I was watching the movie, "A Beautiful Mind", in which John Nash walks into the Pentagon, looks at a board having codes and deciphers them.

I am quite skeptical about the way the scene is portrayed in the movie. Did Nash actually decipher such complex codes?

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    Are you asking about the validity of the scene itself or if Dr. Nash did code breaking in general? – rjzii Jun 7 '12 at 14:45
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    Some of what we see in the film is a depiction of Nash's illness. As he said later: At the time it seemed completely convincing. – GEdgar Nov 9 '15 at 18:21
  • And please also ask if intelligence services sent people after professor Nash in the intention of harming him. The code cracking scene in the movie probably was a depiction of his schizophreniac mind. – sampathsris Jun 21 '17 at 11:20

I know Wikipedia isn't a great source, but in this case, Wikipedia seems to have good references, so I'm going to quote Wikipedia because it's concise.

John Nash never worked for the Pentagon, so he never would have had the chance to do that, as portrayed in the film.

Wikipedia says this:

...in real life Nash spent his years between Princeton and MIT as a consultant for the RAND Corporation in California, in the film he is portrayed as having worked for the Pentagon instead. (Source: A Beautiful Mind DVD Commentary)

Further information about Nash's career can be found on the wikipedia page specifically about John Forbes Nash, Jr.

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    You may want to check Wikipedia's sources - that's what we are here for :-) – Sklivvz Jun 6 '12 at 17:46
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    It is true he worked for RAND, I have read Nasar's book. However, if you look up RAND in Wikipedia you will find that RAND first formed to offer research and analysis to the United States armed forces ... so the movie is not way off in this regard. We're talking about RAND as it was in the 50's. – rwst Jun 7 '12 at 14:31
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    @RobZ: My initial recollection was that his working for the gov't was all in his head. But wikipedia says the movie portrays him as working "for the Pentagon." shrug – Flimzy Jun 7 '12 at 15:48
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    As RAND does some consulting for the pentagon he might have been effectively being employed by RAND and at the same time working for the pentagon. – Christian Jun 11 '12 at 10:46
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    The Wikipedia article says, "In 2011, the National Security Agency declassified letters written by Nash in 1950s, in which he had proposed a new encryption-decryption machine. The letters show that Nash had anticipated many concepts of modern cryptography, which are based on computational hardness." -- That shows one real-life connection between him and code-breaking. – ChrisW Jun 13 '13 at 14:51

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