BBC Sunday-Night Theatre: Season 5, Episode 50

Nineteen Eighty-Four (12 Dec. 1954)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
8.0
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Reviews: 12 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)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
O'Brien (as Andre Morell)
Yvonne Mitchell ...
...
Arnold Diamond ...
Campbell Gray ...
Hilda Fenemore ...
Pamela Grant ...
Keith Davis ...
Janet Barrow ...
Woman Supervisor
Norman Osborne ...
First Youth
Tony Lyons ...
Second Youth
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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

12 December 1954 (UK)  »

Box Office

Budget:

£3,249 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

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 returns to his workstation and puts his glasses on in the first minutes of the film, a microphone boom shadow is clearly visible, See more »

Connections

Version of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Telescreen delivers the goods.
13 June 2003 | by (Cyberia) – See all my reviews

This version seems to be at least as good as the Burton one from the 1980's, which was made at much greater expense. TV movies have the room to be experimental, when they want to be. The cheap sets and black-and-white photography actually contribute to the effect, although the countryside scenes of course suffer. The actors deliver their lines with conviction, natural enough since they were closer in time to Orwell, Stalin, McCarthy and the rest.

One problem is that some of the best lines are delivered far too quickly, presumably because this was a live-on-air performance. Julia's final lines should be muttered in a halting voice, not rattled off as here.

The ratings of the various versions are 1. 1954 (Cushing) 2. 1984 (Burton) 3.1956 (which was suppressed by Orwell's estate, it was so bad). Brazil (1985) is better than any of these, because it was designed for cinema; and Orwell's novel is better than all of them.


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