HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Limehouse Golem, The
Frankenstein '80
Good Time
Bucket of Blood, A
Detroit
Hide and Seek
What Happened to Monday
River Wild, The
Veteran
Slumber Party '57
Juliette, or Key of Dreams
Summertime Killer
Sweet Virginia
Ben & Arthur
Your Name
Red Hot Shot, The
New World
Trick Baby
Weapons of Death
Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, The
Kills on Wheels
Strait-Jacket
This Man is Dangerous
Burning Paradise
Away
Mistress of the Apes
Incredible Paris Incident
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Fox and His Friends
Bitter Harvest
   
 
Newest Articles
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
   
 
  Fahrenheit 451 'BBQ - Weds 8pm, bring bottle and books'Buy this film here.
Year: 1966
Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack, Anton Diffring, Jeremy Spenser, Bee Duffell, Alex Scott
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The film starts with static pictures of tv aerials on roofs zooming into shot. A male voice intones the opening credits. Suddenly the music takes on urgency and we see firemen sliding down a pole and climbing onto a fire engine. It starts up and races through non-descript suburban locations. Meanwhile a man eating an apple gets a mystery telephone call telling him to get out. He grabs a jacket and runs from a concrete block of flats. The firemen turn up. We hear footsteps and the flat is entered. There is no fire. The firemen begin to search the flat and suddenly a book is found. More books are hidden around the flat, including within the cabinet of a fake tv. The books are thrown from the window down to the ground. A small crowd gathers and we see a senior fireman - Guy Montag (Oskar Werner) donning protective gear and a flame-thrower. Guy Montag is a fireman with a difference. The books are arranged onto a metal stretcher and engulfed in flames.

He meets a girl called Clarisse (Julie Christie) on a monorail carriage whilst travelling home. She asks if he has ever read a book. We are in a dystopian future where the possession of reading material is banned. There are no books, newspapers or magazines and a drugged-up society is reliant on television to provide news and bland entertainment. Montag's wife (also played by Julie Christie with longer hair) spends all day at home and seems out-of-it when he arrives. Cyril Cusack is effective as a rather nasty fire chief, who waves a possible promotion in front of Montag.

The firemen are called to another property where an old woman lives with a large library hidden upstairs. The decision is made to burn the entire house as it is scheduled for destruction anyway. Firemen no longer put out fires as all new properties are fire-proof. The old woman matter-of-factly chooses to stay and burn.

Montag meanwhile, is curious and decides to take a book home. His home life has been deteriorating and he spends more time talking to Clarisse. He reveals that he has read a book. She tells him about the 'Book People' whose purpose in life is to memorise a book, then destroy it and await the day when books aren't forbidden. Clarisse has to disappear following the arrest of her Uncle and Montag's book interests become too reckless. He has to escape too.

Fahrenheit 451 was François Truffaut's only English language film and in some ways it shows, with some undemanding dialogue. The adaptation of Ray Bradbury's novel involves some plot simplification. There is no war going on and a whole central character - Faber is removed. The mechanical hound whose job it is to round up and inject fleeing book-lovers, is additionally excised to make things cheaper and easier presumably. The adaption is sensible but with little justification for the burning of the books other than that they upset people with fantasy. The fate of those in possession is like-wise never really explained. The book is far clearer about the state of society. Werner apparently wanted to play his part in a more facist manner and fell out with Truffaut over it. There is also a sense that the film fails to deliver any kind of message about totalitarianism or the value of literature.

I like the style of the film, thanks to art director Syd Cain and Nicolas Roeg who was responsible for cinematography before his directing days. There are modernist sixties buildings, concrete public spaces and a fab under-hung monorail train in France. It’s a straight-forward plot with no real twists and some odd quirks. For instance, Anton Diffring who plays a virtually non-speaking fireman is seen briefly in drag as a school mistress. The film ends with snow which was on the last day of shooting and pleasingly wraps it up. Music by the one and only Bernard Herrmann.
Reviewer: Simon Aronsson

 

This review has been viewed 3532 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


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
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Keith Rockmael
   

 

Last Updated: