BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (1950–1959)
7.9/10
461
17 user 4 critic

Nineteen Eighty-Four 

In a totalitarian future society, Winston Smith, whose daily work is re-writing history, tries to rebel by falling in love.

Director:

Rudolph Cartier

Writers:

George Orwell (novel), Nigel Kneale (adapted as a television play by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Cushing ... Winston Smith
André Morell ... O'Brien
Yvonne Mitchell ... Julia Dixon
Donald Pleasence ... Syme
Arnold Diamond ... Emmanuel Goldstein
Campbell Gray Campbell Gray ... Parsons
Hilda Fenemore Hilda Fenemore ... Mrs. Parsons
Pamela Grant Pamela Grant ... Parsons Girl
Keith Davis Keith Davis ... Parsons Boy
Janet Barrow Janet Barrow ... Woman Supervisor
Norman Osborne Norman Osborne ... First Youth
Tony Lyons Tony Lyons ... Second Youth
Malcolm Knight Malcolm Knight ... Third Youth
John Baker John Baker ... First Man
Victor Platt Victor Platt ... Second Man
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Storyline

In a totalitarian future society, Winston Smith, whose daily work is re-writing history, tries to rebel by falling in love.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 December 1954 (UK) See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£3,249 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

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 »

Quotes

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

Referenced in Are You Being Served?: Coffee Morning (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Telescreen delivers the goods.
13 June 2003 | by Prof_LostiswitzSee 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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