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Enigma [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Dougray Scott , Kate Winslet , Michael Apted    DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
Price: £9.63
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Enigma [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Codebreaker [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet, Saffron Burrows, Jeremy Northam, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
  • Directors: Michael Apted
  • Writers: Robert Harris, Tom Stoppard
  • Producers: Ate de Jong, David Brown, Guy East, Hanno Huth, Jeanney Kim
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Sep 2003
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AKCJM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,734 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Codebreaking is an inherently fascinating but not especially cinematic endeavour, which is why Enigma spices up the true story of Bletchley Park and its eclectic group of Nazi code-cracking geniuses with some fictional romance and intrigue. Dougray Scott plays gaunt mathematician Tom Jericho, haunted by the spectre of his missing girlfriend Claire (self-consciously gorgeous Saffron Burrows). Tom turns to Claire's frumpy housemate Hester Wallace (dressed-down Kate Winslet) to help him find her, but their search unexpectedly reveals the presence of a spy at Bletchley Park. Matters are further complicated by an investigating secret service agent (imperturbable Jeremy Northam) and the hostility of Jericho's superiors.

Based on the novel by Robert Harris and adapted for the screen by Tom Stoppard, Enigma is unsurprisingly a literate and accomplished piece, unfussily directed by Michael Apted who keeps the various current and flashback story threads moving neatly in parallel, helped along by a languid score from veteran John Barry and a vividly realised wartime setting ("Have you heard the latest? Utility knickers--one yank and they're off!"). The contrived plot, however, distracts from the real drama, which is to be found in the desperate struggle to decipher the Enigma machine codes and the sometimes terrible ethical dilemmas involved. A little like that other Kate Winslet film, Titanic, this is another example of the factual background being far more compelling than the fiction grafted on top.

On the DVD: Engima arrives on disc in an extras-free package, with only scene selection and subtitles. More than one excellent documentary has been made about Alan Turing and his team of Bletchley Park codebreakers, so it's doubly disappointing to have nothing here on the real-life events depicted in the movie. Picture is widescreen 1.78:1 and sound Dolby 5.1 surround.--Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four enigmas for the price of one 6 Feb 2007
ENIGMA is an uncommonly intelligent suspense thriller that should please anyone interested in Britain's WWII code breaking efforts at Bletchley Park.

Dougray Scott plays Tom Jericho, a mathematician returning to duty after recovering from a mental breakdown suffered in an earlier stint at The Park while breaking the German military's Enigma code and, probably more to the point, falling for, and being dumped by, the local Tramp. Saffron Burrows is eye-popping as Claire, the blond and willowy femme fatale of the script. Anyway, the Nazis have since changed Enigma, and Tom is asked to help solve the cipher riddle once again before the U-boats decimate the Atlantic convoys. In one of the parallel plots, it's suspected that the Germans planted a spy at Bletchley Park. From evidence found under a floor board, Tom rightly or wrongly suspects Claire may be involved, but she's mysteriously disappeared. And who's buried in the mass grave the German Army is busy uncovering in Eastern Europe, and why has someone high up in the British command structure ordered that all radio intercepts from that enemy unit be ignored?

Scott is quite good in the role of the edgy, scruffy, emotionally tormented Jericho, as is Kate Winslet as Claire's frumpy roommate, Hester, recruited for the code-breaking unit because she won a crossword puzzle contest. I was particularly impressed with Jeremy Northam's Wigram, the intelligence investigator on hand to uncover the postulated enemy agent. In his dapper, glib persona, Wigram is vaguely reminiscent of Cary Grant, though the latter was never quite so oily. I never decided if I liked Wigram or not, but he was endlessly fascinating to watch operate.
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78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Enigmatic film experience. 10 Aug 2002
By A Customer
Enigma is a fantastic film from acclaimed director Michael Apted. Featuring Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet and Jeremy Northam, it is based on Robert Harris' book of the same name. The story is set in England during World War II and focuses on the efforts of British cryptanalysts who worked tirelessly throughout the war to break German codes and ciphers. The Germans believed that the messages encrypted on their Enigma machines were indecipherable. Tom Jericho (Scott) is one of the cryptanalysts working at Bletchley Park, the code-breaking centre of England. He is recovering from a nervous breakdown following a relationship break-up and due to the stress of his job. Having broken the Enigma codes before he returns to Bletchley to help break a new and more sophisticated German U-Boat code, only to discover that his ex-lover Claire (Saffron Burrows) has disappeared. Enlisting the help of her room-mate Hester (Winslet), Jericho sets out to find her. Meanwhile, Bletchley Park is under the surveillance of Agent Wigram (Northam), searching for a double-agent at Bletchley, determined to incriminate the missing Claire and the love-sick Jericho. Throw in a dramatic stand-off between German U-Boats, American cargo ships and the harried Bletchley cryptanalysts, as well as a car chase and a love triangle, and Engima provides an exciting 119 minutes of viewing pleasure!
Kate Winslet gives a strong and assured performance, allowing Hester to add some 'Girl Power' to the largely 'Boys-Own' adventure. Dougray Scott looks suitably gaunt and worn-out as Jericho, Saffron Burrows is perfectly cast as the beautiful and enigmatic Claire and Jeremy Northam is wonderfully suave, sophisticated and cold as the ruthless government agent.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm puzzled as to why its so underrated 26 Jun 2012
By Steven TOP 500 REVIEWER
Intrigue abounds as our dour hero chases love and mystery during WW2. Apted has directed everything from Bond to Gorky Park and here he presides over a fully rendered wartime britain in this cerebral thriller. The period details, the strong cameo performances and the essential nod towards the Polish cypher bureau, among others, lift this picture beyond the rather tame screenplay. The interwoven tale has almost too many stories, the history of Bletchley Park, the capture of the Enigma, the Katyn massacre and others are all interesting in their own right and they're all in here somewhere. It's the little touches that get me, I love the idea of bletchley being staffed by academics, one of them doesn't salute an officer and when reprimanded simply remarks that he "can't remember to do every little thing". Matthew Macfadyen has a short but powerful cameo in which he recounts how the recovery of Enigma material from a sinking Uboat resulted in the deaths of two men, his delivery is painfully plain and quietly moving. Central to the plot is the hunt for a traitor at Bletchley which leads our hero into conflict with Wigram of the security service, here played by a serpentine Jeremy Noram. I understand that the source material is excellent but I just couldn't get into it after seeing the film. I don't feel too bad about that as the movie has lots to offer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I did not come into this film expecting it to be a documentary about Bletchley Park. I expected it to be a thriller set against the back drop of Bletchley.Which means that I was not disappointed, as some people have been by this film. This film made me interested to know what went on at Bletchley during the war, which is what I had expected to do.

I thought the story line was excellent and not hugely confusing. Some thrillers can fall in to the trap of trying to be too clever.I thought that the cast were very good. Dougray Scott presented the right tone as the slightly, shabby and stressed mathamatics genius. Kate Winslett was excellent as the clever girl overlooked by everybody. I loved her line about her letchy boss looking better when she didn't wear her glasses. Saffron Burrows looked unbelievably glamorous. It was nice to see Tom Hollender in a small role. Matthew Macfaddyn was excellent as the naval intelligence officer who had been so badly hurt earlier in the war.

Yet rising above them all and the reason I gave this film four stars not three is Jeremy Northam. What a gift of a character Wigram was. He was just so deliciously sarcastic and just this side of smarmy. He stole every scene he was. When they are in the museum at Bletchley he says nothing he is just moving about looking at things but the whole time I found my eyes drawn to him.

It would have been easy for him to become a pantomine villian but he never does.His posture,the tone of his voice and his facial movements were wonderful. One of my favorite moments is when he puts his hat on after questioning Dougray Scott in his room. The hat and the angle he wore it were perfect for the character. He had some really great lines.

I'm afraid I am going to have ask you to hurry up.
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