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3.7 out of 5 stars 571 customer reviews

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(Mar 04, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Movie Description A fine and stunning screen adaptation of George Orwell's prophetic 1948 novel about a world in which the government completely controls the masses by controlling their thoughts, altering history and even changing the meaning of words to suit its needs. This was Richard Burton's final film. Film Notes "1984" was Richard Burton's final feature film.Free upgrade to first class mail.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, Cyril Cusack, Gregor Fisher
  • Directors: Michael Radford
  • Writers: Michael Radford, George Orwell
  • Producers: Al Clark, John Davis, Marvin J. Rosenblum, Robert Devereux, Simon Perry
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (571 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007KQA3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,825 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "1984" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Attention: For those who did not read George Orwell's classic dystopian novel "1984" in high school, college, or through personal initiative, please take the time to do so before diving into the soul shattering experience of the film version of this book, aptly titled "1984." I imagine that many viewers could experience lapses of extreme boredom if they do not have a sufficient understanding of newspeak, thoughtcrime, and the political dynamics of Oceania/Eastasia/Eurasia before experiencing this soul shattering film. You might even want to read a few items about communism and fascism before watching the movie. In any event, the book and film are chilling in their presentation of a world in the grip of pure totalitarianism.
Originally released in 1984, "1984" tells the story of Winston Smith. Smith lives and works in what used to be the city of London, before an atomic war swept away the world as we know it and ushered in the dark gloom of Big Brother. Smith spends his days working away in a booth at the Ministry of Information, constantly updating and rewriting the party organs in order to make history fit with present realities. In the course of a day's work, Winston routinely changes rationing promises, removes people labeled as "non-persons" from articles, and burns records. During his off hours, he sits in his ratty apartment under the constant surveillance of the state, which keeps an eye on him through a giant monitor in his living room and with hovering helicopters outside his window. Occasionally, Winston gets to attend giant party rallies where he and other members of INGSOC watch televised propaganda tapes about the endless war with Eastasia (or is it Eurasia?).
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Format: DVD
"Nineteen Eighty-Four" (the actual on-screen title) is a rare example of a film adaptation of a book that faithfully transfers the visions and theme of the book's author, right down to even filming on the dates that the author specified (April-June 1984). George Orwell's frightening, hellish novel of a future where freedom has vanished, even from the minds of human beings, has been turned into an equally frightening film version. Its tale of a government that seeks to utterly crush the human spirit through propaganda, language, and fear, turning human beings into programmed machines, has never been more frightening than today. It is a book and movie for all times, as long as governments lie, tyrannies exist, and people surrender their freedoms in the name of fears, both real and imagined.
The casting couldn't be more perfect. John Hurt, looking worn and stretched past his years, is the ideal actor to play "little rebel" Winston Smith, who dares to think against the mysterious Big Brother and to fall in love. In his last film role, Richard Burton is like a glaring Greek Statue, stern and unflappable and scary. It's an unnerving and great performance. As for Suzanna Hamilton, Winston's love Julia, I was shocked when I first saw the movie: she matched exactly the image of Julia I had in my head when I read the book.
Director Michael Radford (who also directed "Il Postino") imagines the world of George Orwell exactly as the author would have if he had directed the film: as a wrecked vision of late-40s Britain if it had lost World War II. The set design is stunning, combing some high technology (video screens and computers) with rusty mid-forties technology (pneumatic tubes, rotary phones). Everywhere is decay and deprivation.
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Format: VHS Tape
Michael Radford's film of George Orwell's novel is perhaps the greatest cinematic adaptation ever made from a well-known literary source, and it stands out as one of the most memorable and underrated British films of the past thirty years. Radford treats the book neither as grim political prophecy nor as Wellsian flight of sci-fi futurist speculation. Instead, we are presented with the ruined world of 1948 as seen through a glass darkly - NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR done straight as a kind of medieval morality play for the post-totalitarian age. The end credits inform us, with but a modest air of self-importance, that the picture was shot "in and around London, April-June 1984, at the exact place and time imagined by the author." And the uncanny meta-fictional parallels don't stop there: the actors are so close to Orwell's descriptions, they practically seem born for their roles.
Resembling a gaunt, ashen-faced figure out of Egon Schiele, John Hurt is ideally cast as Winston Smith. As Julia, Suzanna Hamilton (first seen as a lovelorn dairymaid in Polanski's TESS and then as the paralyzed daughter in BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE) has a haunting and mysteriously stirring presence. Beyond the bluff, two-dimensional gamine of the novel, she brings a genuine warmth, substance, and fascination to her character - a little reminiscent, at times, of a young Harriet Andersson sans the continental coquettishness. Her pale, wiry, broad-hipped body has a simple, unaffected, even startling beauty; and in her more physically revealing scenes (there are many in the film), she radiates all the tactile sensual grace of a nude by Munch or Degas.
The late Richard Burton, featured in his last screen role, is the oracular Thanatos to Hamilton's Eros.
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Eurythmics vs. Director's soundtrack
According to an interview I read with Annie Lennox when the film was released, the director of the film duped Eurythmics by not telling them that there was also someone else working on a score for the film. They were told that their score was too cold and so only portions of the soundtrack they... Read More
May 6, 2008 by G. Parker |  See all 4 posts
Why is this film so hard to find?
Ridiculous? Really -- think about this then; When was the last time you heard a government official say: "it is not only your right but your responsibility to question all things regarding the US government and come to your OWN CONCLUSIONS about the government" Instead, we have the... Read More
Jul 8, 2008 by Metal Maniac |  See all 55 posts
1984 dvd
$10 or so.
Feb 8, 2008 by A. Morris |  See all 4 posts
Soundtrack and saturation
I don't know why the home video manufacturers would "fix" something that wasn't broken. The futuristic world of Big Brother is not MEANT to have pretty colors. The muted color as the director intended suited the mood of the story. This is almost like colorizing "Schindler's... Read More
Feb 5, 2014 by Eric Perlin |  See all 2 posts
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