Studio One in Hollywood: Season 6, Episode 1

1984 (21 Sep. 1953)
"Studio One" 1984 (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 19 users  
Reviews: 1 user

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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Title: 1984 (21 Sep 1953)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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...
...
Noel Leslie ...
Truman Smith ...
Parsons
...
Male Telescreen Voice (as Robert M. Culp)
Midge Donaldson ...
Female Telescreen Voice
Victor Thorley ...
Cassandra
Peter Ostroff ...
Syme (as Peter A. Ostroff)
Janice Mars ...
Singer
Susan Hallaran ...
Selina
Fred J. Scollay ...
Man in Cell (as Fred Scollay)
Vincent Van Lynn ...
Prison Officer (as Vincent Vanlynn)
Don Hollenbeck ...
Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Brenson ...
Announcer (voice)
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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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21 September 1953 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
A rather pedestrian version of a classic story
18 October 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In the late 1940s and through the 1950s, television was producing a wonderful string of live plays that simply boggle the mind with their great quality. The actors, scripts and productions looked amazingly good considered how they rushed them into production and did all this with relatively tiny budgets. Fortunately, some of these early shows still exist and have been transferred to DVD. Now you may wonder how they have copies of live shows. This is because although they were presented live, because of time zone differences, the New York productions were also saved using the Kinescope process so they could be shown later that evening on the West Coast. Unfortunately, the Kinescopes are pretty ugly versions--and "1984" is even darker and uglier to the eye than usual for this process.

The teleplay stars Eddie Albert and Norma Crane as Winston Smith and his ill-fated love, Julia. Lorne Green (with noticeably less hair than in his "Ponderosa" days) plays the third lead. If you look very, very, very closely, you'll also notice Martin Landau as an extra--but look quickly, or else you'll miss him!

Unlike many who watch this episode of "Studio One", I have actually read George Orwell's "1984", so I can see where this live teleplay does well and where it does not in regard to the original material. Overall, the spirit of the story is still intact, though the story suffers on several levels. The most obvious one is time--cramming all this as well as commercials into one hour is just too rushed and the show looked it. Second, "1984" was a very sexual tale for the time--so much so that this needed to be mostly excised from the TV version--the censors never would have allowed it. Third, possibly due to the budget and logistics difficulties, the story is too minimalistic--not just the sets but the scenes that involved rats--which SHOULD have been vivid and terrifying but weren't. I also didn't like the song that kept playing for absolutely no reason during the play. What did this have to do with the plot?!?! Still, it is interesting and worth a look--particularly since other versions are either non-existent (I don't know what happened to the Edmund O'Brien movie, but I cannot locate a copy anywhere--and is probably #1 on my lost films list) or too stark and dreary (the version with Richard Burton is too depressing and dull--even for a story that is supposed to be depressing and dull).


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