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Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
Starring: Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack, Anton Diffring, Jeremy Spenser, Bee Duffell, Alex Scott, Michael Balfour, Anna Palk, Ann Bell, Caroline Hunt, David Glover
Director: Francois Truffaut
Category: Science Fiction, Foreign
Studio: Image Entertainment
112 mins



The classic science fiction novel by Ray Bradbury was a curious choice for one of the leading directors of the French New Wave, Fran�is 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.


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