HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
   
 
Newest Articles
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
   
 
  1984 Orders Is OrdersBuy this film here.
Year: 1956
Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Michael Redgrave, Jan Sterling, David Kossoff, Mervyn Johns, Donald Pleasence, Carol Wolveridge, Ernest Clark, Patrick Allen, Ronan O'Casey, Michael Ripper, Ewen Solon, Kenneth Griffith, John Vernon
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: The year is 1984 and the world is split into three distinct areas, all constantly at war with each other, or at least that is what the inhabitants of London are told. Winston Smith (Edmond O'Brien) is one such inhabitant and is growing ever more resentful at the police state he and his fellows live under; he works for the government, which should offer him more privileges but in actual fact means he is more restricted than the classes lower than he is. There is a camera and speaker set up in his and many others' homes that makes sure to record whatever they do and see that they are not breaking any laws while ordering them about - but then Winston buys himself a forbidden diary in which he writes: "Down with Big Brother!"

George Orwell's famous novel of a nightmare future had previously been brought to the screen by the BBC a couple of years before this version, and to great controversy that it should show scenes of torture on a Sunday night. This one would not have the same impact as it dutifully followed the plot of the book, but had a miscast central performance as one of its problems: where Peter Cushing on television had been ideal as Winston, the burly and surly O'Brien looked as if he could have any representative of an oppressive state in a fight and come out the victor, then go on to rally the masses and overthrow the powers that be into the bargain.

Of course, not everything from the novel made it in here, but enough was there to at least render it recognisable. Alas, it was a leaden adaptation, here scripted by Ralph Gilbert Bettison and William Templeton, with no righteous anger and a lot of moping. Coming so soon after the novel was written, the film does have an authentic feel of a post-World War Two world dressed up as a totalitarian country, with its TV screens ever present, posters proclaiming "Big Brother is Watching You" and frequent rallies encouraging the populace to hate. Hate is very important as it defines these people and without it there would be no control and indeed no purpose to their lives, so when Winston and a co-worker, Julia (Jan Sterling), begin a secret (so they think) relationship, it's as much an act of defiance that either of them can muster.

It follows that as they make plans to overthrow the government that there must be others with the same idea, but what they don't realise is that the authorities are all too aware that there could be insurgency and have made allowances to take care of any rebellion. Winston and Julia's romance may be wishy-washy, but it's the best they've got and when their boss Michael Redgrave leads them on to unwittingly landing themselves in it up to their necks it's a small part of humanity to be extinguished. But this is so heavy handed and lacking in passion that the twist doesn't provoke the sorrow that it should; perhaps if O'Brien and Redgrave had swapped roles then this may have been more effective. Occasional bits are fine: the revelation of what is behind the mirror in the room above the junk shop for example, but even Room 101 doesn't feature any rats that we see, as if the film were pulling its punches. Apparently there are two endings that you can watch, but this paled in comparison with the adaptation made in 1984 itself. Music by Malcolm Arnold.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6929 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: