Customer Reviews


69 Reviews
5 star:
 (39)
4 star:
 (13)
3 star:
 (7)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (6)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


132 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If there is hope, it lies with the Proles...
George Orwell wrote the prophetic words "Freedom is the right to say two plus two equals four" in his novel 1984, a right denied to the people by the fictional government of his book. Many readers drew parallels between the Ingsoc dominated Oceania to Soviet Russia, an analog that remained true until the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. Today, however, the right to state a...
Published on 4 Jun 2006 by Tim Bentley

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good film of a great book
Given that '1984' is one of those books that's just too well-written to survive dramatic adaptation with all its depths and ironies intact, Michael Radford did a pretty good job of making a movie out of it back in the year that the book was actually set. He used as locations the same then-derelict London docklands that Kubrick would use for "Full Metal Jacket", giving...
Published on 30 Aug 2008 by lexo1941


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

132 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If there is hope, it lies with the Proles..., 4 Jun 2006
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
George Orwell wrote the prophetic words "Freedom is the right to say two plus two equals four" in his novel 1984, a right denied to the people by the fictional government of his book. Many readers drew parallels between the Ingsoc dominated Oceania to Soviet Russia, an analog that remained true until the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. Today, however, the right to state a simple truth is also threatened and a number of precepts from 1984 appear to apply. Consider "Who controls the past controls the future", the function of the Ministry of Truth where the main protagonist Winston Smith works editing the documented past to support the will of the government in the name of democracy and freedom. Ring any bells?

This movie version (and there've been a few) is in my opinion the most complete version painting an horrific picture of an oppressed distrusted people dominated by a brutal self-serving government. Richard Burton in his last role portrays an Ingsoc inner-party member, the inside man to John Hurt's "Winston Smith". Both excel in their roles, they're believable, real, and in Burton's case truly terrifying. Suzanna Hamilton plays the part of Julia, Winston's lover and ultimately the tool of his demise. There are some specifically disturbing scenes in this portrayal, notably the torture of Winston Smith - if ever John Hurt deserved an Oscar, it should have been for 1984.

The movie is one of those pictures that you just can't stop, but are unsure that you can bear to see what happens next. The performances were stunning, the production dark and consistent, the movie a dreadful vision of what could have been, and as every right we enjoy is eroded, could still be.

1984 still stands as important literature for the 21st century and this movie version stands as the definitive version, standing as both an education and a warning.

And remember, if there is hope, it lies with the proles, the real people.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will not find a better movie version of 1984, 24 Aug 2008
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Naturally any film media can not place the entire book on the screen with maybe the exception of "Hamlet" (1996). With anything less than a mini-series. Second is it the story or the philosophy that needs to be transmitted? If you are lucky you get both.

In this case we are lucky because both the basic story and the basic philosophy were transmitted in this movie. An added plus, you could say double plus good, was the portraying the environment as a period piece as described in the book and not as some modern version. The story "1984" was envisioned in 1948.

-------------------------------------------

In a society that has eliminated many imbalances, surplus goods, and even class struggle, there are bound to be deviates; Winston Smith (John Hurt) is one of those. He starts out, due to his inability to doublethink, with thoughtcrime. This is in a society that believes a thought is as real as the deed. Eventually he graduates through a series of misdemeanors to illicit sex (Suzanna Hamilton) and with the help of an encouraging inter party member (Richard Burton) even plans to overthrow the very government that took him in as an orphan.

If he gets caught, he will be sent to the "Ministry of Love" where they have a record of 100% cures for this sort of insanity. They will even forgive his past indiscretions.

---------------------------------------------

This version is a little more graphic than the other two earlier commercial movies. However each movie version brings a different emphasis on this classic story. There is a 2007 version in the works

Read a review of the book "1984" by George Orwell. The movie can stand on its own merit, but knowledge of the book will help fill in the gaps and explain the inferences. Better actors could not have been picked. Richard Burton is in his element.

Many people think this is happening today.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive film version of a great 20c masterpiece., 20 Jan 2006
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
George Orwell’s unforgettable vision of the future written in 1949 is one of the great 20th century masterpieces, and this film does a superb job of realising it on the screen.
John Hurt brilliantly portrays Winstone Smith’s silent inner rebellion against the Big Brother regime and its stated goals to destroy human feelings by destroying the family, to destroy communication by the destruction of the language, so people become little more than automatons, all overseen by the thought police. His forbidden love affair with Smith’s Julia (Suzanna Hamilton) encapsulates their rebellion beautifully.
Then there is Richard Burton as the inquisitor O’Brien who brain washes Winstone, giving one of the performances of his life. After "1984" Burton filmed “Wagner” (another magnificent performance) two isolated instances of him achieving on film his true potential, ironically just before dying by the end of the year.
The settings are exactly as described in the book, dark, stark, dirty and oppressive. Watching the film one can well believe O’Brien when he says to Winstone “if you want a vision of the future imagine a boot forever stamping on a human face”.
The more arcane aspect of the destruction of language and the development of “Newspeak” is given as much prominence as is commensurate with dramatic necessity.
This production sets a definitive standard for filming “1984” and is a must for all lovers of the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Acting, Masterly Direction & an Accurate Storyline, 15 Sep 2007
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
The casting for this film is absolutely spot on and refreshingly, the story as depicted on the screen is pretty much faithfull to Orwell's book.

I thoroughly recommend the film to anyone who has an interest in social history and/or social psychology.

Although Orwell set his book in an authoritarian world of people-directed government (no doubt because of his experiences immediately before, during and after the WW2 period) much of what he wrote and which is depicted in the film for citizens of the 20th Century holds good for many employees the 21st Century (Mission Statements, Corporate Culture, Buzz Words, Management-Speak, etc). Merely substitute 'Big Brother' government for 'Big Brother' corporations - and then watch the film.

Scarey stuff...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Warning From History, 10 May 2012
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
Orwell's book '1984' (written in 1946-7) reflected his fear of an imminent rise of totalitarianism not just in Stalin's Russia (as other reviewers have mistakenly suggested) but in the West also - hence the division of the world into three inter-dependant - and indistinguishable - blocs (Oceania, Eurasia & Eastasia) each using the threat of foreign domination to compel obedience from their own subjects.

The book foretold many of the mechanics of the Cold War, by which the more gullible and suggestible people of the West were kept in a permanent state of apprehension about a 'soviet threat' - which was used to justify all the proxy wars (Korea, Vietnam, etc, etc) and wasteful military expenditure by our political elites that turned out to be such a disaster for the peoples of the world, but so very profitable for ...our political elites.

Chillingly, it also foretold the methods used by liars such as Blair and Bush to mislead their parliaments and inveigle their nations into the illegal war in Iraq. There were 'Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq ready for deployment at 45 minutes notice' you may recall: that's why the lives of British squaddies and Iraqi civilians had to be sacrificed ...only there weren't any WMD's, were there?

But never mind! As the film shows so starkly, history can quickly be re-written to present some new justification - and those who refuse to fall into step with the new 'truth' shouted down by the elite-controlled media. And this in the 'democratic' West, not under the naked dictatorship of Stalinism!

Though the film can't contain everything that's in the book, it is exceptionally effective, a five-star movie, with magnificent acting, not least from Richard Burton - whose apparently mild, urbane apparatchik soon expresses the ruthless determination of those in power ...to stay in power, at any cost to truth, morality or any other convention of human decency.

Think about it: the only thing missing from Room 101 is a bit of 'waterboarding' - which in Newspeak is definitely NOT torture - only an 'advanced method of interrogation'.

...Sadly, both the book & film continue to grow in relevance as time passes - a reflection on the state of contemporary 'democracy'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the 2004 release., 12 May 2011
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
I ordered this movie specifically because Amazon states that is the 2004 release. That is the version with the Eurythmics soundtrack, as the film was originally shown in theaters. Instead, this a 2009 DVD, with the Dominic Muldowney soundtrack. Nothing wrong with that version, but I would like to have both to compare. So four stars for the movie, minus one for not being the correct version.

Now, where can I find the actual 2004/Eurythmics version on DVD?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic, 19 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
I had been looking for this film in vain for a while so finding it on Amazon was a great relief. The DVD delivers just what you want, the film as it appeared in the cinemas in 1984/5. Not a lot of extra features but that is no loss. Richard Burton is great in his last film and John Hurt and Suzanna Hamilton portray the doomed lovers ("We are the dead") secretly meeting in a society which is striving to achieve total control of each individual, in so doing going so far as to 'cure' orgasmic pleasure. Seldom does a film do justice to the novel upon which it is based, however director Michael Radford has achieved this with a neat twist, the filming was done on dates corresponding to the events in Orwell's story. And as a great film ending should, this one leaves you wondering, "Are they...?"
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made in 84 and its about 1984...., 29 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
It is the type of film to watch when you feel upbeat about your life. If you are feeling vunerable then I would advise NOT to as this film will surely make you feel worse.
George Orwell (who changed his name and is named after the River Orwell in Suffolk) had a vision that one day, there would be TOTAL control over peoples lives and this would control over peoples lives as it was to be a One World Goverment and people( Men Women Children and animals) would be watched 24/7 by Big Brother and that 'Eye' would watch their EVERY move.
EVERYTHING was controlled..(Including the food and clothes you wore) Winston Smith (the main character in the film played by John Hurt) falls in love and has a Clandestine relationship with a girl and gets caught( Relationships are BANNED) he is taken to Room 101 where the language is 'Doublespeak' (where 2 +2 equals FIVE....) and is tortured and succumbs to Big Brother but is still allowed to see the girl. The other worthwhile character is Richard Burton who I believed died in 84. They are fed Propaganda as they are supposed to be at war with Oceania..... Its about total control of a persons mind and life..... As the film came to an end I was 'saddened' that one man/woman would want to control another...and then it dawned... the film could have so easily been called 2013... the stuff in this film is 'surreal' as it IS happening now and THAT my Readers IS more scary than the film.....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A depressing and brilliant film noir, 7 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
This movie which was intended to be in Black & White, was made by Michael Radford with the intention of being downbeat and ultimately depressing. I think he achieved this aim and really captured the essence of Orwell's novel. FYI, to answer some criticisms on the music, it was commissioned by Radford and created by Dominic Muldowney for the movie. At the final cut, Virgin Films, who financed the movie exercised their prerogative and had a Eurythmics soundtrack inserted with much controversy, although Muldowney's excellent "Oceania, 'tis for thee" was kept in. It was Virgin's insistence to make the movie in colour. I think it deserves many more than 1 star, being a 106 minute movie that has to gloss over much of the detail from the book. This is the economics of modern day film-making. It was a very ambitious project that succeeds in making the points intended by the book, especially after having to compromise literary integrity with the commercial rapacity of intolerant film companies whose main focus is the mass market.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for assignment work, 3 Jun 2009
By 
L. Reed (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
I read the book first but the DVD gives that additional visual reality the book does not and because it was filmed around London in 1984, make the film that bit more errie. It has been adapted for the screen but it is a good adaptation. It is frightening to see how George Orwell's words and prophecies are played out because they are a little too close to today's society, despite regular debate. Overall, I would rate this film highly for its acting ( a great cast) and because it helped me with my assignment (read the book first though).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

1984 [DVD]
1984 [DVD] by Emma Porteous (DVD - 2004)
18.49
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews