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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Skill and High Art.
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,...
Published on July 18 2004 by Bernard Chapin

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Farenheit 451
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.
Published on Jan. 3 2011 by Englishteacher


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Skill and High Art., July 18 2004
By 
Bernard Chapin "Ora Et Labora!" (CHICAGO! USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (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
3.0 out of 5 stars Farenheit 451, Jan. 3 2011
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (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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4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful issue with multiple implications, May 13 2004
By 
Hiram Gomez Pardo (Valencia, Venezuela) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (DVD)
This science fiction novel became an authentical icon at sixties. Ray Bradbury wrote a nightmare tale in which the having of books is forbidden .
Of course, the first it comes to your mind is the Reichstag affair in that famous burnig books. But beyond the anecdotical similarity, Bradbury anticipated the huge impact of the audiovisual culture in the citizen's behavior.
Day afterday, for the mass media the employement of his free time, seems getting far from the lecture, and the concept of knowledge is substituted by information.
This is the central nucleus of this reading.
Truffaut made a haunting film with a touch of romanticism that weaks the central message.
Julie Christie - this living leyend - carries under her shoulders all the dramatic consequences derivated from her "sin". And Oscar Werner (Montag) is the fireman book who slowly changes his mind about his initial beliefs.
Of course there are many coincidences with Orwell's 1984,but it's a must for you watching this movie.
It will let you thinking for a long time, specially those twenty minutes ending.
And then make the link with Jersy Kosinski's novel "From the garden".
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Neglected Classic, April 3 2004
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (DVD)
This film has failed to attract the attention and appreciation which I think it deserves. Directed by Francois Truffaut and based on Ray Bradbury's novel, it co-stars Oskar Werner (Guy Montag) and Julie Christie in two roles (Linda and Clarisse). The cinematography provided by Nicolas Roeg is superb. The title specifies the temperature at which paper will burn in a totalitarian society in which books are systematically incinerated by "firemen" whose single purpose is to eliminate anything which encourages and nourishes freedom of thought. Montag is one of them, a Fire Captain. Over time, his loyalties become divided between a love of literature and an obligation to destroy it. Hence the dual role for Christie: Clarisse McClelland is a neighbor and book lover to whom Montag is attracted (in several different ways) whereas Linda is committed to feeding the bonfires with as many books as can be located.
Why do books pose such a serious threat? In the novel, Fire Captain Beatty explains it this way. "Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs.... Don't give them slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy." In other words, entertain people with mindless television programming, thereby to isolate them from any ideas which could raise doubts about the oppressive system. The quality of acting is consistently outstanding throughout the cast. The film is generally faithful to Bradbury's novel, taking certain liberties here and there but preserving the atmospherics of menace, fear, and (worst of all) submission. The heroes and heroines are those who meet in secret, sharing passages which they have memorized from great books. So long as that process continues, "dangerous ideas" will be kept alive.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful- not fluffy, March 31 2004
By 
T.H. (East Coast) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (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. People smoke (books about lung cancer used to make them upset, so they were burned to preserve their happiness), overdose of pills, die fiery deaths among piles of forbidden books, and get shot. But none of it is anywhere near the more brutal or sickening kinds of violence and such one is used to seeing in movies. Incidentally, the one love scene in this movie consists of the wife knocking her husband onto the bed, untying his bathrobe to reveal *gasp* long sleeve and long legged pajamas, and as she wraps her arm around his PJs and kisses him, the scene fades.
As a philosophical movie, it does well, bringing up some excellent questions about "common good", "individuality", and "happiness". As pure entertainment, or party fare, it does very little good at all. Rent it and think through the questions the "model society" brings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the future, March 11 2004
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (DVD)
"Look, mummy, there's going to be a fire!" exclaims the young boy as hero Montag goes off on his duty to keep people from learning. Francois Truffaut's first English language film is an indictment of closed mindedness, censorship and probably Communism.
Oskar Werner, as Montag, goes through a metamorphosis in this movie. First, he dispels the notion that firemen once put out fires, then morphs from book burner to book reader to revolutionary with the help of Julie Christie's alter ego.
Christie plays two roles in the film -- Montag's vacuous wife and the school teacher that first questions his happiness as a book burner and later aids his fulfillment as agent of change in a bookless society.
This little film, that couldn't keep up with its big brother book, still packs quite a wallop. The "future" presented in this flick definitely seems like the past in 2004. Still, the message of anti-intellectualism is as rich and poignant today as anytime.
Even by digital 2004 standards "Farenheit 451" remains a memorable landmark about a time in world history when people worried about things as mundane as antiintellectualism, book burning, government intrustion in personal lives, and seeking life experience greater and more meaningful than looking nice, having a good figure and an empty head.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Dumbed-Down" Remake Unnecessary, Feb. 2 2004
By 
Sunshine Greeny (The Wonderful World of Colonized Minds) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (DVD)
As I read over some of the reviews from those who found grave fault with this wonderful science fiction classic, I cannot help but see the irony in how the theme and message of this story ~ decline of human potential, insight, perception and intelligence, and the inevitable individual/socital disconnect from emotion due to limitation of the full spectrum of human communication ~ is lost on so many people today, who ironically have every right and capacity to read and communicate as they please...or, closer to the truth, at the level their culture has more or less "instructed" and conditioned them to.
It's no coincidence that, just as the characters in this story are blind to their own repression, many people in these times would be unable or unwilling to acknoweldge that chosen, self imposed limitation.
People who have been raised in a culture that doesn't promote and encourage reading(beyond what is deemed necessary), that doesn't encourage a broad range of views(mass media primarily espousing one all encompassing view via "wall screens")and is comprised of people who have been intellectually malnourished by huge doses of insipid tv programs and empty, high-gloss FX movies, will yes, in all likelihood, find Farenheit 451 to be "too slow" and "boring".
However, there is lyrical beauty and black humor in this prophetic tale for those who have the eye and heart to recognize it. It's the story of man's awakening to his own repression and the subsequent struggle to break free from a counterfeit, by-the-numbers existence, and a manifold love story as well; Montag meeting the young woman who sparks the buried flame, and the love of ever expanding consciousness, imagination and inherent knowledge of self.
Is it merely man's 'ability' or is it an actual 'need' to record and even create himself through the translation of thought-into-written word? "I have to catch up with the remembrance of the past".."there is a person behind each one of these books, and that's what interests me", Montag tells his TV-brainwashed wife. He knows she is beyond reach, but senses new hope within himself, and new romance with his book-stashing neighbor.
Isn't it, afterall, the possibility of new found love(of life)that inspires and compells him to overcome his repression?
For those who prefer their science fiction grounded in the questioning and dilemma of the human condition and existence, this unconventional love story is quite rewarding.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Utopia run by Fire-Department -- Disturbing Story, Jan. 18 2004
By 
Michael Mathena "Michael Mathena" (Valley City, Ohio) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (VHS Tape)
Ray Bradbury's society in which all rules and regulations are dictated by the Fire-Department shows obvious comparisons to Nazi dictatorship. Controlling entertainment and leasure time, indoctrinating children with chanting exercises, as well as determining secular aptitudes for citizens, providing "happy pills" and wall-screen TVs, a mono-rail transportation system and much more, is done all "for the better of society". The obcession with books as the enemy (they needlessly confuse people and must be banished) compares to Hitler's obcession with ridding the world of "undesirables".
The film cleverly shows glimpses of selected pieces of literature, including a split-second view of Hitler's "Mein Kampf", accompanied by the Chief Fireman's admonishing words about the negative effects of books on people. The main character Montag, a confused "aspiring" Fireman, is seen favoring a few "special" books among the ones he is hiding (at great risk to himslef) in his home. Observant viewers can see him slip "Casper Hauser" into his back pocket. His loyalty to his government is tested by a few "special" neighbors, who defiantly refuse giving up books.
The final scenes show Montag, now a reformed ex-member of the "dark age" society in a new world, where books are committed to memory and verbally passed down to others. The initial "Utopia" had many material comforts, as well as a sense of security. The "New World" seems to have freedom, yet no material advantages at all. People are aimlessly pacing through wooded areas, visibly impoverished and seemingly in a perpetual daze. The viewer may wonder which of the two societies is actually the better one.
Perhaps the message is that good and evil exist in all societies. There is no perfect society, there never was, there never will be. "Fahrenheit 451" is a frightning look at two worlds, both with different kinds of goods and evils. Giving up some good things is inevidably opening the door to evils and vice versa. This is an effective film, true to the author's intentions. Long a favorite among required High School reading, this film should be seen and discussed along with the reading. Bizarre and disturbing, yet open for discussions. Recommended.****
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5.0 out of 5 stars A temperature when paper burn..., Jan. 2 2004
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (DVD)
Fahrenheit 451 is based on Ray Bradbury's novel with the same name, which sends a chilling message to the audience. Most civilizations have fallen and have often been followed by a dark age. This story takes place sometime in the future when one civilization is in the middle of its dark age and where the written word is banned in all forms. These laws are being carried out by the fire department that has a reversed role in society compared to our present time fire departments. Its main function is to find and burn books at all costs. Meanwhile, people are being kept happy through pills and interactive TV among other things. On one occasion, a neighbor asks the main character, Montag (Oscar Werner), if he has ever read any of the books before he burned them. This question plants a seed of curiosity within Montag and he is about to break the law through reading. This then leads to the rebirth of Montag. Fahrenheit 451 is a superb story that offers many excerpts from written pieces delicately handled in the film, which enhances the atmosphere of the story. Moreover, there are several lessons to be learned from the film. These lessons come from dialogue, cinematography, directing, and the mise-en-scene, which leaves the audience with a terrific science fiction experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good story. I enjoyed it., Dec 29 2003
By 
Ryan "Ryan" (Greenport, New York United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (DVD)
What
if
you
had
no
right
to
read?
Fahrenheit 451 takes place in the not-too-distant future where books are completely forbidden. Based on the novel by Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 is about choice. Each choice made by the characters could destroy society.
We first see a man who hears sirens. And during the sirens, the phone rings and a woman's voice tells him to get out of his apartment and to run far, far away. He does and when we explore his apartment we discover the cause of this man's trouble: books. Everywhere there is a hiding place, there is a book. A team of "firemen" (note: they aren't called "fire fighters" becuase in the future, fires are started by them and the idea of fighting a fire is absurd.) take all the books to the parking lot and burn them. Their badges say "Fahrenheit 451" becuase that is the tempature used to burn books. We focus on a man: Montag. He and his wife live "happily" in their home next to his "friend" Clarisse (both women are played by Julie Christie). One day, Clarisse asks him if he had ever read the books he's burned. Simply put: no. But that strikes an interest in him. He takes a book: David Copperfield and starts to read it. His wife and friends worry and one of them begins to cry after he reads a passage. Her reason: she doesn't like those feelings anymore. It appears that books offend and dehumanize rather than bring goodness and brilliance into the world. In order to make everyone happy they burn books so no one feels sad and people don't become shut-ins because what they read is so facinating. When Montag's secret comes out, he becomes a fugitive and must make a decision: give up books or his life.
Fahrenheit 451 is a classic that everyone should read (ironically, it was a novel) and see. (If you didn't see this version, don't worry: a remake is due in 2004/2005) The idea that no one could read the printed word is surprisingly realistic in the sense that readers are treated as common outlaws. The film makes sense and uses the fact that no one can read to it's advantage: the opening credits are read aloud instead of written out. Cartoons have no captions and life has no meaning.
RECCOMENDED TO FANS OF:
Ninteen Eighty Four (1984)
The Running Man (1987)
Pleasantville (1998)
CAST
Oskar Werner...Guy Montag
Julie Christie.....Clarisse/Linda Montag
Cyril Cusack......The Captain
Anton Diffring....Fabian/Headmistress
THE MOVIE: 4/4
THE PICTURE QUALITY: 8/10. 1.85:1 Anamorphic widescreen. Clean except for some scenes (the opening scenes for example) where there are some noticable specs and dirt. Other than that, it's A-OK.
THE AUDIO QUALITY: 5.5/10. This is where the disc looses credit. Presented in 2.0 Mono, it was extreamly hard to hear so I found myself turning the audio all the way up then being startled when I switch from dvd to vcr because the volume is so loud.
THE SPECIAL FEATURES:
-The Novel: A Discussion with Author Ray Bradbury featurette
-The Making of Fahrenheit 541 featurette
-Commentary with Julie Christie
-The Music of Fahrenheit 541 featurette
-Original opening sequence
-Photo gallery
-Trailer
-Reccomendations
SUBTITLES: English, Spanish and French
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Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451 by Laurent Bouzereau (DVD - 2003)
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