George Orwell's novel of a totalitarian future society in which a man whose
daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love. After The
Atomic War the world is divided into three states. London is the capital of
Oceania, ruled by a party who has total control over all its citizens. Winston
Smith is one of the bureaucrats, rewriting history in one of the departments.
One day he commits the crime of falling in love with Julia. They try to escape
Big Brother's listening and viewing devices, but, of course, nobody can really
In the year 1984, rocket bombs and rats prey on the inhabitants of the
crumbling metropolis of London. Far away on the Malabar Front, a seemingly
interminable war rages against Eastasia. The Ministry of Truth broadcasts
ceaselessly to the population via its inescapable network of telescreens. These
devices, which pervade all aspects of peoples' lives, are also capable of
monitoring their every word and action. They form part of an elaborate
surveillance system used by the Ministry of Love, and its dreaded agents the
Thought Police, to serve their singular goal: the elimination of 'thoughtcrime'.
Winston Smith is a Party worker - part of the vast social caste known as the
Outer Party, the rank and file of the sprawling apparatus of government.
Winston works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth - the
section charged with modifying historical news archives for consistency. When by
chance Winston uncovers incontrovertible proof that the Party is lying, he
embarks on a journey of self-questioning. In doing so, he becomes a
thought-criminal. Winston begins to notice that a young Party member, Julia, is
watching him. She wears the distinctive sash of the ultra-zealous Anti Sex
League and Winston fears that she is an informant. However, to his surprise, she
reveals herself as a subversive and they embark on an illicit and dangerous
relationship. This prompts Winston to explore deeper the blur between propaganda
and reality. Ultimately, it leads him to O'Brien - a member of the Inner Party
who sets Winston on an irreversible course of discovery.
Running Time: 107 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: NR
I saw this movie as a young boy,and at the time I was very naive as to what
they meant by "Big Brother" Many people to day, in particular the young, do not
know the real meaning to Big Brother. Another name for it is the "New World
Order" As in the Bible,you will have a noticeable stamp on your body in order to
buy food or what have you. And your whereabouts will be monitored. And for this
reason, I've NEVER forgotten this movie. It's a must see film by those that are
as naive as I was,when I was a young boy.
The Dec 12 1954 live BBC telecast of Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" changed
the career for star Peter Cushing forever after. His depiction of Winston Smith
brought him to the attention of Hammer Films, who spent two years trying to sign
him to a film, while a prolific string of teleplays kept him busier than ever.
He deservedly won the Guild of Television Award for Best Actor for his
performance here (the British equivalent of the American Emmy), yet was passed
over for the feature version for Edmond O'Brien (only Donald Pleasence was
retained from the BBC version, in a different part). In a repressed future
society where 'War is Peace,' 'Freedom is Weakness,' and 'Ignorance is
Strength,' thoughts and feelings are outlawed by the totalitarian government.
Daring to love Julia Dixon (Yvonne Mitchell), Smith knows that there is no
escape for them, only that 'some kinds of failure are better than others'
(forbidden fruit is the best of all). Some critics rightly complained that
Yvonne Mitchell's Julia lacked 'warmth,' but there was nothing but praise for
Andre Morell's chilling O'Brien (replaced in the movie by Michael Redgrave),
overseeing final punishment, using their own fears against them to completely
wear down all defenses (no trace of humanity). As grueling as it is to watch
now, one cannot imagine how shocking it must have been for viewers 60 years
CAST & CREW:
Peter Cushing as Winston Smith
André Morell as O'Brien
Mitchell as Julia Dixon
Donald Pleasence as Syme
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