CAST
Oskar Werner-Montag
Julie Christie-Linda/Clarisse
Cyril Cusack-The Captain
Anton Diffring-Fabian
Jeremy Spenser-Man with the Apple
Bee Duffell-Book Lady
Alex Scott-"The Life of Henry Brulard" (Book Person)
Michael Balfour-Machiavelli's "Prince" (Book Person)
Anna Palk-Jackie
Ann Bell-Doris
Caroline Hunt-Helen
David Glover-"Pickwick Papers" (Book person)
Gillian Lewis-TV Announcer
Noel Davis-'Cousin Midge' (TV Personality)

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This is an engrossing futuristic tale of a society where all printed material is banned. In this country of the future, officials believe that people who read and are able to think for themselves are a threat to the nation where individualism is strongly discouraged. The inhabitants of this society all seem to be suffering from sensory deprivation and their only link to news and entertainment is a large television screen on the wall where broadcasts are continually transmitted to the "family". All of the people are members of The Family. Even though they aren't forced to watch the telecasts, they all do.

It is also a society where drugs are dispensed by the government in order to further pacify the citizens. Mop up squads roam the streets, shaving the heads of individuals whose hair they consider to be too long and to be the trait of a non-conformist.

It is the job of firemen to hunt down subversives and burn the caches of books they've secreted away. This movie was made long before political correctness raised its ugly head and demanded they be referred to as firefighters. If you think about it, the excesses of political correctness is one of the things this movie may be warning us about. Oskar Werner plays Montag, a devoted fireman, who meets a young woman (Clarisse) who reminds him of a thinking version of his wife Linda. When Montag is asked by Clarisse what his wife is like, he answers, "Very much like you." This isn't surprising since the parts of Linda and Clarisse are both played by Julie Christie.

Cyril Cusack is excellent as the Captain who has the personality of an eccentric, caring father figure but who occasionally turns into a tough, single-minded disciplinarian.

Fabian, played by Anton Diffring, is a fireman who doesn't have much use for Montag and is out to get him whenever he can.

In this 1967 film, one can't help wondering, if reading is banned, how did so many people learn to read? Except for a few small inconsistencies, this is an excellent movie and well worth watching. It isn't a film for people who aren't willing to pay attention or who demand non-stop action. With that said, the movie is more interesting if you haven't read the novel. If you have read the book, the omissions in the movie become glaring. In the book, there is a mechanical hound at the fire station that can be programmed to track down an individual and inject them with procaine. The hound's similarity to a trained attack dog is more than coincidental. There is also no mention in the movie of Professor Faber, a central character in the book. The war that is taking place is barely mentioned in the movie. In fact, the city is destroyed by an atomic bomb at the end of the novel but not in the movie. If you can get by all the deviations from the novel, you will enjoy the movie.

One thing worth noting in this adaptation of the Ray Bradbury novel is that the opening credits are spoken, not written. There is nothing to read throughout the film except for pages of books people are reading and books and covers while they are being burned. Even the newspaper Montag picks up is all pictures. You get to read a movie title when the film ends with "The End".

The title of the movie comes from, as Montag puts it in one scene, "Fahrenheit four five one is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and starts to burn."

 

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Wav Sound Files (11KHz)

(click on red link to download)

Announcer: "An Enterprise/Vineyard production.  Oskar Werner, Julie Christie In Fahrenheit 451." (99K)
Captain: "Why will they do it? It's sheer perversity."  (32K)
Captain: "What does Montag do with his day off duty?"

Montag: "Not very much, sir. Mow the lawn."

Captain: "And what if the law forbids that?"

Montag: "Just watch it grow, sir."  (118K)
Clarisse: "I think we're neighbors. I live near block eight one three. Isn't that where you live?"  (59K)
Clarisse: "That number you all wear. What's it mean?"

Montag: "Oh, fahrenheit four five one."

Clarisse: "Why four five one rather than eight one three or one two three four?"

Montag: "Fahrenheit four five one is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and starts to burn."  (160K)
Montag: "We burn them to ashes and then burn the ashes. That's our official motto."  (49K)
Montag: "Do you remember what you asked me the other day; if I ever read the books I burn? Remember?"

Clarisse: "Um hmm."

Montag: "Last night I read one."  (117K)
Small Boy: "Ooh, mommy look.  Firemen.  Mommy, there's going to be a fire."  (80K)
Captain: "Listen to me, Montag. Once to each fireman, at least once in his career, he just itches to know what these books are all about. He just aches to know. Isn't that so?"  (108K)
Captain: "The books have nothing to say."  (27K)
Captain: "You see, its....its no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal."  (81K)
Captain: "Who can explain the fascination of fire? What draws us to it whether we're young or old?"  (102K)
PA Announcement: "Wanted for murder: Montag. Occupation: fireman."  (69K)
Television Announcement: "Montag is dead. A crime against society has been avenged."  (83K)
Book Person: "I'm The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury."  (35K)

 

Wav Sound Effects From the Movie (11KHz)

Telephone ringing.  (35K)
Footsteps of firemen.  (92K)
Two small boards being slapped together.  (6K)
Door being shut.  (7K)
Water running in bathtub.  (89K)
Playground noise.  (166K)
Woman sobbing while walking.  (124K)
Footsteps going up stairs.  (67K)
Window being broken out.  (9K)
Match being struck.  (49K)
Roaring fire.  (74K)
Wall screen blowing up.  (20K)
Helicopter firing at running figure.  (70K)
Fire truck rolling music.  (103K)

 

Video Clip   (4,833K)

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Learning Guide

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CLICK ON MOVIE BELOW FOR A MOVIE REVIEW FROM DESTITUTE GULCH

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