AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Detailed View of Movie
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Title: The Imitation Game

Production Company: The Weinstein Company  
  Black Bear Pictures  
Production Text:
The Weinstein Company Presents
A Black Bear Pictures Production
A Bristol Automotive Production

Release Date: 28 Nov 2014
Premiere Information: Los Angeles and New York openings: 28 Nov 2014
Production Date: eight weeks in summer 2014
Duration (in mins): 114
PCA NO: 49157
Country: United States
Language: English

Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby® Digital in selected theatres
  col:

Producer: Nora Grossman (Prod)
  Ido Ostrowsky (Prod)
  Teddy Schwartzman (Prod)
  Peter Heslop (Co-prod)
  Graham Moore (Exec prod)
Director: Morten Tyldum (Dir)
  Suzie Shearer (Prod mgr)
  Phil Booth (1st asst dir)
  James Manning (2d asst dir)
  Alex Holt (Crowd 2d asst dir)
  Rickie-Lee Roberts (2d asst dir)
  Crispin Reece (2d unit dir, 2d unit)
  Lance Roehrig (1st asst dir, 2d unit)
  James Evered (2d asst dir, 2d unit)
Writer: Graham Moore (Wrt)
Photography: Óscar Faura (Dir of photog)
  Albert Carreras Valesco ('A' cam op)
  Tim Battersby ('A' cam 1st asst cam)
  Simon Surtees ('A' cam 2d asst cam)
  Agnieszka Szeliga (Cam trainee)
  Marc Gomez De Moral ('B' cam op)
  Peter Wignali (Steadicam op)
  Rory Moles ('B' cam 1st asst cam)
  Alexandra Voikou ('B' cam 2d asst cam)
  Demetri Jagger (Video playback op)
  Samuel Beazley (Video asst)
  Stuart King (Gaffer)
  Russell Tann (Best boy)
  Dick Conway (Elec)
  Frank Dawson (Elec)
  Carl McGillivray (Generator op)
  Gary Hutchings (Key grip)
  Ronan Murphy (Grip)
  David Glossop (Standby rigger)
  Jack English (Stills photog)
  Steven Hall (Dir of photog, 2d unit)
  Ian Coffey (1st asst cam, 2d unit)
  Maiya Rose (2d asst cam, 2d unit)
  Kevin Foy (Grip, 2d unit)
  Steve Bass (Standby rigger, 2d unit)
  Sylvester Weekes (Video playback, 2d unit)
  Tony Abejuro (Matchmover)
  Lee Dexter (Matchmover)
  Take Two (Cam equip and video equip)
  Arri Lighting (Electric equip)
  Kodak (Filmed on)
Art Direction: Maria Djurkovic (Prod des)
  Nick Dent (Supervising art dir)
  Rebecca Milton (Art dir)
  Marco Restivo (Art dir)
  Huw Arthur (Standby art dir)
  Lauren Driggs-Miller (Asst art dir)
  Miraphora Mina (Graphic des)
  Eduardo Lima (Graphic des)
  Charis Theobald (Graphic des)
  Leah Beardmore (Art dept asst)
  Temple Clark (Storyboard artist)
  Philip Clark (Art dept visual researcher)
  Roni Rodgrigues (Roto/Prep artist)
Film Editor: William Goldenberg (Film ed)
  Andrew S. Eisen (Film ed)
  Peter Dudgeon (Ed PA)
  Dailies (Negative cutter)
  Company 3 (Dailies tech)
Set Decoration: Tatiana MacDonald (Set dec)
  Liz Ainley (Prod buyer)
  Clare Porritt (Set dec asst)
  Jeremy Hart (Prop maker)
  Jay Butcher (Standby carpenter)
  Ian Chapman (Standby painter)
  Nick Thomas (Property master)
  Charlie Malik (Prop foreman chargehand)
  Nathan Holt (Dressing props)
  Joe Linfield (Dressing props)
  Stuart Rankmore (Dressing props)
  John Claude Bates (Standby props)
  Josh Hartnett (Standby props)
  Simon Sparsis (Standby carpenter, 2d unit)
  Dominic Ackland-Snow (Const mgr)
  Nicky Ackland-Snow (Const coord)
  Paul Jones (HOD carpenter)
  James Shelley (HOD painter)
  Steve Deane (Chargehand carpenter)
  Bradley Woodridge (Chargehand painter)
  Lee Shelley (Chargehand painter)
Costumes: Sammy Sheldon Differ (Cost des)
  Nicole Young (Cost supv)
  Adam Roach (Set costumer)
  Brigitta Barko (Costume standby)
  Ashwin Makan (Costume asst)
  Joanna Nicholls (Costume asst)
  Hayley Steadman (Costume asst)
  Joanna Wright (Costume asst)
  Josie Pledge (Costume alterations)
  Kate Beth Walling (Junior costume asst)
  Nadia Merabti (Junior costume asst)
Music: Lindsay Fellows (Mus supv)
  Alexandre Desplat (Mus)
  Kirsty Whalley (Supervising mus ed)
  Alexandre Desplat (Mus composed and conducted by)
  London Symphony Orchestra (Mus performed by)
  Carmine Lauri (Orchestra leader)
  Dave Arch (Solo piano)
  Dominique "Soi RF" Lemmonier (Score prod)
  Alexandre Desplat (Orchestrations )
  Jean-Pascal Beintus (Orchestrations )
  Sylvain Morizet (Orchestrations )
  Nicolas Charron (Orchestrations )
  Xavier Forcioli (Score coord)
  Romain Allender (Programming)
  Norbert Vergonjanne (Mus preparation)
  Claude Romano (Mus preparation)
  Peter Clarke (Auricle op)
  Peter Corbin (Mus recorded and mixed by)
  Toby Hulbert (Mus rec and mix asst)
  Jamie Ashton (Mus rec and mix asst)
  Abbey Road Studios, London (Score recorded and mixed at)
Sound: John Midgley (Sd recordist)
  Howard Bevan (Boom op)
  Charlotte Gray (Sd asst)
  Sarah Shepherd (Dial coach)
  Martin Seeley (Sd rec, 2d unit)
  Lee Walpole (Supervising sd ed/Sd des)
  Andy Kennedy (Sd des)
  Dan Green (Dial and ADR ed)
  Joe Beal (Sd eff ed)
  Philip Clements (Foley ed)
  Juraj Mravec (Foley rec)
  Catherine Thomas (Foley rec)
  Peter Burgis (Foley artist)
  Sue Harding (Foley artist)
  Stuart Hilliker (Re-rec mixer)
  Martin Jensen (Re-rec mixer)
  James Ridgway (Asst re-rec mixer)
  Boom Post, London (Re-rec at)
  Jess Pegram (Sd facility mgr)
  Adam Lavis (Sd facility support)
  Boom Post, London (ADR provided by, ADR in London)
  Forbes Noonan (ADR rec, ADR in London)
  James Ridgway (ADR rec, ADR in London)
  Pop Sound (ADR provided by, ADR in Los Angeles)
  Chris Pinkston (ADR mixer, ADR in Los Angeles)
  Garrett Montgomery (ADR rec, ADR in Los Angeles)
  Soundtrack Film & Television (ADR provided by, ADR in New York)
  Mark Desimone (ADR mixer, ADR in New York)
  Justine Baker (ADR rec, ADR in New York)
Special Effects: Jason Troughton (Spec eff supv)
  Howard Moore (Spec eff tech)
  Bluebolt (Visual eff by)
  Stuart Bullen (Visual eff supv)
  Angela Barson (Visual eff supv)
  Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor (Visual eff prod)
  Jan Guilfoyle (Visual eff cord)
  Nic Birmingham (C0 supv)
  Simon Rowe (Compositor)
  James Cattell (Compositor)
  Kate Brady (Compositor)
  Yannick Cibin (CG generalist)
  Carlos Diego (CG generalist)
  Victor Georgiev (CG generalist)
  James Sutton (CG generalist)
  Robin Hinch (Visual eff ed)
  Freestyle VFX (Visual eff by)
  Eran Barnea (Visual eff supv)
  Matt Curtis (Main and end titles designed and provided by)
Dance: Scarlett Mackmin (Choreog)
Make Up: Ivana Primorac (Hair and make-up des)
  Amy Riley (Hair & make-up artist)
  Roo Maurice (Hair & make-up artist)
  Denise Kum (Hair & make-up artist)
  Jennifer Harty (Hair & make-up crowd supv)
  Angie Mudge (Crowd hair & make-up artist)
  Gemma Hoff (Crowd hair & make-up artist)
  Jacqueline Rathorf (Crowd hair & make-up artist)
  Gigi Dey (Hair & make-up junior)
  Deborah Ormrod (Crowd hair & make-up trainee)
  Emily Grove (Crowd hair & make-up trainee)
Production Misc: Nina Gold (Casting)
  Tim Pedegana (US post prod supv)
  Mark Harris (UK post prod supv)
  Verity Wislocki (UK post prod supv)
  Kaitlin Menear (US post prod coord)
  Beverly Winston (Scr supv)
  Jami Chan (Prod coord)
  Jasmine Becker-Williams (Asst prod coord)
  Charlotte Keep (Prod secy)
  Steve Baldwin (Rushes runner/PA)
  David Droder (Supervising loc mgr)
  Richard George (Loc mgr)
  Paul Tomlinson (Asst loc mgr)
  Emma Collinson (Asst loc mgr)
  Chris Hankey (Unit mgr)
  Chris Drewer (Loc asst)
  Jonathon Lawrence (Loc asst)
  Dianne Twiddy (Prod accountant)
  Robert MacDonald (Loc accountant)
  Alice Collins (Accounts asst)
  Rory Broadfoot (Floor runner)
  Chantelle Manners (Stand in runner)
  Thomas Barerra (Stand in runner)
  Robert Sternf (Casting assoc)
  Lauren Evans (Casting asst)
  Lesley Bogarity (Extras casting)
  The Casting Network (Extras casting)
  Ann Koska (Child background casting)
  Michelle Sellwood (Asst to Mr. Tyldum)
  Fi Eanor Marker (Post prod asst to Mr. Tyldum)
  Emily Peacock (Asst to Mr. Cumberbatch)
  Marcus Ward (Secy to Ms. Knightley)
  Laura King (Asst to the producers)
  Sebastian Magiera (Asst to the producers)
  Tonia Cohen (Clearances)
  Capello Media Solutions (Clearances)
  DDA Public Relations (Unit pub)
  J&J International (Caterer)
  Jamie Aitken (Head)
  Steve Clarke (Chef)
  Bob Curling (Asst chef)
  Morag Webster (Unit nurse)
  Daisy Rooke (Floor runner, 2d unit)
  Rowena Laddury (Scr supv, 2d unit)
  Julian Chapman (Transportation capt/Driver to Mr. Cumberbatch)
  John Smith (Driver to Ms. Knighley)
  Mick Meehan (Unit driver)
  Chris Popham (Unit driver)
  Clive King (Unit driver)
  Antony Tobie (Unit driver)
  David Ayres (Minibus driver)
  Jay Derham (Minibus driver)
  Greg Howard (HOD facilitators)
  Bradley Barnard (Facilities driver)
  Derrick Foster (Facilities driver)
  Robert Goozee (Facilities driver)
  Location Assist Ltd (Security)
  Peter French (Security lead man)
  Roy Hall (Security lead man)
  Jon Ingold (Mathematical consultant)
  Graeme McCormack (Police advisor)
  Jim Anderson (Achieve footage researcher)
  PMA Productions Ltd (Electronic press kits)
  Ben Stillman (Vice President, Black Bear Pictures)
  Amanda Greenblatt (Creative Executive, Black Bear Pictures)
  Michael Heimler (Coord, Black Bear Pictures)
  Dan Helme (Data wrangler)
  Fiorenza Bagnariol (Digital film bureau)
  Timothy P. Jones (Digital film bureau)
  Gordon Pratt (Digital film bureau)
  Crin McGookin (Head of prod)
  Caire McGrane (Head of operations)
  Rafael Morant (Environments supv)
  Louis Elman (ADR voice casting, ADR in New York)
  Abigail Barbier (ADR voice casting, ADR in New York)
  On-Set Location Services Ltd (Facilities)
  Lara Sargent (Post prod accountant)
  Kirstie White (Post prod asst accountant)
  Saffery Champness (Auditor)
  Wiggin LLP (Prod counsel)
  Loeb & Loeb LLP (Legal counsel)
  Sargent-Disc Ltd, London (Payroll services)
  Richard Moore (Insurance )
  Media Insurance Brokers Ltd (Insurance )
  Getty Images (Stock footage)
  Imperial War Museums (Stock footage)
  ITN Source/Reuters (Stock footage)
  ITN Source/ Images of War (Stock footage)
  Lilandkate London (Accommodations provided by)
  Access Bookings, Simone Harvey (Accommodations provided by)
  Michael Dovey (Flights provided by, The Appointment Group)
  Addison Lee (Car services provided by)
  Gareth Morgan (Visa services provided by)
Stand In: Derek Lea (Stunt coord)
  Ian Kay (Stunt double (young Alan Turing))
  James Grogan (Stunt performer)
  Levan Doran (Stunt performer)
  Will Willoughby (Stunt performer)
  Lloyd Boss (Stunt prod)
Color Personnel: Finlay Duncan (Roto/Prep artist)
  Company 3 (Digital Intermediate provided by )
  Stefan Sonnenfeld (C03 exec prod/Colorist)
  Greg Fisher (Addl colorist)
  James Cody Baker (Addl colorist)
  Jonathan Collard (DI prod)
  Christian Prejza (DI prod)
  Justin Tillett (Digital conform)
  John Quartel (DI technologist)
  Laura Pavone (Color asst)
  Aurora Shannon (Color asst)

Music Text:
Song Text: “Opportunity,” written by Alexander Norris, Stuart A. Hart, Scott Lean, performed by Tony Liberto, courtesy of Selectracks, Inc/BMG Chrysalis; “Eddie’s Boogie,” written and performed by Eddie Palermo, courtesy of Warner Chappell Production Music; “Time To Go,” written and performed by Andrew Snitzer/Tom Gloia, courtesy of Warner Chappell Production Music; “Coffee Meditation,” written and performed by Milan Svoboda (BMI) 100%, courtesy of Warner/Chappell Production Music; “Jive Time,” written by Cathy Bielawski, performed by The Peter Blair Big Band.
Source Text: Based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma, by Andrew Hodges (New York, 1983).
Music Composer: Cathy Bielawski
  Tom Gloia
  Stuart A. Hart
  Scott Lean
  Alexander Norris
  Eddie Palermo
  Andrew Snitzer
  Milan Svoboda
Sung By: Eddie Palermo
  Tony Liberto
  Andrew Snitzer
  Tom Gloia
  Milan Svoboda
  The Peter Blair Big Band

Cast:   Benedict Cumberbatch (Alan Turing)  
    Keira Knightley (Joan Clarke)  
    Matthew Goode (Hugh Alexander)  
    Rory Kinnear (Detective Robert Nock)  
    Allen Leech (John Cairncross)  
    Matthew Beard (Peter Hilton)  
  with Charles Dance (Commander Denniston )  
  and Mark Strong (Stewart Menzies)  
    James Northcote (Jack Good)  
    Tom Goodman Hill (Sergeant Staehl)  
    Steven Waddington (Superintendent Smith)  
    Ilan Goodman (Keith Furman)  
    Jack Tarlton (Charles Richards)  
    Alex Lawther (Young Alan Turing)  
    Jack Bannon (Christopher Morcom)  
    Tuppence Middleton (Helen)  
    Dominic Charman (Sherborne student 1)  
    James G. Nunn (Sherborne student 2)  
    Charlie Manton (Sherborne student 3)  
    David Charkham (Joan's father)  
    Victoria Wicks (Joan's mother)  
    Andrew Havill (Teacher)  
    Laurence Kennedy (Headmaster)  
    Tim Van Eyken (M16 agent)  
    Will Bowden (Military policeman)  
    Miranda Bell (Margaret)  
    Tim Steed (Electrical assistant)  

Summary: In 1951 Manchester, England, police are called to the home of eccentric mathematics professor Alan Turing, who denies a reported break-in. Turing’s odd machines and disinterest in filing a claim intrigues Detective Robert Nock, who forges a letter of authorization to be able to see the professor’s classified military records. Upon finding Turing’s file empty, Nock suspects Turing might be a Soviet spy. Officers determine the robbery was staged by a homosexual prostitute and arrest Turing for “indecency,” but Nock is permitted his own interrogation session with Turing. There, Nock asks about his well-known publication, “The Imitation Game,” in which he compared human thoughts to mechanical “brains.” In response, Turing invites Nock to play the “game.” The investigator must listen to his story, then distinguish between man-made and computer-generated information. He warns Nock to listen carefully, as his words are coded with messages he cannot declare aloud. Turing then recalls his childhood and his work during World War II, breaking Germany’s undecipherable Enigma code. At grammar school, Alan Turing is bullied by classmates, but is rescued by young Christopher Morcom, his sole intellectual peer in mathematics. One day, Turing is engrossed in a crossword puzzle and Christopher shows him A Guide to Codes and Ciphers. When Turing reflects that cryptographs are much like talking, where people speak with veiled intensions, Christopher gives him the book and encourages his friend to pursue the field, saying: “Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine.” The boys invent a coded language to pass notes, and Turing is seduced by their intimacy. On the day students return to school, young Turing prepares a coded declaration of his love for Christopher, but the boy never arrives. When he learns his first love died of tuberculosis, Turing’s foolproof logic fails and he repeats, “I don’t understand.” Years later, in 1939 London, England, war is declared against Germany. Twenty-seven-year-old Alan Turing travels to the heavily guarded Bletchley Park Radio Manufacturing compound, offering his mathematical genius to crack the Enigma code. Although Commander Denniston is put off by Turing’s arrogance, he grudgingly gives him the job, but hopes to eventually fire the young man. At the code-breakers’ first meeting, team leader and chess champion Hugh Alexander, John Cairncross, Peter Hilton, and Alan Turing are presented with an Enigma machine, recently smuggled out of Germany. The Germans change settings every day at midnight, giving decoders only eighteen hours each day to decrypt messages. Hugh Alexander determines there are “159 million million million” possible settings for Enigma each day, and Chief of Secret Service, Stewart Menzies, points out that men are dying every minute. Approaching code breaking as a “game,” the Bletchley decipherers work with encryptions, intercepted every day by women who record German radio signals. Alan Turing soon realizes the men must check twenty million years worth of Enigma settings in twenty minutes to break the code and insists on building a £100,000 machine for the job. He nicknames his machine “Christopher.” Despite Turing’s genius, he is pompous, anti-social, and universally despised. When Commander Denniston threatens to close down the project, however, Turing secures authorization from Winston Churchill and fires two colleagues. Predicting that word game prodigies are the best code-breakers, Turing publishes a newspaper crossword puzzle, announcing that any person who finishes it in under ten minutes will be considered “for an exciting career opportunity.” Sometime later, a group of men convene for the next step in the process. When a young woman named Joan Clarke arrives late, she is directed to the secretarial office, but Turing gives her a chance and instructs the candidates to complete another puzzle in less than six minutes. As Turing quietly tells Secret Service Agent Menzies that the task is impossible to finish in less than eight minutes, Joan raises her hand, finishing the task in just over five minutes. Joan is hired, but fails to report for duty because her parents want her to become a housewife. Turing rushes to assure them that Joan will be living with a group of “decorous” young ladies. When Joan asks why he helps her, he remembers Christopher and replies, “the very people who no one imagines anything of… do the things no one can imagine.” Keeping her employment a secret, Turing smuggles classified paperwork to Joan’s boarding house. One day, Denniston declares there is Russian spy in their midst and accuses Turing, but he is unable to find proof. To cheer her friend, Joan explains her latest findings: certain parts of German messages can be automatically rejected if they are repeated each day, therefore giving “Christopher” less content to decipher. By 1941, Joan has convinced Turing to befriend his co-workers, and chess champion Hugh Alexander discovers a quicker way to wire “Christopher.” The machine finally runs, but fails to yield results and Denniston attempts to fire Turing yet again. However, Hugh and his team threaten to quit if Turing goes, and Denniston permits them one last month. As they scramble to make “Christopher” work, Joan announces she must return home, and Turing proposes marriage to remedy the situation. At the engagement party, he admits to his colleague, John, that he is attracted to men, and John reminds Turing that homosexuality is a crime. “Christopher” remains unworkable as the month comes to a close, but Turing has a breakthrough when he overhears Joan’s friend flirting with Hugh. The young woman, who records German radio signals, says she feels intimacy with an unknown German, because he always begins messages with a woman’s five-letter name. Realizing the codes contain predictable patterns—the first five letters and the last phrase, “Heil Hitler”— Turing rushes back to “Christopher” and sends a message through the machine, removing anticipated letters. Using “Christopher’s” translation, Turing and his colleagues feed a recent intercept through Enigma and finally break the code. In time, they determine locations of every Nazi warship and predict attack coordinates, but Turing insists they keep their findings secret. Even though thousands of lives are at stake, preemptive strikes will only alert Germany to the fact that Enigma is cracked. Turing and Joan convince Secret Service Agent Menzies to statistically designate how many attacks Britain can intercept without raising Germany’s suspicion, and the agent creates a system called “Ultra” to mask Enigma codes. The conspiracy remains secret, even to Winston Churchill. One day, Turing discovers that his Enigma partner, John Cairncross, is the Russian spy, but John threatens to reveal Turing’s homosexuality if he takes action. Turing later finds Menzies at Joan’s house, going through the unauthorized paperwork in her possession. When the secret agent declares the paperwork is evidence that Joan is the team’s Russian operative, and she is in prison, Turing confesses that John is the spy. However, Menzies admits he planted John in the group so he could leak information to Russia without Churchill’s knowledge. Turing agrees to participate in the Russian leak to save Joan, only to learn that she had never been arrested—Menzies used the story to manipulate him into collusion. Concerned for Joan’s safety, Turing calls off their engagement, orders her to leave Bletchley, and admits he is gay, but she accepts his sexual orientation and refuses to quit. When the war ends in 1945, Menzies orders the unit to burn their work so the world will continue to believe Enigma is unbreakable. Six years later, in 1951, Turing finishes his interrogation and asks Detective Robert Nock to test “The Imitation Game.” However, the officer is stumped by what he learned and is unable to prove there is a significant difference between the mind of a man and the “brain” of a machine. Turing is later sentenced for “indecency,” but opts to take hormonal drugs to “cure” his homosexuality, in lieu of prison. Joan visits her old friend, but he refuses help, petrified the law will separate him from his ever-evolving and beloved machine, “Christopher.” Befuddled and depressed, Turing is unable to complete ordinary tasks, such as his favorite pastime, crossword puzzles. As he mourns the castration of his intelligence and his outcast existence, Joan reminds him that it is those “who no one imagines anything of, who do the things no one can imagine.”  

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: World War II
 
Subject Major: Computers
  Conspiracy
  Games
  Homosexuality
  Secret codes
  Secret formulas
  World War II
 
Subject Minor: Career women
  Codes
  England
  Impersonation and imposture
  Interrogation
  Mathematicians
  Mathematics
  Police detectives
  Professors
  Puzzles
  Russia. Secret Service
  Secret agents
  Secret documents
  Secret Service

Note: End credits include the following acknowledgements: “The producers wish to thank”: “Simon Beresford; Bicester Heritage; Bletchley Park Trust; Josh Bosin; British Film Commission; British Film Institute; Ben Browning; Graham Campbell and the staff of Joyce Grove, Nettlebed; Reverend Campbell Cansdale; Iain Canning; Neil Calder;Chanel; Daniela Derbyshire; Anna Dudley; Michael Duff; Laura Engel; Ben Epstein; Alice Gill-Carey and the girls of Channing School; Kat Gosling; Micah Green; Kelsey Griffin; Ronald Halpern; Sophie Harris; Jon Ingold; Alex Irwin; Adam Isaacs; Lindy King; Kattie Kotok; Niija Kuykendall; David Kwong; Jessica Lacy; The Law Society; Jeanne Leitenberg; London Underground Film Office; Joel Ludin; Katherine Lynch; Jonathan McClain; Graeme McCormack; Robert Messinger; Pearl Naicker; National Computer System; Guri Nebi; Network Rail; Danny Perkins; Red Cross; Residents of Church Street Chesham; Elan Ruspoli; Lara Sackett; Stephen Saltzman; Peter Sample; Michael Schenkman; Sarah Shepherd; Mick Sullivan; Iain Standen; Roeg Sutherland; Staff and students of Sherbourne School; Turing Archive; Nicola Van Gelder; West Coast Railway Company; Jack Whigham; Mark Woollen & Associates; Stephen Zager. The filmmakers also credit “Special thanks” to, “J. Blakeson; Bard Dorros; Tom Drumm; Jerome Duboz; JP Evans; John Grant; The Grossman Family; Shuna Hunt; Elia Infascelli; Billy Lazarus; Laura Lewis; Clint Mansell; The Ostrowsky Family; Inagh Payne; Keith Redman; Cliff Roberts; Janet Ferrier Robinson; The Schwartzman Family; Daniel Steinman; Sir John Dermot Turing; Janne Tyldum; Alan Werthfimer.”
       End credits also note the film was, “Supported by TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, a year round program of the Tribeca Film Institute.”
       The film begins with the written statement, “Based on a true story; 1951 Manchester, England” and the following voice-over narration by the character “Alan Turing” as he speaks to his interrogator, “Detective Robert Nock”: “Are you paying attention? Good. If you’re not listening carefully, you will miss things, important things. I will not pause, I will not repeat myself and you will not interrupt me. You think that because you are sitting where you are and I am sitting where I am that you are in control of what is about to happen. You’re mistaken. I am in control, because I know things you do not know. What I need from you now is a commitment. You will listen closely and you will not judge me until I am finished. If you cannot commit to this then please leave the room. But if you choose to stay remember you chose to be here. What happens from this moment forward is not my responsibility. It’s yours. Pay attention.” Turing’s narration continues intermittently throughout the film. The movie does not have a linear narrative, but switches back and forth between Turing’s childhood at boarding school, his work on the Enigma Project, and his arrest for “indecency,” which is used as the film’s framing device. The picture also includes newsreel footage from World War II.
       The film concludes with the written epilogue: “After a year of government-mandated hormonal therapy, Alan Turing committed suicide on June 7th, 1954; He was 41 years old; Between 1885 and 1967, approximately 49,000 homosexual men were convicted of gross indecency under British law; In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II granted Turing a posthumous Royal Pardon, honoring his unprecedented achievements; Historians estimate that breaking Enigma shortened the war by more than two years, saving over 14 million lives; It remained a government held secret for more than 50 years; Turing’s work inspired generations of research into what scientists called “Turing Machines”; Today, we call them computers.”
       According to a 26 Nov 2014 Var article, first-time screenwriter Graham Moore had nearly given up on being a film or television writer after working six months on the television series 10 Things I Hate About You (ABC, 7 Jul 2009—24 May 2010). He found greater success at writing novels, and his first publication, The Sherlockian (New York, 2010), was a NYT bestseller. In summer 2010, Moore attended a party hosted by producer Nora Grossman and learned she optioned Andrew Hodges’s biography Alan Turing: The Enigma (New York, 1983). As noted in the film’s 30 Oct 2014 NYT review, Moore was a life-long computer enthusiast with an ongoing obsession with Turing’s story. Although Moore did not know Grossman personally, he pleaded with her to give him a chance at writing the screen adaptation.
       The NYT review stated that Moore began writing the first scene of The Imitation Game in an airplane while in transit on a book tour for The Sherlockian. Various adaptations of Andrew Hodges’s biography had already been produced theatrically, in Hugh Whitemore’s London and Broadway play, Breaking the Code (1986), and a 1996 BBC television adaptation of the same name, starring Derek Jacobi. Despite their titles, neither focused on the actual breaking of the Enigma code. Moore’s screenplay turned the narrative into an “espionage thriller.” According to the NYT, Moore’s account was not entirely accurate, as there was no single “breakthrough” moment for the Bletchley Park, England, cryptographers. Instead, the Germans continued to refine the code, and it had to be cracked on more than one occasion.
       By 2011, thirty-three-year-old Graham Moore’s script topped Hollywood’s “Black List,” a catalog of esteemed but unproduced screenplays. According to Var and a 20 Aug 2012 HR news item, the project was acquired by Warner Bros. on speculation for “seven figures” in fall 2011, hoping that Leonardo DiCaprio would agree to play the starring role. In Mar 2011, J. Blakeson was hired to direct, as announced in a 19 Mar 2012 DV brief. At that time, Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky were listed as producers, and Niija Kuykendall was elected to be Warner Bros.’ representative. By late-Aug 2012, however, DiCaprio was out of the project to which he was never formally attached, and Warner’s “progress-to-production clause” prompted the studio to let their option lapse. DV speculated that DiCaprio declined the role due to his commitment to Martin Scorcese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, see entry).
       Released from their contract with Warner Bros., Grossman and Ostrowsky joined forces with producer Teddy Schwartzman, who independently financed the picture for $15 million through his company, Black Bear Productions. As stated in the NYT review, Schwartzman contacted director Morten Tyldum after watching his 2011 Norwegian film, Headhunters, noting that “high-profile” British directors under consideration lacked passion and emotional range in their work. The Imitation Game was Tyldum’s first English-language theatrically released feature film.
       At that time, Benedict Cumberbatch was best known for his title role in Sherlock, the BBC/PBS television series (2010—2014), for which he won an Emmy Award during its final season. While researching his character with Turing’s relatives and colleagues, Cumberbatch came to question the man’s diagnosis by several historians as “somewhere on the Asperger’s spectrum” of autism. Noting that Turing was “just a very brilliant, very sensitive human being,” Cumberbatch reflected that Turing’s detachment from his parents, who lived in India, provoked feelings of being a consummate “outsider.” However, Turing was also “physically and emotionally rugged” as an internationally known marathoner and an unapologetic homosexual.
       According to a 2 Nov 2014 LAT article, principal photography occurred over eight weeks. Locations including Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, England, and Sherborne School in Dorset, England, were authentic to Turing’s life.
       On 21 Feb 2014, Var announced that the Weinstein Company purchased the film’s domestic distribution rights for $7 million after a festival screening in Berlin, Germany. Nearly three months later, a 14 May 2014 Var brief stated that Squareone Entertainment had partnered with Telepol to purchase distribution rights in Germany for an undisclosed fee, and FilmNation would negotiate the sale of international rights at the Cannes Film Festival. At that time, the picture was still in post-production.
       A 21 Jul 2014 Var news item listed The Imitation Game as the opening film at the 58th BFI London Film Festival on 8 Oct 2014, making its European premiere. The picture screened at festivals in Telluride, CO, and Toronto, Canada, where it won the “Grolsch People’s Choice Award.” The Weinstein Company planned to open the picture in the U.S. on 21 Nov 2014, one week after its U.K. release. However, the U.S. opening was pushed back one week to 28 Nov 2014. As stated in a 30 Nov 2014 Var article, The Imitation Game earned the “second-highest per-screen average” of films released during its opening Thanksgiving holiday weekend, grossing $482,000 in four New York City and Los Angeles theaters, averaging $120,518 per venue. Known for its distribution tactics during the pre-awards season, using word-of-mouth to expand popularity, the Weinstein Company increased exhibition to six “markets” and twenty-five to thirty new theaters on 12 Dec 2014. A nationwide release at 600-800 screens was scheduled for Christmas Day, 25 Dec 2014.
       The Imitation Game was named one of AFI’s Movies of the Year and was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards in the following categories: Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama (Benedict Cumberbatch), Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Keira Knightley), Best Screenplay (Graham Moore), Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat), and Best Motion Picture, Drama.  

Note Credits: Personal note credit: Leonardo DiCaprio
  Personal note credit: Niija Kuykendall
  Geographic location: Buckinghamshire England United Kingdom
  Geographic location: Dorset England United Kingdom

Source   Date   Page
Daily Variety   19 Mar 2012.   
Hollywood Reporter   20 Aug 2012.   
Hollywood Reporter   30 Aug 2014.   
Los Angeles Times   2 Nov 2014.   
Los Angeles Times   28 Nov 2014.   
New York Times   30 Oct 2014.   
Variety   21 Feb 2014.   
Variety   14 May 2014.   
Variety   4 Jun 2014.   
Variety   21 Jul 2014.   
Variety   30 Aug 2014.   
Variety   26 Nov 2014.   
Variety   30 Nov 2014.   

 
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.