Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


When I was a kid, like many a geezer, 1984 was a far-off destination.  1984 finally came and went and somewhere along the line doublespeak became a reality.  Still, the book remains as urgent today as when it was first published.

The first adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 was arguably the best.  In 1954, as part of their BBC Sunday-Night Theatre,  the network presented a televised version written by Nigel Kneale, the creator of the science fictional hero Quatermass.  Four days later, on December 16, a live repeat of the show drew the country's largest television audience since the Coronation. 

BBC Sunday-Night Theatre ran from 1950 to 1959, showing over 500 programs.  1984 was directed by Rudolph Cartier, who would eventually direct 30 episodes of the show.  (Cartier, incidentally, directed all three BBC Quatermass programs.)  Peter Cushing, then one of England's most famous television actor, starred as Winston Smith.  Andre Morell, Yvonne Mitchell, and a young Donald Pleasance were also featured.

Comments on IMDB and on Internet Archive indicate that this has been a hard-to-find program.  You can catch it at the link below.

The budget was low (and it shows), but the performances are excellent.

Todd Mason, as usual, will have the links to all of today's Overlooked Films and/or A/V at his blog, Sweet Freedom.


  1. I saw the one made in 1984, which I think starred John Hurt.

  2. This sounds interesting. I've only ever seen the version with Edmund O'Brien - the 1956 film.

    Of course, I read the book in school. I've never forgotten its ominous nature.

  3. Thanks for the link, this one has been on my most wanted list for awhile.