HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  Nineteen Eighty-Four Slavery Is Freedom
Year: 1984
Director: Michael Radford
Stars: John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, Cyril Cusack, Gregor Fisher, James Walker, Andrew Wilde, David Trevena, David Cann, Anthony Benson, Peter Frye, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Rupert Baderman, Corinna Seddon, Martha Parsey, Shirley Stelfox, Phyllis Logan
Genre: Science Fiction, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1984 and in the state of Oceania the public are rallied with the news that the war with Eurasia is going very well. At these rallies, huge groups of people are gathered before an enormous screen which broadcasts propaganda, although many of them regard it as the truth and forcefully make their opinions heard at the top of their voices. For Winston Smith (John Hurt), who works editing news stories on the instruction of those in power as the language is pared down to prevent thought crime, he wonders if this life is quite the blessing the ruling Big Brother tells them it is...

In fact, what Winston could do with is a good shag, or it was according to this adaptation of George Orwell's classic novel which had the forced novelty value of being made and released in the actual year 1984, all part of a masterful marketing campaign which struck many as being opportunism and cyncism if this was a comment on the way the United Kingdom was heading under the government of Margaret Thatcher. Only the most reactionary viewer could see the strictness of that party as tantamount to a totalitarian state Orwell was warning against, even if there were some astute parallels to be made in their controlling ways.

Director and adapter Michael Radford claimed to be making this more as if it had been created in the year Orwell wrote it, so the special effects were minimal and the urban decay was emphasised to render these politics which brought about Winston's surroundings as corrupting as it was possible to get, and there was a valid style of depression to the visuals which lent the production a power all its own. Although there were naysayers, most who accused Radford of downplaying the messages of the novel in favour of melodramatics over substance, there was a significant number who appreciated what he had in mind, making this one of the better of the dystopian futures that proliferated on screens big and small in the eighties.

Not that Radford was entirely happy with the results himself, as he famously complained publically about the production company Virgin taking off much of Dominic Muldowney's musical score and replacing it with the Eurythmics' idea of what the film should sound like. Although these days the biggest distraction would appear to be the pubic hair of Hurt's co-star Suzanna Hamilton, who played Julia, the woman he falls in love with and ends up setting up illicit meetings with for forbidden foods, coffee and sex. They pretty much know this cannot last themselves, but grab onto this expression of freedom as far as they can take it, not realising that Big Brother is a jealous tyrant and will not tolerate any citizen loving anyone except him.

That's if he even exists, as he could be a construct of the Party designed as figurehead for the population to worship. Questions of whether this is a fascist or Communist state seem irrelevant when the borders between such distinctions are so blurred by the compulsion to control the citizenry, either by keeping the lower classes - the Proles - in obedient ignorance or the middle classes which Winston and Julia belong to so scared and guilt-ridden that they cannot imagine stepping out of line. Too late for both of them, they are discovered, and the bleakness of Orwell's vision was well served by humanising it thanks to Hurt's wounded, cowed, pitiful hero and Hamilton's hopeless optimistic partner. In his final film role, Richard Burton was in very ill health - Radford had to support his weakened arms when he held up his fingers for Winston to count - but conveyed a quiet authority as O'Brien the torturer which suggests the character was once in Winston's place many years before. Not exactly a laugh a minute, but by divining the essential sadness and waste of the themes this was surprisingly affecting if you were in the mood for it.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2645 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: