I don’t know about you, but it takes a lot to get me into a movie theater these days. Maybe it is because I am not in the target demographic of the 16-18 year old rushing to see Spiderman XXI, or gratuitous vulgarity doesn’t have a hold on my life it did when I was 18.
But there are 3 movies that surprisingly have come at the same time and are on my “to see” list.
I read the book by Laura Hildebrand a couple of years ago about Louis Zamperini’s unbelievable WW2 Odyssey. So when her book, Unbroken, was put to screen (by Angelina Jolie!) that made the list.
American Sniper, the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, is surprising all of the “experts” as reported by xbradtc, and is breaking box office records. While waiting the 45 minutes for my movie today to start, I snuck into the adjoining theater to see some of American Sniper. About 90% of the seats were taken and as I stood by the wall for 30 minutes I was taken by this movie.
I am going to see this one tomorrow.
But the movie I wish to talk about now had a long gestation period and it was questionable that it would ever be made. And I was surprised that due to the British Official Secrets Act, the world didn’t even know about Alan Turing until the 1990s. But his contribution, and that of a select circle around him, cannot be overestimated. According to the movie, they cut 2 years off the duration of WW2 (in the European Theater, at any rate).
Playing historical “what if” is always dangerous and inevitably futile, and it can’t be forgotten that had the war dragged on with the successful result of the Manhattan Project, Germany too would have been a target.
I first became interested in the Enigma when I read a book given to me about the code-breaking. To tell you the truth I couldn’t understand some of it but was interested to learn that the Enigma machine was invented not as a Nazi cypher machine, but a commercial machine in the 1920s. The company could not find a market for it.
I read a fascinating article about our efforts to break the Japanese codes (there were 2, diplomatic and military) and sent the book on to that author from the American Heritage magazine.
Anyway from what I do know about Turing the movie is fairly accurate (always a consideration when Hollywood produces an “historical” movie) although the person of Turing’s associate Joan Clarke has been fictionalized somewhat.
If The Imitation Game is in your area, it is worth seeing.