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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

Starring Julie Christie, Oskar Werner, Cyril Cusack, Anton Diffring, Jeremy Spenser
Directed by Francois Truffaut
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

In a future where books have been outlawed, the fire department burns them instead of putting out fires, but a fireman begins to find his world changing when he begins reading what he burns.

Ray Bradbury's classic cautionary novel still has relevance today and is brought to the screen by acclaimed director Truffaut with some distinctive visual ideas, as well as a quality score from composer Bernard Herrmann.  Standout sequences include the opening credits, not shown but spoken to prepare us for a world where the written word is forbidden, and Christie's dual portrayal of the two women in the fireman's life, representing his choice between conformity and free expression.  I've heard Bradbury was not enamored with this adaptation, and it probably doesn't quite capture all it needs to, but I still found it to be a worthy effort.

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