Saturday, January 19, 2013

1984 (1953) Review

1984 1953 Studio One
Director: Paul Nickell
Stars: Eddie Albert, Norma Crane, Lorne Greene
Genre: Science Fiction

This adaptation of George Orwell's classic dystopian novel, 1984, is the first screen adaptation. It aired in 1953 on the CBS anthology series Studio One in Hollywood.

The film follows the same story as the novel, though it makes some changes. Winston Smith, living in a dystopian 1984, rebels against Big Brother and ends up falling in love, a rebellion in itself. But Big Brother is a hard thing to beat.

There's really not much I can say about this one at all. It's only really noteworthy for being the first screen adaptation of Orwell's 1984

The acting is all solid, as far as television movie standards go. It follows the same basic plot as the novel but it changes many small things. For instance the ending lacked the novel's famous last lines. In fact, the entire film missed a lot of the novel's most classic lines. The torture/interrogation scene was disappointing too.

It's less than an hour long so I understand that some butchering had to be done, but what is there is only decent at best. Also, and this is only a meaningless nitpick, the poster of Big Brother looks pretty damn hilarious.

If there is one thing I can compliment it would be the "Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me" song sounds very good in here. It's very creepy and eerie. So there's that.

Oh, Martin Landau also apparently appears in here as an extra, but I must of missed him.

1984 1953 Studio One

Overall it's not a terrible adaptation, but there's many better ones and it fails to really capture the novel. Even the BBC teleplay starring Peter Cushing that was released the year after is far superior. Watch that one instead.

Purchase 1984 on Amazon: DVD - Watch on YouTube

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