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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

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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


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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cinematic translation perfection, 23 Nov 2004
By 
R. L. Ricketts "lee" (South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
1984 stays loyal to the book, which in itself is an achievement these days. the acting is superb - you realize how poor the world is with Richard Burton no longer in it, and John Hurt underlines his status as a British acting legend.
the dark, downbeat nature of the story is not for everyone - it's certainly not pizza and beer saturday night stuff. for the insightful film buff, though, the thought of not owning this film should indeed be a crime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Staggering film portrayal of classic novel......, 1 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. Peter Moran (Northants United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
Words escape me in describing how brilliantly this film vividly portrays Orwell's dark disturbing classic. The two main leads make a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life. Its a very important reminder still of how things can develop when conditions are right...I imagine this film contains elements of how it must be to live in North Korea under an oppressive paranoid regime.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars present times?, 25 Oct 2011
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This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
For those who haven't read George Orwell's book this film maybe shockingly difficult. For those who do not know Soviet Union's history it can be Science Fiction. But then again, even for people living in a western society it can be more and more predictive. Think about it, can we say whatever we like? Are there more and more restrictions to our lives?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1984 DVD, 31 Aug 2011
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jim (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
This film has been around since 1984 which, rather spookily, was the year in which it was released.
It is a reasonable adaptation of the book, depicting the depressing totalitarion regime rather well. That said it will never be one of my favourite films, nor I'm guessing, one of John Hurt's. I bought it largely for my son to watch having just read the book; he thought that it was rather good.
Buy this film if you are too lazy to read the book but want to be 'cool' enough to be able to discuss it in lightweight intellectual company. Otherwise a) read the book or b) give it a miss.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scared me to death - double plusgood, 16 Mar 2007
By 
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
Don't get me wrong, this film is not scary in a horror film sort of way it is just that its depiction of Big Brother's world and the lack of personal freedom and brainwashing struck a little too close to home in my opinion.

When the film was released in 1984 I would not have understood it, I think the idea that we might be subject to control by an all powerful, omnipresent, media savvy dictatorship is all too relevant now.

The film is faithful to the book. The casting of the haunted Hurt as Winston Smith and the silken voiced Richard Burton as his nemesis, O Brien was masterful.

The various crowd scenes where the faithful have their two minute hate were utterly convincing.

The incessant propaganda piped through TV screens also began to annoy me.

If I was less well adjusted, the film would have sent me into a deep depression as the whole thing was so convincing. I do think that the terror of room 101 was probably best left unshown because the notion of the terror it expresses is deeply personal.

The eagle eyed amongst you will note that the backdrop of the film was Beckton in east london, the same set used for full metal jacket! That area was redeveloped in the eighties so it made the idea of the film less believable. Watching the film now within the context of ID cards and council tax spies in every house it is all a little bit closer.

I urge you to watch the film and make your own decisions.

Love is hate;peace is war.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1984? 2009!, 9 Feb 2009
A Kid's Review
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
I missed this film when it came out but I had read the book. All these years latter, I thought I would give it a go. A few people have recognised that we are living a real life 1984 and I think this is true. Not literally but think about the bastardisation of our language, how the masses are in thrall of sport and the mind numbing doctrines of terrorism and global warming. As far as the film is concerned for those who do not know the story, you hope that some how there will be a happy ending. There isn't. This film creates realistically the nightmare vision of the novel, one small gripe is I would have liked to see more of Airstrip one with regard to London and how it all would look but this is pre CGI. If it was made today it would be visually stunning but without the magnificent portrayals of John Hurt and Richard Burton. Watch this film and pray that we aren't too far down the road.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly, so relevant, 31 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
I first read the book and then watched the film when I was in college. I remember thinking the film was a poor adaptation, very dark, rather slow in places with far too much narrative.
I got the DVD yesterday and watched the movie for the first time in 20 years. It is much, much improved with age -- or perhaps I have? Both John Hurt and Richard Burton are superb, and, while I must admit I've forgotten just how much the book differs, the film provides a clear portrayal of the Orwell envisioned society controlled entirely by a government determined to quell private thoughts, personal emotion, and even orgasms. Perhaps the only society on Earth that comes close is North Korea, but the way Burton describes his government's goals, particularly in aligning the 'facts' of the past with the new 'facts' of the present, is eerily reminiscent of our modern world -- almost the precise methods used in the stances of various governments concerning WMD in Iraq. Has the extremist Christian right decided it needs a new enemy to fight now that Soviet communism is defeated? Do extremist Islamic teachers twist their version of fact in the same way?
Of course, 1984 remains a fantasy, but it also serves as a clear warning -- illustrating the imaginary extremes (although highly extreme they are) of total government control over media and our lives. Orwell wrote it, I believe, as a condemnation of the truth hidden behind Soviet communism at a time when there were surprisingly few similar voices, but the message is still clear today: "Freedom is slavery" if we accept unquestioningly what we're told through the media and through our politician's public opinions. Excellent.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grimly pleasing, 19 Jan 2006
By 
Bruno - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
I found this to be an excellent adaptation of Orwell's classic dystopian novel - mainly due to superb performances from John Hurt as Winston and Richard Burton as O'Brien. The film succeeds in capturing the bleak vision of the novel, a society in which the 20th century developments in technology and mass media lead to the extinction of every value, including love, loyalty and even the very idea of objective truth. A nightmarish world where the will to power triumphs over the human spirit, perfectly played out by a coldly evil Burton (in his last role) and a (literally) tortured John Hurt.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A grown up version with grown up actors, 14 Aug 2007
This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
This is a no nonsense version of the novel, very stark and designed to leave you in no doubt about what life would be like in such a state. The atmosphere is one of harshness, oppression and fear. The last movie with Burton starring and his natural authority and gravitas fits the role perfectly.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orwell's nightmare visions brilliantly realised., 21 Oct 2008
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This review is from: 1984 [DVD] (DVD)
Based on the book by George Orwell, this is one of the most disturbing films I've seen n a long time. In fact it is probably more relevant in the UK today than at any time since the novel first appeared. John Hurt is fantastic in a nightmare world of an overbearing government personified in the form of Big Brother staring at everyone in every room. The notion that things we take for granted - real food, freedom of thought, love and families - could one day become forbidden by law is certainly a terrifying one. Cleverly written and realised, cerebral but never boring, there are some creepy images that really stay with you. Mention must go to the scenes in Room 101 and the chief torturer, who is the picture of menacing calm. An all-time great.
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