The  Imitation  Game

Capri Theatre Montgomery, AL


Dr Richard R. Muller

Professor of Military History and Dean of Academics, United States Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

The Imitation Game— Enigma, Bletchley Park, Film, and Reality

A discussion of the Enigma Machine, Bletchley Park, and where the film and the real history intersect. Part of the 2017 National Evening of Science on Screen.

Capri Theatre Montgomery, AL

Film Synopsis

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.

About the Speaker

Dr. Richard R. Muller is a professor of airpower history within the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies at the USAF's Air University in Montgomery, Alabama. He earned his BA from Franklin and Marshall College and his MA and PhD from Ohio State University. He is an authority on the German Luftwaffe of the Second World War.

His books include: The German Air War in Russia, The Luftwaffe's Way of War: German Air Force Doctrine, 1911–1945 (with James Corum), and The Luftwaffe Over Germany: Defense of the Reich (with Donald Caldwell). He is a member of the Academic Advisory Panel of the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies.