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Codebreaker [DVD]

43 customer reviews

Price: £8.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Ed Stoppard, Henry Goodman
  • Directors: Clare Beavan, Nic Stacey
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Spirit Entertainment Limited
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Sept. 2013
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CX0KJYC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,647 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Documentary drama about British codebreaker and computer scientist Alan Turing. After serving as a codebreaker during World War II, Turing designed the Automatic Computing Engine and helped to develop the Manchester computers. In 1952 he was convicted of homosexual acts and to avoid going to prison he accepted a course of hormonal injections to reduce his sex drive. Two years later he was found dead and was reported to have committed suicide, though many believe it to have been accidental. The film features contributions from those who knew him and experts who explain how his work has proved significant to the development of technology, while Ed Stoppard portrays Turing in re-enactments of his conversations with psychiatrist Dr. Franz Greenbaum (Henry Goodman).

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David Thomson on 28 Oct. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I liked this film about Alan Turing because his story still seems not well known. As a brilliant British scientist he broke German codes in WW2 before laying the foundations of computer science. Then, as a gay man charged with indecent behaviour, he chose hormonal treatment and as a result committed suicide. The story is well told, well acted and requires no knowledge of mathematics, computers or gay actvity.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. G. Jones on 4 July 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Certainly well worth watching, but at times I found the juxtaposition of drama and documentary unsettling. The film assumes he suicided, but is this really known for sure ? Several writers, for example Copeland, seem to think a reasonable probability of accidental death exists. Also, Turing did not break codes without the critical help of a group of other people, for example Flowers, all of whom possessed extreme talent in one field or another. The achievements that were his and his alone were those in mathematics, but of course they are hardly the stuff of emotional drama, whereas homosexuality and injustice are. Provided the viewer knows enough to make these distinctions the film is well acted and compelling.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ivellina on 27 Dec. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A documentary of Alan Turing's life told by people who were close with him. I've always been fascinated by his story and saddened by what they did to him. I really liked the movie, there are interviews with the actual people that new him and dramatization of parts of his life. I recommend it to everyone that is interested to learn more about Alan Turing's life and what kind of person he was.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Seamus Carmody on 9 Mar. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
i was a bit disappointed with the film, which focused on last year of Turin's life and made depressing subject matter, more emphasis should have been placed on this great man's pivotal role and massive contribution to the clandestine war effort
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Mar. 2014
Format: DVD
"Codebreaker: The Alan Turing Story" (2013 release from the UK; 81 min.) is a documentary about Alan Turing, a British math genius who can be called the father of the computer. As the documentary opens, we are reminded that "the drama in this film is based on Alan Turing's writings, historical records, and accounts of those who knew him". After a short introduction where we see Turing talk to his shrink in Manchester, 1952, the documentary cuts back to the beginnings with archival pictures from his days at Sherborne School in 1926 where he develops a strong friendship (if not more) with a class mate. The class mate's death in 1930, just as they were about to start university at Cambridge was devastating to Turing, Turing eventually releases a paper in 1936 "On Computable Numbers", which signals the true dawn of the digital age, confirmed by such interviewees as Steve Wozniak (who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs) and others. Turing eventually broke the code of the German Enigma machine in WWII, a pivotal moment and making him a true hero in every respect. Yet, because of the secrecy of that program, Turing never got the recognition for it, and his homosexual orientation resulted in many troubles. At one point, Turing writes a letter to a friend when things are rough, and he signs off with "Yours in distress, Alan". To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out,

Couple of comments: first, watching this gripping documentary gives you a great perspective on the historical importance Turing had on many levels.
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such a sad sad story, portrayed brilliantly by Stoppard and Goodman. What a disgrace that the British government has not posthumously declared him a hero. It is great that The imitation game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Thuring, is out now. This Codebreaker DVD should be seen as an ESSENTIAL adjunct to understanding something of Alan Thuring's sheer genius.
This DVD is just the right length and is a dramatic biographical portrayal of the key part of Turing's life, featuring his one big love, a boy who tragically died at a terribly young age and who, in many ways, inspired Alan's amazing work output.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By David Rowland TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Sept. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Many years after the second world war the existence of the Bletchley Park codebreaking centre was disclosed and gradually more and more details of its operations and its importance were made known to the general public. Its role was absolutely crucial to the war effort as the breaking of the German Enigma codes, particularly with regard to the movement of U-boats in the Atlantic and intelligence about the disposition and movements of the German army enabled the allies to take effective counter measures. If anyone could be called the "star" of Bletchley Park it was Alan Turing, a brilliant mathematician whose ideas were far ahead of his time and he has been credited with coming up with ideas that lead to modern day computers but he did not live long enough to see the fruits of his labour.

Like many very talented people Turing was an eccentric who was known to wear a gasmask when coming to work because he suffered from hay fever and he was known to wear pyjamas under his clothes. After the war he worked at Manchester University and produced some very advanced ideas about mathematics but his brilliant career was brought to a sudden halt when after reporting a robbery from his home by his friend Turing told the police that he was gay. As homosexuality was against the law in the mid 1950s the police were far more interested in this "crime" than discovering who had robbed Turing. He was found guilty of gross indecency and was told by the court that he could either go to jail or receive "treatment" by drugs to curb his homosexuality. He agreed to the latter course of action but this lead to tragic and probably fatal consequences.
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