Based on the 1951 Ray Bradbury novel of the same name. Guy Montag is a firefighter who lives in a lonely, isolated society where books have been outlawed by a government fearing an independent-thinking public. It is the duty of firefighters to burn any books on sight or said collections that have been reported by informants. People in this society including Montag's wife are drugged into compliancy and get their information from wall-length television screens. After Montag falls in love with book-hoarding Clarisse, he begins to read confiscated books. It is through this relationship that he begins to question the government's motives behind book-burning. Montag is soon found out, and he must decide whether to return to his job or run away knowing full well the consequences that he could face if captured. Written by
Brian Rathjen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the scene where the middle aged woman is burned alive, one of the last images we see from the books that are burning is what looks like Joan of Arc, who also burned alive for her convictions. See more »
Book paper does not begin to burn at 451 degrees F (~233 deg. C); it does catch fire around 450 deg. C (842 deg. F). See more »
An Enterprise Vineyard Production. Oskar Werner, Julie Christie... in Fahrenheit four-five-one.
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The beginning credits are spoken instead of written on the screen. See more »
Yes, the movie is slow. Yes, the sets and the costumes are very 60ish and very dated. But it has something to say.
Its depiction of a narcissistic, alienated, superficial, mass media lobotomized culture might ring true for more than a few of us. The movie also shows the fireman's wife as being addicted to downers/uppers. All of the "normal" human relations that are shown in the movie appear to be detached and lacking emotion.
People are not to trouble themselves with unpleasant thoughts or feelings. Hence, the banning of books and literature. They bring up unpleasant, sad, and depressing subjects. They depict too much of life as it actually is. This is troubling to people. Consequently, the government pushes drugs, emotion-free and sanitized sex, and witless mass media. There is more than a little resemblance to our society of the year 2000 and heaven knows what the future will bring.
Oskar Werner is one my favorites, so I'm very prejudiced, but I think he does an excellent job. I think both Truffaut and Werner wanted the audience to see the fireman's partial dehumanization. He recovers much of that humanity as the film progresses. The supporting cast was good, especially the actor who played the fire chief. Julie Christie was good in the film, too, although her self-conscious woodenness or manner bothered me more than Werner's.
Perhaps something less than one of the great films. But it is a very thoughtful film with a lot to say to its audience--although some viewers choose to focus only on its rather dated veneer.
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