1984 (1956)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Sci-Fi


1984 (1956) Poster

In a totalitarian future society, Winston Smith (Edmond O'Brien), whose daily work is re-writing history, tries to rebel by falling in love.


7/10
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28 August 2014 | bkoganbing
7
| The Assumptions on which his society is built
9/11/01 is the date we lost a lot of freedom, perhaps irrevocably. Whether we move into the society that George Orwell describes in 1984 or retain a significant measure of individuality is up to us. But we will sacrifice a lot for security.

Which in Orwell's world written in the late Forties the target date was 1984. Like On The Beach Orwell got the date wrong, but doesn't mean it still can't happen. Atomic war came in 1965 and the world divided into three great super republics, people's republics if you will. Our American leads in a mostly British supporting cast, Edmond O'Brien and Jan Sterling, are from different factions. O'Brien is a member of the Inner Party with a drone like job who is starting to question assumptions on wish his society is built. Among them marriage is tightly controlled with love not a factor. But he does fall for Jan Sterling of the Outer Party.

In a country with constant monitoring, privacy is what they want. But there is no right to privacy and surveillance goes way beyond what we have post 9/11. Sterling and O'Brien pay big time for wanting some alone time.

Besides Sterling and O'Brien other performances to point out are Michael Redgrave as O'Brien's superior at work, Donald Pleasance as another drone worker who is also a graduate of the state's re-education facility and David Kossoff as the kindly old antique dealer who turns out to be something else.

The society most resembling the Orwellian 1984 is that of North Korea with their hermetically sealed country with a cult of secular worship of the ruling family. If the people there shake loose from the tyranny of the People's Republic it might be a great indication of hope for people who will insist on their individualism. Are we sliding in that direction? Time will tell.

1984 has had a few different versions made for big and small screen. This one can stand with any of them.

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