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Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi  |  22 March 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 46,255 users  
Reviews: 166 user | 53 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.



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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Suzanna Hamilton ...
James Walker ...
Andrew Wilde ...
David Trevena ...
David Cann ...
Anthony Benson ...
Peter Frye ...
Rupert Baderman ...
Corinna Seddon ...
Winston's Mother
Martha Parsey ...
Winston's Sister


After The Atomic War the world is divided into three states. London is a city in 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... Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The year of the movie. The movie of the year. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 March 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

1984  »

Box Office


£3,000,000 (estimated)


$8,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael Radford was initially strongly opposed to the casting of Richard Burton. See more »


When Winston and Julia are together in the room upstairs for the second time, Julia asks Winston what time the clock on the wall says. He responds that it is 21 hours, or 9pm. When Julia leaves and Winston picks up the glass ball off the table, the clock behind it shows 2:30. See more »


[first lines]
Big Brother: [voice-over] This is our land. A land of peace and of plenty. A land of harmony and hope. This is our land. Oceania. These are our people. The workers, the strivers, the builders. These are our people. The builders of our world, struggling, fighting, bleeding, dying. On the streets of our cities and on the far-flung battlefields. Fighting against the mutilation of our hopes and dreams. Who are they?
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits finish and the screen goes black, the monotonous end-title music keeps droning on for nine more minutes. See more »


Referenced in Home and Away: Episode #1.886 (1991) See more »


Written & Performed by The Eurythmics
(VHS version only)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Faithful adaptation - maybe too much?
22 June 2005 | by (Winston-Salem, NC) – See all my reviews

George Orwell's literary masterpiece "1984" is presented with amazing accuracy and detail in this version filmed during the very months of the author's vision. The casting, set design, and atmosphere are all right on the mark for how I envisioned them during reading the book. This film is dark and uncompromising, and follows many of the dialogs verbatim from the book.

The flaw in the film, for me, is that I felt like I only enjoyed and understood this movie BECAUSE I had read the book already. There is a theory I once heard and agree with: the closer an adaptation is to the source, the more necessary it is to read the source. A good adaptation is faithful to the essentials of a story but makes necessary changes so that it not only becomes cinematic, yet also becomes something that a viewer unfamiliar with the source material can understand. I think if I were ignorant of the story, there are too many things that would confuse me in this film which the book seems to go out of its way to explain.

For example: Who/Where exactly is Oceania? How did the countries go from their current political state to the envisioned one? Why do the people gather in mass and scream passionate hateful exclamations at the screen? What exactly does Winston actually do? Who are the proles? I praise movies that can effectively tell a story without means of voice-over, a much overused device in films. In this case though, I think a little may have helped, not necessarily wall-to-wall, but sparingly used. The movie is effective by being more ambiguous than the book, but I tend to think maybe it is too ambiguous.

In summary, read the book if you haven't (either before or after seeing the film) to get a complete overview of the author's vision. With that as a foundation, this really is a good cinematic portrayal, and of a story that is still relevant and not impossible to come to pass. Obviously 1984 is long since gone bye-bye, but 2084 or 2054? Oppression can always come as long as people desire self-centered power and the masses don't pay close attention.

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