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1984 (1956)

 -  Drama | Sci-Fi  -  September 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,642 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 10 critic

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.



(freely adapted from the novel by: "1984"), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
O'Connor of the Inner Party
Julia of the Outer Party
David Kossoff ...
Mervyn Johns ...
R. Parsons (as Donald Pleasance)
Carol Wolveridge ...
Ernest Clark ...
Outer Party Announcer
Patrick Allen ...
Inner Party Official
Ronan O'Casey ...
Michael Ripper ...
Outer Party Orator
Ewen Solon ...
Outer Party Orator
Kenneth Griffith ...
Prisoner (as Kenneth Griffiths)


In a futuristic, state-run society controlled by "Big Brother" in which love is outlawed, employee of the state Winston Smith falls for Julia, and is tortured and brainwashed for his crime. Written by Marty McKee <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the Startling George Orwell Novel! See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi


See all certifications »




Release Date:

September 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

1984  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mogens Wieth was favored to play the Michael Redgrave role. See more »


Referenced in Marathon Man (1976) See more »


Symphony No.5: Second Movement
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

It Does Try But Frequently Shoots Itself In The Foot
21 September 2012 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

I heard about this film version of Orwell's classic novel many years ago . In the Radio Times to celebrate the year of the setting did a large piece feature on the BBC TV adaptation from 1954 and the film version of 1956 starring Edmund O Brien and looked forward to seeing the BBC showing either version . The problem was that due to copyright issues by the Orwell estate there was no way either adaptation could be broadcast , instead the closest the BBC could do was broadcast a narrated version of the book for the Book For Bedtime slot

In truth this version is hardly waiting for . There are some very good aspects to it . Best is the directing from Michael Anderson . I know Anderson is hated in some circles for " Having no love for the Sci-fi genre " but I've never had a problem . LOGAN'S RUN and THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES whilst not being classics of the genre are okay movies . Perhaps the problem might be that his films don't have too much of a futuristic look . Certainly he could thrown a massive spanner in the works by making everything look too futuristic which would have been a disaster . Here we see something recognisable as being both contemporary and futuristic which means nothing is too dated watching in 2012

The good points are however outweighed by the bad . Orwell's novel is unfilmable and only Nigel Kneale's teleplay despite being freely adapted does capture the feel and subtext of the original while this version doesn't . Instead the storytelling concentrates heavily on the romantic doomed love affair between Winston and Julia so much so it becomes more of a love story set in a communist tyranny rather than being about the failures of Marxism when it becomes hijacked by tyranny . It's certainly not a complex or sophisticated film and the ending has nothing in common with the novel

The casting certainly doesn't help . You want an everyman type of actor playing the everyman character from the novel ? Well who worse than Edmund O Brien a very effective actor playing rough diamond types in film noir classics but hopelessly miscast here along with Jan Sterling who'd also be equally at home in a crime drama . Michael Redgrave is good enough in his role but gives an inferior performance if you've seen the 1954 BBC version with Andre Morell . It doesn't help that he's called O Connor which is another distraction as is the name change for Goldstein

I can't say I was too disappointed by this film version . I went in not expecting much and came out of it having not seen much . Orwell was a writer who didn't make filmable novels and this is yet another film adaptation that once again proves it .

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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