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Major Oscar Hopeful ‘The Imitation Game’ Gets Two Trailers But Both Skim Over Alan Turing’s Homosexuality

Major Oscar Hopeful 'The Imitation Game' Gets Two Trailers But Both Skim Over Alan Turing's Homosexuality

Not one but two trailers came out today for Morten Tyldum’s “The Imitation Game” — surely timed to go with it being a part of the Toronto Film Festival’s first major announcement tomorrow. The film aims to be a major player this Oscar season, and it sure has those goods on paper: Tortured gays who do amazing things have a pretty good track record in that regard. Except the trailers don’t really get into that…

Based on Andrew Hodges’ “Alan Turing: The Enigma,” the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the real life mathematician who played a major role in cracking Nazi Germany’s Enigma code and thus helping the Allies win World War II — only to be prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952, receiving a chemical castration as his sentence. He allegedly killed himself two years later, and it wasn’t until this past Christmas that the Queen finally granted him a posthumous pardon.

Clearly, we haven’t seen the movie yet but the trailers sure don’t make much of Turing’s homosexuality. The first version (from the Brits) simply says Turing has “more secrets than the best of them,” while the American version is surprisingly the more explicit — though just barely. It includes a line where Turing says about Keira Knightley’s character “what if I don’t fancy her in that way.” To which someone tells him to be quiet because “it’s illegal.” All pretty vague, but that’s often just problematic marketing for you and one can only hope the film itself doesn’t skim over those details. While what Turing did during World War II is nothing short of remarkable, the tragic state-level homophobia that was involved obviously needs to be addressed in a big way. And really, would make for a much more layered and interesting film anyway.

Check out the trailers below, and look for the film at various fall festivals (London has confirmed it will have its European Premiere there, which basically locks it for Toronto) or in North American theaters on November 21st.

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What happened to him is very much covered in the film. Don't want to give away more tbh because the way they did it is perfect but was very hard to watch; you've got to see it all for yourself.

I will say:

Opening scene with the policemen in the UK trailer is him being interrogated after his arrest, on suspicions of being gay. Very intense scene.

The scenes where he looks ill are the effects of the chemical castration.

UK viewers don't need to be told he's gay; US viewers won't get the whole story in the trailer because that's the major spoiler, not the war stuff.

Roger Asquith

Surely the main theme of the film is Turing's genius at his cracking the Enigma code. which shortened the war.
His sexuality should NOT be the theme. At the time there were draconian laws regarding homosexuality of which he was aware, he should have been more discreet. However his
punishment, chemical castration was unforgiveable. The British Government has now acknowledged this and welcomed him, posthumously, back to the hall of fame.


I read the script that was on the blacklist and that version very greatly discusses and tells the story of his sexuality.


With not being from the UK you wouldn't realise that having a film about Alan Turing doesn't need to mention his sexuality. If you have read any of the press surrounding him for the last 5 years in the UK you would know what the government at the time did to him was deplorable so it doesn't need to be said in a trailer. We know what we are getting with the sheer fact it is a film about his life and in British conciousness the opening seconds shows that he has been arrested and we all know what for. Unlike those in the US who need everything spelt out to them we can make our own conclusions.


I'm not sure why we need a queer focused trailer. Obviously, that's going to be in the film.

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