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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