Friday, 2 March 2012
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954)
Film of 2012 #37
The TV adaption from 1954 starring Peter Cushing as Winston Smith, while I know the concept and idea behind 1984, I have never read the book or actually seen a version of the story so this was my first view of the story right through. Or was it, I have actually seen a Christian Bale film called Equilibrium which I really enjoyed and after seeing this film realised that it is a modern retelling of the same basic story. So while watching this I did keep thinking back to Equilibrium but it did not detract from the enjoyment of the performances from Peter Cushing and Yvonne Mitchell, there is also a supporting role for Donald Pleasence. So for those unaware of the story from George Orwell it is set in a future where Big Brother is an all powerful figure at the head of The Party and the society they have created is montired and the greatest crime is thought crime which results in brainwashing.
I have never read the story but presume as this is one of the first film adaptations that they have stuck pretty close to the source material and it still resonates as much as it would have back then. I think that in the 1950's and 60's when the Cold War was happening there will have been a greater impact and importance on the freedoms and i think that back then the fear that we could end up in a society like that portrayed in 1984 would have been more believable, In today's world while we worry that our freedoms are being infringed nothing like 1984 is likely to happen in the short term.
I want to see the John Hurt portrayal of the character before saying if you need to see this version as a recommendation, I think the story should be seen so if you can only see this version then you should see it and the story is worth seeing in some format, even if it by watching Equilibrium. This version gets 3 stars from me and is worth seeing how the story was told in 1954. It is available as a Public Domain download, not the best quality but good enough yo enjoy.