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The Amateur

The Amateur a dramatic film that came out in 1982 starring Christopher Plummer, John Savage, Marthe Keller, Arthur Hill, and directed by Charles Jarrott has several scenes in which Francis Bacon and Shakespeare are mentioned. The plot centers around the girlfriend of a CIA computer expert who is murdered. Her boyfriend (Savage's character) decides to doggedly hunt down her killer. In the beginning of his search the Savage character meets with CIA brass to explain how he plans to use Big Bertha, the CIA computer, to run down a facsimile of a 1586 letter from Mary Queen of Scots that portends that she is planning to murder Elizabeth 1st. Savage tells the CIA boss that he is "looking for numerical sequences, acrostics, Elizabethan substitution systems and Bacon's biliteral cyphers." Then there is a scene in which Savage attends a lecture on Shakespeare and Bacon cyphers by a university professor played by Christopher Plummer. Later the two characters meet up on a train ride sharing the same compartment. Let's pick up the conversation:


Savage - I went to your lecture at the University the other day, at least part of it.
Plummer - Ah, You are interested in the subject of Bacon versus Shakespeare?
Savage - I am interested in cyphers.
Plummer - You are a colleague? A visiting professor perhaps? My card, please, (reaches into his pocket) Lakosh, Antonine Lakosh.
Savage - I've heard of you.
Plummer - Although the Bacon Society is my avocation, my occupation is also detection, deciphering of clues, uncovering of the impostor!
Savage - Search for truth.
Plummer -Oh yes, How does it go? "For truth will come to light, murder cannot....
Savage - ...Be hid long. (Pause) William Shakespeare?
Plummer - (slowly says) Francis Bacon.

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