Fahrenheit 451 (1966 film) Background

Fahrenheit 451 (1966 film) Background

Francois Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451 was is the first adaption of Ray Bradbury's 1953 novel of the same name, released to critical acclaim. Truffaut, surprisingly didn't care for science fiction, but after a friend showed him Bradbury's award-winning novel, Truffaut spent many years getting financing for the film. Written by Jean-Louis Richard and Truffaut himself, Fahrenheit marked the first -- and last -- time the filmmaker made a film spoken only in English. To that end, Truffaut remarked that he wished he had learned the English language better before making the film as some of its dialogue came off as clunky.

The film stars Oskar Werner as Guy Montag, Julie Christie as Linda Montag, and Cyril Cusak as Captain. It chronicles the life-altering journey of vicious (yet somewhat sympathetic) fireman Guy Montag as he struggles to burn books -- and knowledge along with it. Because in this world, firemen don't put out fires -- they start them. At their core, the film and book provide scathing commentary on the dumbing down of society, self-censorship, shortening attention spans, and wanting to fit into a crowd -- not be an individual.

Many, including the late film critic Roger Ebert and the Bradbury himself, have lauded the film as a forgotten masterpiece. It does, however, hold a respectable 81% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, suggesting that many like the film. While it will not be remembered as a classic, the version of Fahrenheit 451 will always be remembered as a solid film with very relevant themes.

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