Set 19 years after a nuclear holocaust, London is now the capital of Oceania, subject to the dictatorial regime of the Party. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth, while harbouring thoughts of opposition to “Big Brother”. He finds a kindred spirit in his colleague Julia. Despite a ban on sex, the two begin a relationship. They believe that Winston’s supervisor, General O’Connor, is secretly part of a group plotting to overthrow the Party, so they reveal themselves to him ... This first film version of the best-known dystopian novel in the world consciously paints a quotidian picture of the all-encompassing horror. Indeed, the film opens with a title telling us that “This is a story of the future – not the future of space ships and men from other planets – but the immediate future”. The only thing that signals technological advance in the shabby old buildings set amidst expanses of ruins are the omnipresent “camera eyes”. Outside, in the public spaces, the gigantic TV screens serve the same purpose. By contrast, the parades of fanatic masses, the house searches by the Thought Police and a show trial are all clear expressions of George Orwell’s treatment of the fascist and Stalinist systems of rule.
Great Britain / USA 1956
90 min · Black/White · 35 mm
Edmond O’BrienMichael RedgraveJan SterlingDavid KossoffMervyn JohnsDonald PleasenceCarol Wolveridge
Holiday Films, Inc.für/for Columbia Pictures, USA
Copy: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Culver City, CA