BBC Sunday-Night Theatre Nineteen Eighty-Four

1954

Drama

0
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 575

Keywords:   government, mind control

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 29, 2022 at 03:29 AM

Cast

Peter Cushing as Winston Smith
720p.BLU
1.02 GB
946*720
English 2.0
NR
25 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Theo Robertson 9 / 10

A Legendary Teleplay Of A Legendary Novel

1984 is Orwell's legendary cerebral work . It's a novel that is bleak , downbeat and philosophical . It seems something of a pity however that much of his other work is overlooked such as his essays . Notes On Nationalism for example is a scathing attack on those people who are " anti-war " but whose bitter condemnation of conflict is only heard when it's waged by the democracies of Britain and America . It was written in the spring of 1945 so fundamentally it's far more prophetic than 1984 but 1984 is considered Orwell's masterwork

Scriptwriter Nigel Kneale is - Like much of Orwell's work - somewhat forgotten today . He was once a household name in Britain due to both this adaptation of 1984 and the Quatermass serials . Regretfully it's forgotten how controversial the teleplay was when it was broadcast away back in December 1954 , so controversial that the houses of parliament debated television standards after the BBC was deluged with complaints . Perhaps this collective amnesia works in its favour when viewed today ?

You have to be slightly forgiving when viewing 1984 . It may seem talky and static compared to even 1970 British television but if you compare it the same production team's THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT the year before which had the same production values as a school play you'll see how far things have come in such a short space of time . It's also noticeable how much Rudolph Cartier has been influenced by German Expressionist Cinema . We see nods to it here and see it even more explicitly in QUATERMASS 2

Kneale's script does contain a slight hiccup at the beginning when we're told of atomic wars and shown a vision of a devastated London . It's difficult to believe a nation that has survived such a catastrophe and still have the technology of telescreens but this is soon forgotten and we get on with the story proper . Kneale has a written a great adaptation on a novel that is probably impossible to film . Much of the novel's mechanics has Winston Smith thinking to himself and the subtext involves the idea that both personnel Utopia and societal Utopia are mere delusions that should never be sought . All the bits you remember from the novel are here and they're easily understood . Compare this to the 1984 movie by Michael Radford where the story is confused and you'll see how well Kneale has done in doing the impossible

The cast are good and there's little in the way of over emphatic performances though they are sometimes noticeable when they do appear but they're nowhere as bad as some that plagued television in the 1950s . There is the slight problem of middle class extras giving it " Cor blimey guv " working accents but having heard David Tennant's mockney accent in DOCTOR WHO for several years I've become immune to them . It's also a novelty seeing Cushing and Pleasence both most famous for horror films appearing on screen in a story about the horrors perpetrated by humans on one another . The stand out performance though belongs to Andre Morrell as O'Brien . Morrell was a prolific British actor in film and television and painfully underrated . He is absolutely outstanding in the torture scene with Cushing where he gives a virtual soliloquy on the metaphysical aims and existence of the party . It's this scene you'll remember long after the rats in Room 101 which caused so much controversy

All in all this is a legend of television based upon a legendary novel . There's an argument that both are overrated and I'll probably agree with you on Orwell's novel but that's probably because I believe the author should be remembered more for his other works and how he lived his life . I should state also QUATERMASS AND THE PIT is my favourite of Kneale's wonderful work . Nevertheless this is a milestone of television and should be celebrated as such

Reviewed by kevinolzak 8 / 10

The original BBC telecast that made Peter Cushing a sensation

The Dec 12 1954 live BBC telecast of Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" changed the career for star Peter Cushing forever after. His depiction of Winston Smith brought him to the attention of Hammer Films, who spent two years trying to sign him to a film, while a prolific string of teleplays kept him busier than ever. He deservedly won the Guild of Television Award for Best Actor for his performance here (the British equivalent of the American Emmy), yet was passed over for the feature version for Edmond O'Brien (only Donald Pleasence was retained from the BBC version, in a different part). In a repressed future society where 'War is Peace,' 'Freedom is Weakness,' and 'Ignorance is Strength,' thoughts and feelings are outlawed by the totalitarian government. Daring to love Julia Dixon (Yvonne Mitchell), Smith knows that there is no escape for them, only that 'some kinds of failure are better than others' (forbidden fruit is the best of all). Some critics rightly complained that Yvonne Mitchell's Julia lacked 'warmth,' but there was nothing but praise for Andre Morell's chilling O'Brien (replaced in the movie by Michael Redgrave), overseeing final punishment, using their own fears against them to completely wear down all defenses (no trace of humanity). As grueling as it is to watch now, one cannot imagine how shocking it must have been for viewers 60 years ago.

Reviewed by TheBogieFan 10 / 10

The best 1984 by far

This production is breathtaking. The BBC did an amazing job of translating Orwell's bleak book onto the screen. It is very dark and the treatment of Smith at the end of the film is not glossed over, this is really daring given the time it was made.

This is a TV movie, the first film based on the novel, 2 years later a US movie version was made which also starred Donald Pleasance but the two films couldn't be more different. Pleasance plays Syme in this one, and does a great job - most memorably describing how beautiful destroying words is. In the 1956 movie he plays Parsons and is less suited to that role, the actor who plays Parsons in this film is Campbell Gray who i know nothing about but he does a fine job playing the role later played by Gregor Fisher of Rab C Nesbitt fame in the 80s version. Cushing plays Winston Smith and gives a typically great performance, physically he is ideal to play Smith and of course he was a fine actor.

This version stays truest to the novel and is actually better than the John Hurt/Richard Burton version from the eighties.

I can't think of one bad thing about this film, apart from the fact you can't buy it anywhere.

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