7.2/10
56,909
182 user 71 critic

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

R | | Drama, Sci-Fi | 22 March 1985 (USA)
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ON DISC
In a totalitarian future society, a man, whose daily work is re-writing history, tries to rebel by falling in love.

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
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2,363 ( 749)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Winston Smith
... O'Brien
Suzanna Hamilton ... Julia
... Charrington
... Parsons
James Walker ... Syme
... Tillotson
David Trevena ... Tillotson's Friend
David Cann ... Martin
Anthony Benson ... Jones
Peter Frye ... Rutherford
... Waiter
Rupert Baderman ... Winston Smith as a Boy
Corinna Seddon ... Winston's Mother
Martha Parsey ... Winston's Sister
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Storyline

In the year 1984, rocket bombs and rats prey on the inhabitants of the crumbling metropolis of London. Far away on the Malabar Front, a seemingly interminable war rages against Eastasia. The Ministry of Truth broadcasts ceaselessly to the population via its inescapable network of telescreens. These devices, which pervade all aspects of peoples' lives, are also capable of monitoring their every word and action. They form part of an elaborate surveillance system used by the Ministry of Love, and its dreaded agents the Thought Police, to serve their singular goal: the elimination of 'thoughtcrime'. Winston Smith is a Party worker - part of the vast social caste known as the Outer Party, the rank and file of the sprawling apparatus of government. Winston works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth - the section charged with modifying historical news archives for consistency. When by chance Winston uncovers incontrovertible proof that the Party is lying, he embarks on a ... Written by richard.leader@gmail.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Big Brother is Watching... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 March 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

1984  »

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Box Office

Budget:

£3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$8,400,000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was released in the same year as its title. The novel was written in the digit reverse of this, in 1948. See more »

Goofs

When the telescreen is broadcasting the news that Ogilvy has been awarded the order of Conspicuous Gallantry, the announcer says that Ogilvy has received the order for his actions against the forces of Eastasia. However, at that point of the movie Oceania is at war with Eurasia, not Eastasia. See more »

Quotes

[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?
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Will & Grace: Big Brother Is Coming (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Oceania,'Tis For Thee
Music by Dominic Muldowney
Lyrics by Jonathan Gems
Sung by the London Voices, directed by Terry Edwards
Soprano soloist: Sally Mates
Contralto soloist: Linda Hirst
Conducted by Dominic Muldowney
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Faithful adaptation - maybe too much?
22 June 2005 | by 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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