BBC Sunday-Night Theatre: Season 5, Episode 50

Nineteen Eighty-Four (12 Dec. 1954)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 370 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 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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(novel), (adapted as a television play by), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Yvonne Mitchell ...
...
Arnold Diamond ...
Campbell Gray ...
Hilda Fenemore ...
Pamela Grant ...
Keith Davis ...
Janet Barrow ...
Woman Supervisor
Norman Osborne ...
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Tony Lyons ...
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Malcolm Knight ...
Third Youth
John Baker ...
First Man
Victor Platt ...
Second Man
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Storyline

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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Drama

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Release Date:

12 December 1954 (UK)  »

Box Office

Budget:

£3,249 (estimated)
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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When first screened by the BBC there were numerous public complaints and these led to questions being asked in the House of Commons See more »

Goofs

When Winston Smith presses the door shut after departing Parsons, the entire set wall wobbles. See more »

Quotes

Winston Smith: The rats had... Oh, God!
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Connections

Version of Theatre 625: The World of George Orwell: 1984 (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent, exhausting adaptation
29 October 1999 | by (Minneapolis) – See all my reviews

Difficult to find, and largely overshadowed by the 1984 film, this live television performance from 1954 deserves to be made more widely available.

At the time controversial for its scenes of torture and sexuality, it provoked an outburst of Thought Police-style outrage among politicians and assorted editorialists. In fact, the program seems brutal even today, with its depictions of comprehensive hopelessness and deliberate cruelty.

Peter Cushing was probably the most famous live television personality in Britain at the time, and he puts in a typically excellent performance. Yvonne Mitchell and Andre Morell neatly tie up the remaining emotional possibilities in this dystopia, with the rest of the cast expressing only various shades of despair. A very young Donald Pleasence plays Newspeak-auteur Syme, confronted here not by "Ultimate Evil," but rather doublethink and "Double-Plus-Ungood."

"We are the dead."


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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