Benedict Cumberbatch suicide scene cut from The Imitation Game

The scene ended was scrapped after it "fell really flat", the film's screenwriter has revealed

Anyone who’s seen Benedict Cumberbatch’s Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game will have noticed the absence of a rather key moment in Turing’s life: when the Second World War codebreaker took his own life with a cyanide-laced apple after undertaking chemical castration in an attempt to ‘cure’ himself of homosexuality.


Instead, the film ended with Turing suffering from the treatment, and a caption before the closing credits finished the story – but it wasn’t always intended to be that way, the film’s screenwriter has revealed.

“We did script and shoot a very short scene that was supposed to take place after the scene with Alan and Joan [Keira Knightley], where Detective Nock [Rory Kinnear] comes back to the house after the body has been found,” screenwriter Graham Moore told Vulture.

Moore went on to describe the scene: “He goes up the stairs and you see Alan Turing’s body, blurry in the foreground, as he lies dead on the bed, and there’s an apple with a bite taken out of it on the nightstand.”

Moore said that when he viewed the scene it “fell really flat”, adding that the planned end shot of the half-eaten apple “suddenly looked like an Apple commercial!”

So the scene was cut, ending instead on a monologue from Knightley’s Joan. “What we found is that Joan’s last monologue from the previous scene felt like a much more lovely way to end things that was very much in the spirit of the film,” Moore said.

We’ll have to wait until the deleted scenes on the DVD to see if we agree – and whether it will inspire us to rush off and buy a Mac afterwards.


The Imitation Game is in cinemas now