Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1954

Long-term readers of this blog (if there are any left after my infrequent posting over the last two years) will recall that I’m very interested in the different adaptations of Nineteen Eighty-Four, that have been produced over the years (see here and here, for example).


However, for those who have seen it, the 1954 BBC version of George Orwell’s novel, subtitled ‘The Last Man in Europe’ (one of Orwell’s original possible titles for the book) and starring Peter Cushing, is often mentioned as the most faithful and closest in ‘feel’ to the book, produced as it was, so close in time to the immediate post-war era of ruins and rationing by which the book was at least partly inspired. There were several big technical problems with this version, and these, combined with political and commercial interference over the years by government and the producers of other film versions have conspired to mean that it has been very infrequently reshown. However, there is a fantastic version happening right about now in London produced by Horse Hospital, which uses original visual material combined with a new soundtrack by electronic composer, Zbigniew Karkowski. I wish I could be there…

*Thanks to Atau Tanaka for noting this one.

Author: David

I'm David Murakami Wood. I live on Wolfe Island, in Ontario, and am Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Surveillance Studies and an Associate Professor at Queen's University, Kingston.

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