BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (1950–1959)
7.9/10
444
16 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 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 1984 (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent, exhausting adaptation
29 October 1999 | by PatguySee 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."


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