Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell's terrifying vision comes to the screen.

Drama Science Fiction
113 min     6.819     1984     United Kingdom


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.


CharlesTheBold wrote:
Based on George Orwell's dystopian novel from the 1940s, the movie was produced in the very year that Orwell had set it, 1984. Horrified by the recent atrocities by the Germans and Russians, and fearing that England and America might take a similar turn, Orwell had painted a frightening portrait of the ultimate dictatorship, and the movie faithfully followed him. Some of the details were: (1) Continual surveillance, in this case carried out by cameras hidden inside television sets. (2) Decaying infrastructure and shoddy merchandise produced by the Party's monopoly of the economy. (3) A political language, NewSpeak, full of euphemisms and code words for the government's activities. (4) A brutal law-enforcement system in which being suspected even of disloyal THOUGHTS can bring barbaric punishment. The movie stars John Hurt as the beaten rebel, Susanna Hamilton as his mistress, and Richard Burton as the government official on whom they pin their hopes (like Orwell himself, Burton was fatally ill during the production and died before the movie's release)
Peter McGinn wrote:
Do not watch this movie if you are feeling pessimistic or depressed, because the kind of catharsis won’t help you. Nineteen-eighty-four is a bleak movie based on a dark novel that paints a totalitarian world that really sucks. Although they don’t merely tell lies over and over until devotees believe them - instead they actually rewrite historical details in newspapers — still it bears a striking and chilling parallel to the current moment. The acting is excellent and the sparing use of color is very effective, but I felt there were holes here and there details perhaps explained more fully in the novel. I want to read the book now for comparison, though I gather the film hovers close to its plot. It would be fascinating to know what the other societies were like, especially the ones they are alternately supposed to be at war with or allied to, but I imagine even the novel only deals with this thought-crime ridden hellhole. It is worth watching for sure, but not at 2 a.m. after your partner has broken up with you and you have lost your job.