Nineteen Eighty-Four

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Overview

Michael Radford's bleak vision of George Orwell's 1984 is perfectly captured visually on DVD. The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is a sea of blues and grays, with outstanding detail and a near translucent quality. Skin tones stick out particularly against the drab backgrounds. Shocking is the limited but perfectly appropriate use of color, which drastically counterpoints the otherwise purposely bland landscape. The image is really the high point of this disc, as the two-channel soundtrack can only go so far. At times...
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Overview

Michael Radford's bleak vision of George Orwell's 1984 is perfectly captured visually on DVD. The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is a sea of blues and grays, with outstanding detail and a near translucent quality. Skin tones stick out particularly against the drab backgrounds. Shocking is the limited but perfectly appropriate use of color, which drastically counterpoints the otherwise purposely bland landscape. The image is really the high point of this disc, as the two-channel soundtrack can only go so far. At times it comes across a bit distorted, and on occasion dialogue is recorded somewhat low. Fortunately, the disc does have subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. MGM is very selective on what titles are given significant supplemental materials, and this isn't one of them. Beyond a couple of promotional spots for their own products is a fairly effective theatrical trailer. Clearly so much more could have been done, from a commentary track to a documentary on the author, but that isn't the case with this title.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Original theatrical trailer; English mono; English, French & Spanish language subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
Filmed during the actual dates in 1984 as described in the book, Michael Radford's adaptation is the preeminent film version of George Orwell's infamous novel. The stark gray settings effectively set the mood of a totalitarian state. John Hurt is a beaten-down Winston, whose weathered face shows every result of his tortured existence, especially during the final devastating scenes with the Thought Police. Suzanna Hamilton does what she can as Julia, bringing some human warmth to the otherwise grim and desolate surroundings. In the last performance before his death, Richard Burton conveys Inner Party member O'Brien with a strange fatherly compassion that makes his sadistic role all the more disturbing. In contrast to some other flashy and visually inventive future dystopia movies, 1984 focuses on the plight of humans with an austere landscape, washed-out colors, and severe close-ups signifying the omnipresence of Big Brother. In general, 1984 faithfully follows the book in story, character, and tone, which makes for an authentic if thoroughly depressing and slow-paced movie.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/4/2003
  • UPC: 027616884220
  • Original Release: 1984
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:50:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Hurt Winston Smith
Richard Burton O'Brien
Suzanna Hamilton Julia
Cyril Cusack Charrington
Gregor Fisher Parsons
James Walker Syme
Andrew Wilde Tillotson
John Hughes Man in White Coat
Martha Parsey Winston's Sister
Norman Bacon Man on Station
David Trevena Tillotson's Friend
David Cann Martin
Anthony Benson Jones
Peter Frye Rutherford
Roger Lloyd Pack Waiter
Rupert Baderman Winston as a Boy
Shirley Stelfox Whore
Janet Key Instructress
Hugh Walters Artsem Lecturer
Robert Putt Shouting Prole
Christine Hargreaves Soup Lady
Garry Cooper Guard
Matthew Scurfield Guard
John Golightly Patrolman
Rolf Saxon Patrolman
Eddie Stacey Executioner
Carey Wilson Party Member
Phyllis Logan Telescreen Announcer
John Boswall Goldstein
Bob Flag Big Brother
Merelina Kendall Mrs. Parsons
Technical Credits
Michael Radford Director, Screenwriter
Allan Cameron Production Designer
Al Clark Co-producer
John Davis Associate Producer
Roger Deakins Cinematographer
Anna Dryhurst Makeup
Eurythmics Score Composer
Jonathan Gems Screenwriter
Martin Herbert Art Director
Grant Hicks Art Director
Mary Hillman Makeup
Rebecca Howard Casting
Annie Lennox Score Composer
Dominic Muldowney Score Composer, Songwriter
Simon Perry Producer
Emma Porteous Costumes/Costume Designer
Tom Priestley Editor
Mark Raggett Set Decoration/Design
Chris Rose Asst. Director
Dave Stewart Score Composer
Bruce White Musical Direction/Supervision, Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title/Mind Control [5:58]
2. The Crime of Thought [5:37]
3. Line Up for Another Day [6:37]
4. Becoming a "Nonperson" [5:31]
5. "Something Old" [3:18]
6. "I Hate Her" [4:17]
7. Prisoners of War [2:44]
8. Secret Meeting [6:05]
9. $4.00 Love Nest [7:18]
10. "The Call Has Come" [4:56]
11. "Little Chunk of History" [8:43]
12. The Resistance Is Real [9:18]
13. "You Are the Dead!" [4:32]
14. "Take Him!" [4:43]
15. "The Ministry of Love" [3:26]
16. 2 + 2 = 5 [3:14]
17. "That Is the Last Man" [9:03]
18. Illusion of Love [1:38]
19. The Ultimate Torture [3:29]
20. They Win/Credits [9:48]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Special Features
      Theatrical Trailer
      Other Great MGM Releases
         MGM Means Great Movies
         More Great MGM Releases
   Scene Selections
   Subtitles
      English
      Français
      Español
      Subtitles: None
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

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3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The definitive film adaptation?

    Michael Radford's film of George Orwell's ''1984'' is possibly the finest screen adaptation of a book that I have ever seen. It features the same areas of London that Orwell portrayed in his book (Silvertown & Beckton) and was even filmed in the same time period that in which the book is set (April-June 1984). The film is probably best-remembered for Richard Burton's final role as the hideous-yet-sympathetic O'Brien, whilst John Hurt is equally excellent as the ultimately-doomed Winston Smith. I feel, however, I must comment on an earlier reviewer's ''warning'' that the Eurythmics' music has been replaced by ''somber violins'' (sic) for this DVD. This is simply not the case. I remember back in London in 1985 when director Michael Radford won, and subsequently refused, the BAFTA ''Best Picture'' award simply because the Eurythmics' soundtrack had replaced Dominic Muldowney's original score without Radford's permission and against his wishes. Muldowney's music - featured on this DVD - is extraordinarily sensitive, well-conceived and suits the mood of the story perfectly. It is good to see Michael Radford's vision of Orwell's future finally restored (and if you REALLY want to hear the Eurythmics music, go and buy their CD... that's where it belongs, NOT on ''someone else's film..!'')

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    CAUTION: NEW SOUNDTRACK

    Why did they have to ruin the soundtrack to this awesome work from 1984? The worst torment was lamenting the loss of the haunting strains of ''Julia'' during the closing credits and then to see the reference to the absent Eurythmic's soundtrack. Insult to injury. Still, a powerful adaptation and excellent story about the revisionst world we live in. When they release it with the correct soundtrack, I'll buy it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews