instead, at Chicheley Hall. [ Sleeve notes from DVD. ]
* Co-producer Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones rock group, makes a cameo appearance as a RAF officer at a dance. He also lent the film's design department a four-rotor Enigma encoding machine he owned – to ensure the historical accuracy of one of the props.
* The festivities around the London premiere of the film are shown in the 2001 documentary "Being Mick".

ee also

* "U-571" (2000)
* Cryptanalysis of the Enigma
* Enigma machine
* Ultra

References

External links

*imdb title|id=0157583|title=Enigma
* [http://www.cryptographic.co.uk/enigmareview.html Review by Andrew Hodges]


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