Cover: 1984 Rating: 6
Oct 15, 2010

Details

Director:Rudolph Cartier
Writer:George Orwell, Nigel Kneale
Producer:Rudolph Cartier
Theatrical:1954
Rated:Unrated
Studio:BBC
Genre:Science Fiction
Languages:English
Sound:AAC
Picture Format:Academy Ratio
Region:1

Summary

Difficult to find, and largely overshadowed by the 1984 film, this live television performance from 1954 deserves to be made more widely available.

At the time controversial for its scenes of torture and sexuality, it provoked an outburst of Thought Police-style outrage among politicians and assorted editorialists. In fact, the program seems brutal even today, with its depictions of comprehensive hopelessness and deliberate cruelty.

Peter Cushing was probably the most famous live television personality in Britain at the time, and he puts in a typically excellent performance. Yvonne Mitchell and Andre Morell neatly tie up the remaining emotional possibilities in this dystopia, with the rest of the cast expressing only various shades of despair. A very young Donald Pleasence plays Newspeak-auteur Syme, confronted here not by "Ultimate Evil," but rather doublethink and "Double-Plus-Ungood."

"We are the dead."

Credits

Peter Cushing ... Winston Smith
Donald Pleasance ...
Andre Morell ...
Yvonne Mitchell ... Julia
John Hotchkis ... composer
André Morell ... O'Brien (as Andre Morell)
Donald Pleasence ... Syme
Arnold Diamond ... Emmanuel Goldstein
Campbell Gray ... Parsons
Hilda Fenemore ... Mrs. Parsons
Pamela Grant ... Parsons Girl
Keith Davis ... Parsons Boy
Janet Barrow ... Woman Supervisor
Norman Osborne ... First Youth
Tony Lyons ... Second Youth
Malcolm Knight ... Third Youth
John Baker ... First Man
Victor Platt ... Second Man