The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game

Sloan Foundation Film

Release Date



  • Morten Tyldum


  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Keira Knightley
  • Matthew Goode


  • Hamptons International Film Festival, 2014

During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Told via flashback, The Imitation Game tracks the young, brilliant, and socially awkward mathematician Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) in the early days of World War II as he applies for a top-secret position tasked with decoding the “unbreakable” Nazi cipher machine called Enigma, used to encrypt all military radio transmissions. Turing's team, including Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), analyzes Enigma messages while he builds a machine to decipher them. His work was famously labeled by Winston Churchill as “the greatest single contribution to victory.” But after the war he suffered great personal and professional turmoil, as he dealt with his homosexuality in a time when it was illegal. The film was nominated in eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. It won for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Possible Topics

  • Turning’s invention as the foundation of modern computing
  • The use of cryptography and computer science in a historical context
  • Modern cryptoanalysis

Past Programs


Computers and Cryptography

Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA


The Lasting Impact of Turing's Work

Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, NY

World War II and Cryptology

Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI

The Math Behind the Code, Then and Now

Moxie Cinema, Springfield, MO



Computers and the Dawn of Modern Cryptography

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, OR

Enigma, Bletchley Park, Film, and Reality

Capri Theatre, Montgomery, AL



Cracking the Code

Willcox Theater and Arts, Willcox, AZ