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Fahrenheit 451


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Product Details

  • Actors: Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack, Anton Diffring, Jeremy Spenser
  • Directors: François Truffaut, Laurent Bouzereau
  • Writers: François Truffaut, Laurent Bouzereau, David Rudkin, Helen Scott, Jean-Louis Richard
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jan. 27 2009
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000087F6L
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,732 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Ray Bradbury’s best-selling science fiction masterpiece about a future without books takes on a chillingly realistic dimension in this film classic directed by one of the most important screen innovators of all time, the late Francois Truffaut. Julie Christie stars in the challenging dual role of Oskar Werner’s pleasure-seeking conformist wife, Linda, and his rebellious, book-collecting mistress, Clarisse. Montag (Oskar Werner), a regimented fireman in charge of burning the forbidden volumes, meets a revolutionary school teacher who dares to read. Suddenly he finds himself a hunted fugitive, forced to choose not only between two women, but between personal safety and intellectual freedom. Truffaut’s first English language production is an eerie fable where mankind becomes the ultimate evil.

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The classic science fiction novel by Ray Bradbury was a curious choice for one of the leading directors of the French New Wave, François Truffaut. But from the opening credits onward (spoken, not written on screen), Truffaut takes Bradbury's fascinating premise and makes it his own. The futuristic society depicted in Fahrenheit 451 is a culture without books. Firemen still race around in red trucks and wear helmets, but their job is to start fires: they ferret out forbidden stashes of books, douse them with gasoline, and make public bonfires. Oskar Werner, the star of Truffaut's Jules and Jim, plays a fireman named Montag, whose exposure to David Copperfield wakens an instinct toward reading and individual thought. (That's why books are banned--they give people too many ideas.) In an intriguing casting flourish, Julie Christie plays two roles: Montag's bored, drugged-up wife and the woman who helps kindle the spark of rebellion. The great Bernard Herrmann wrote the hard-driving music; Nicolas Roeg provided the cinematography. Fahrenheit 451 received a cool critical reception and has never quite been accepted by Truffaut fans or sci-fi buffs. Its deliberately listless manner has always been a problem, although that is part of its point; the lack of reading has made people dry and empty. If the movie is a bit stiff (Truffaut did not speak English well and never tried another project in English), it nevertheless is full of intriguing touches, and the ending is lyrical and haunting. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daffy Bibliophile TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 8 2012
Format: DVD
A very good adaptation of Ray Bradbury's famous book. Oskar Werner is great as Montag and Cyril Cusak is perfect as the avuncular yet threatening Captain Beatty; while Julie Christie does a good job as Montag's pill-popping, mindless wife, her casting and performance as Clarisse is a weak spot in the film. Although the threat of nuclear war is not needed nor included in the film, the mechanical hound would have been nice to include in the movie.

All in all, a very good movie though. The plot moves along nicely, the acting is outstanding, and the movie stays very true to the theme of the book. This was François Truffaut's only English-language movie although he had worked with Oskar Werner previously in "Jules and Jim". Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T.H. on March 31 2004
Format: DVD
It was a strange movie; the edgy feeling was on par with, say, Edward scissor-hands. That was mostly due to the Score being very well done. A beef I have with a lot of more modern movies is that people don't use their score and background music well anymore. With the exception of Lord of the Rings, the use of themes takes the place of mood- and that's not really a good thing. In Fahrenheit, the music sets the tone and helps you interpret the intended emotional effect. Otherwise, in a movie with so little dialogue and such stone-faced acting (which wasn't as negative as it sounds), you'd hardly know what you were supposed to feel!
The story is set in the near future, in a time when books have been outlawed. The main character is a fireman- no, he doesn't put out fires (homes these days are modern and fire-proof - he starts them by burning books. Firemen are trained to go out on calls to people's homes, raid them of all their hidden books and burn them. Television totally controls the culture standard as all people are brought into uniformity with each other. The communist idea of everyone being made alike is brought to its full manifestation.
The Fireman begins to read the books he burns after meeting a lady who doesn't quite fit the mold. Eventually he is caught, murders his captain with a flame thrower and escapes to live with the Book People, a commune of individuals each of whom have memorized some great work of literature in order to preserve it. "I'm 'The Prince' by Machiavelli" says one scraggly looking man, "It should now be plain that you can't judge a book by its cover!"
Seeing as it is an older movie, everything about it is tame as far as how nasty stuff is portrayed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Chapin on July 18 2004
Format: DVD
This is Fahrenheit the way it was meant to be. Truffaut is a master film maker. I also recommend "Two English Girls" and "Jules and Jim" as well. It's impossible not to think of the Heinrich Heine quote, "Where one burns books; one will soon burn people" while watching it. The inversion of a fire fighters who, rather than put out fires, start them was a very innovative idea on Bradbury's part. The main character is quite compelling and easily evokes our sympathy. This work is prescient and timeless. In today's talk show era, do books still not remain dangerous and subversive?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Englishteacher on Jan. 3 2011
Format: DVD
This is a fine film. Can be used in the classroom, but needs to be explained as it doesn't follow the novel completely; the essence of the story and plot lines are faithfully constructed, but there are some omissions and changes.
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Format: DVD
This film is truly one of Francois Truffaut's masterpieces. And may have changed the form of 'science fiction movies' long before Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'. So subtle, yet so bang on with much of it's forecasting a modern future. It holds up as well today as it did some 50 years ago. To me, good 'science fiction movies' aren't so much about the special effects and high tech designs and language. But more so in it's thought provoking predictions of what humanity may develop and/or encounter - or banish and obliterate FTM. And this movie expertly shows the obedience and coping with laws and pacification's doing more harm than good. And especially in this age of 'political correctness', this movie (and book) should be taught and aired as much as possible. Wonderfully shot, acted, and stylized. And Julie Christie doing such a 'ying-yang' dual performance deserves extra credit. And the bonus material only strengthens the value of this film when Bradbury discusses the inspiration for the story, the shape it may have taken movie wise, and efficiency and complexities Truffaut dealt with in the undertaking. A timeless classic that may serve better in film than in print. Cosmic irony, or a step in the wrong direction? May it stay forever 'as is'.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An interesting take on Ray Bradbury's book. Montag in the movie is fair instead of dark (like in the book) and the fireman have an almost Nazi look to them (how they dress and move). In the book, they are sooty with five o 'clock shadow and they are brawny, big men. Not so in the movie. There is an apple theme (apple standing for knowledge) in the movie. We see one of the book owners (one of the criminals) eating an apple as he flees and then when the firemen break into his house, a fireman bites into an apple to have Montag knock it out of his hand (the fireman then spits out the piece of apple). Actors play several characters (which is interesting). Montag's wife and Clarisse are played by the same actress and the school mistress and one of Montag's male co-workers is played by the same actor (which is a bit humourous). I like this Montag even better than the Montag in the book; he is more human to me, with a sense of humour and a charm (it's probably the actor). The book Montag came across as more bumbling and awkward (no offense). I felt very sorry for the book Montag, who seemed like a more broken man who was mustering up the courage to challenge his warped society. The movie Montag does this too but he has more confidence. Also the age of the woman Clarisse is different; in the book she is 17 and in the movie she is an adult (in her 20's) and a school teacher. There is a romantic possibility between Montag and Clarisse in the movie which is, well, romantic!
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