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      Fahrenheit 451

      Released Jan 1, 1967 1h 52m Sci-Fi List
      81% Tomatometer 37 Reviews 72% Audience Score 25,000+ Ratings Adaptation of the Ray Bradbury novel about a future society that has banned all reading material and the job of the firemen is to keep the fires at 451 degrees: the temperature that paper burns. A fireman begins to re-think his job when he meets a book-loving girl. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Consensus

      Fahrenheit 451 is an intriguing film that suffuses Truffaut's trademark wit and black humor with the intelligence and morality of Ray Bradbury's novel.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Penelope Houston Sight & Sound It is as though Truffaut has drawn on everything he knows about cinema to express unshakable loyalty to the written word. Jul 6, 2018 Full Review Pauline Kael The New Republic Even at the science-fiction horror-story level, the movie fails -- partly, I think, because Truffaut is too much of an artist to exploit the vulgar possibilities in the material. Aug 30, 2012 Full Review Dave Kehr Chicago Reader This 1966 film often looks good (it was Truffaut's first in color, photographed by Nicolas Roeg), but the ideas, such as they are, get lost in the meandering narrative. Jun 5, 2007 Full Review Richard Schickel LIFE Ultimately, the film has a powerful emotional impact, but it is achieved the hard way -- through the mind rather than the viscera -- and only in Its own good time. Aug 30, 2019 Full Review A.S. Hamrah n+1 Truffaut brought more cinematic acumen to this minute-long sequence than many filmmakers deploy in an entire feature. Nov 29, 2018 Full Review Glenn Dunks Quickflix Truffaut's movie clearly suffered from a troubled shoot - Truffaut didn't actually know English - so his oddball take on the material succeeds in only fits and bursts. Rated: B- Sep 16, 2014 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Matthew B François Truffaut was one of the more admired directors of the French New Wave, but his first movie in colour (and only English-language) movie is not one of his better-loved works. Fahrenheit 451 often inspires only lukewarm film reviews. It has its admirers. Martin Scorsese insisted that the film is under-rated, and cited it as influence on his own work. Ray Bradbury, author of the famous novel on which the film was based, said that he liked the adaptation. He particularly praised the poignancy of its ending. Bradbury did feel that it was a mistake to cast Julie Christie in two roles however. Truffaut made this decision to indicate that her two characters are not easily broken down into good and bad, but are two sides of the same coin. This casting choice may have been an error on Truffaut's part. He was conscious of the film's other flaws. Not an English speaker himself, Truffaut was unhappy with the stilted language used in the English version of the film. Indeed the dialogue often sounds odd and awkward, though perhaps that is appropriate for a future world in which the written word is missing from people's lives. Some of the gestures made by the actors are also stiff. There is the peculiar salute that the Firemen give to one another, and the Masonic handshakes that seem so cumbersome. These are only small problems however. The film's most serious weakness is its leading actor. Truffaut had worked with the Austrian actor Oskar Werner before, notably on Jules and Jim, Truffaut's most famous movie. Somehow this time the chemistry was not there. By the end of the production, the two men were not speaking, and Werner childishly cut his hair before the filming of the final scene in order to make a continuity error. One of the leading areas of contention between the two men was Werner's insistence on delivering a robotic performance in the leading role of Montag. Truffaut wanted a more human Montag, and the film would have benefited from a sympathetic leading character. However Werner stubbornly insisted that his dull acting would capture how people would speak in the future, and the film is stuck with it. Truffaut's directing is repetitive, but in a hypnotic way. The same images return – the fire engine racing through the streets, the firemen going up and down poles, the pages curling as the books are burned. Truffaut chose some of his favourite books to be among those that are set on fire. The sight of some of literature's most famous works being destroyed is strangely beautiful, and yet it feels sacrilegious. From the outset the film establishes the strangeness of a world that looks superficially like ours. The opening credits are spoken, and not written down. The importance of using one's voice in place of written words will be seen again at the end of the film. The camera shows television arials everywhere, and constantly zooms in on the arials until they fill the screen. They now dominate people's lives instead of books. One of the dominant colours of the film is red, often seen on walls, and in bricks. The red recalls the traditional colour of fire engines, and the flames of the fires started by this modern incarnation of the service. A society in which imagination and alternative opinion is suppressed can only be a drab one. Most of the citizens live in dreary housing units. Montag's home is called Block 813. It does not have a more picturesque name. The people of the future dress in plain clothes, and have mundane hairstyles. One rebellious individual who lets his hair grow long is held down and given a haircut by force. The biggest killjoys and bullies are the Firemen. They dress in nondescript uniforms and black helmets, as if they are seeking to remove all colour and joy from the world. Their job is to remove contraband books from people's houses and burn them. They have become experts at finding the secret hiding places of books – lampshades, heaters…Some are concealed in the very televisions that have supposedly replaced them. The central character of the film is not a natural rebel. Indeed he is one of the enforcers of the existing regime. Montag works as a Fireman, and he has no problem with this role for many years. He even has the approval of his boss, Captain Beatty (Cyril Cusack), who would like to promote Montag. ontag steals one of the books that he was supposed to destroy, and brings it home. It is David Copperfield. Montag reads the book as if he is learning a new language, stumbling over the words, and running his finger along each line as he reads. Soon Montag becomes addicted to reading, and he is indiscreet. His wife finds out, and is upset. Montag reads a passage from David Copperfield to Linda's friends, and opens up buried feelings that one woman had forgotten. (That Montag can still read, and Linda's friend remembers emotions are clues that the story is not set too far in the future.) Fahrenheit 451 is not about an all-powerful government that forces its views on the people, but about a population that is already narrow-minded and oppressive, and backed up by a responsive government. Bradbury's concern was not with power, but with conformity. Hence the book-burners are not concerned with repressing knowledge, but with repressing opinion. Alternative opinions are the enemy of happiness, and books express a plethora of opinions. Hearing other opinions will give offence, and it is better for everyone to hold the same opinion so that nobody gets upset, or so the book-burners think. Bradbury's book approaches the issue from a conservative point of view. He is attacking something that we would now call political correctness or cancel culture. Every book has opinions that are offensive to someone, so if we take matters to the utmost extreme, then we should ban – and burn – all books. Happiness is to be achieved by avoiding offence. Offence is to be avoided by suppressing opinions. Opinions are to be suppressed by destroying the repositories of different opinons. While Fahrenheit 451 stays reasonably close to the original novel, it does have a remarkable ending that differs from the book, and I must avoid a spoiler here. However you can read my blog (with spoilers) offering a full appreciation of Fahrenheit 451 at: Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 08/24/23 Full Review Elvis D Esta adaptación de la novela de Bradbury es difícil de calificar, pero una adaptación bastante satisfactoria. Claramente debido a su época, no hubo efectos especiales lo suficientemente avanzados para replicar la visión de la novela. Afortunadamente, logró ser fiel a la trama de la novela a pesar de algunos cambios que son mínimos. La película respeta la esencia de la novela y es una pena que la simplicidad en su producción haya sido la única limitación. Igual tiene secuencias interesantes, aunque la apertura con una voz en off en lugar de los créditos de inicio no es convincente. Aun así, es una buena película que como adaptación logra funcionar por respetar el material original y si hubiese habido en aquel entonces la tecnología que hay actualmente, hubiese logrado tener una muy buena apariencia futurista. Mi calificación final para esta película es un 9/10. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 05/11/23 Full Review StephenPaul C The greatest 01 hour: and 52 minutes of science fiction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 05/10/23 Full Review Taylor L Part of the reason Fahrenheit 451 doesn't land as a film is because as the years pass, it becomes more and more apparent that Bradbury wasn't right, Orwell was; it's not that learning would be tightly controlled and forbidden, it's that people would no longer care enough to learn. Fahrenheit 451 represents a stepping stone for legendary director François Truffaut, in that it was not only his first film in color, but his only film not in the French language. It's a very matter-of-fact adaptation for a dystopian thriller, visually intense in both the color and the Brutalist architecture. Reading the original book describes the firemen as the rigid enforcers of intolerance and ignorance, a threat lingering around every corner, but in giving them form with their little helmets and uniforms, Truffaut makes them far less terrifying and omnipotent than they could have been (and were, in their original iteration). Plus the visual effects - mostly a series of jetpack-wielding firemen that come in towards the end of the runtime - are tough to look at. There are some neat pieces, particularly the retrofuturistic vibe and Julie Christie's concerned, distressed take on Linda Montag; the scene of the half-interactive television 'play', which operates like an adult version of Dora the Explorer to Christie's almost childlike delight, is one of the more engaging pieces of the settings alternative entertainment in a world without books. But for the most part, Truffaut's dry style doesn't really make the fear in the story pop, there's an exaggeration that the material demands. For some reason, rocking chairs are banned in this future alongside books? (2.5/5) Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Shioka O Low-key sci-fi dystopian by Truffaut. I personally liked the retro-futuristic style of 60s-70s, nothing look futuristic for now though. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 10/17/22 Full Review dave s It's not that Fahrenheit 451 isn't worth watching (because it is worth a look), but there is something odd about Francois Truffaut's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's classic dystopian novel that is hard to pinpoint. Maybe it has something to do with Oskar Werner's uncomfortable performance as Montag, a fireman whose job it is to destroy literature. It could be the strange mix of futuristic elements in modern-day life. Or maybe it is some technical issue, like the sporadically choppy editing. Or maybe it's something else entirely. Despite its flaws, whatever they may actually be, it is a fairly faithful adaptation of Bradbury's novel and an important cautionary tale of censorship and government overreach. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Adaptation of the Ray Bradbury novel about a future society that has banned all reading material and the job of the firemen is to keep the fires at 451 degrees: the temperature that paper burns. A fireman begins to re-think his job when he meets a book-loving girl.
      François Truffaut
      Lewis M. Allen
      Ray Bradbury, Jean-Louis Richard, François Truffaut
      Universal Pictures
      Production Co
      Anglo Enterprises, Vineyard
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jan 1, 1967, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Oct 1, 2011
      1h 52m
      Sound Mix
      Aspect Ratio
      Flat (1.85:1)
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