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 escape...
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 ago.(Kevin Olzak/Youngstown,Ohio)
CAST & CREW:
Peter Cushing as Winston Smith
André Morell as O'Brien
Yvonne Mitchell as Julia Dixon
Donald Pleasence as Syme
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