Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

UK, 1966
112m
35mm film, Technicolor, 1.85:1
mono, English

A British science fiction film directed by François Truffaut. The opening credits are read out loud and the only end credit is a copyright line.

Plot Summary

In the near future, a totalitarian regime has banned books and the fire brigade now doesn’t put out fires, it starts them, setting fire to huge piles of books. Fireman Guy Montag lives a joyless life with his drugged and docile wife – until he meets and falls in love with Clarisse, a secret book lover who introduces him to the illicit pleasure of reading.

Credits

* = uncredits

Crew
Directed by: François Truffaut
© MCMLXVI [1966] by Vineyard Films Ltd
A Universal release. An Vineyard production
Executive Producer: Miriam Brickman *
Produced by: Lewis M. Allen
Associate Producers: Mickey Dalamar; Jane C. Nusbaum *
Production Manager: Ian Lewis *
Screenplay by: François Truffaut and Jean-Louis Richard
Additional Dialogue: David Rudkin *, Helen Scott *
From the Novel by: Ray Bradbury
Assistant Director: Bryan Coates *
Continuity: Kay Mander *
Director of Photography: Nicolas Roeg
Camera Operator: Alex Thomson *
Film Editor: Thom Noble
Colour by: Technicolor
Music by: Bernard Herrmann
Sound: Bob McPhee *, Norman Wanstall *
Sound Mixer: Gordon K. McCallum *
Post-Synchronisation: Synchro-Mondiale *
Westrex Recording System *
Make Up: Basil Newall *
Special Effects: Les Bowie *, Charles Staffell *; Rank Films Processing Division *; Bowie Films Ltd *
Art Director: Syd Cain
Assistant Art Director: Yvonne Blake *
Production and Costume Design Consultant: Tony Walton
Assistant to Director: Suzanne Schiffman *
Locations: Châteauneuf-sur-Loire, Loiret, France *; Danebury Avenue, Roehampton, London, England, UK *; Maidenhead, Berkshire, England, UK *
Studio: Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK *

Cast
Oskar Werner [Guy Montag]
Julie Christie [Clarisse/Linda Montag]
Cyril Cusack [the captain]
Anton Diffring [Fabian/headmistress]
Jeremy Spenser [man with the apple]
Bee Duffell [the book woman]
Alex Scott [The Life of Henry Brulard]
Gillian Lewis [TV announcer] *
Ann Bell [Doris] *
Caroline Hunt [Helen] *
Anna Palk [Jackie] *
Roma Milne [the neighbour] *
Denis Gilmore [Martian Chronicles] *
Fred Cox [Pride] *
Frank Cox [Prejudice] *
Michael Balfour [Machiavelli’s Prince] *
Judith Drynan [Plato’s Dialogues] *
David Glover [The Pickwick Papers] *
Yvonne Blake [The Jewish Question] *
John Rae [Weir of Hermiston] *
Earl Younger [nephew of Weir of Hermiston] *
Arthur Cox [1st male nurse] *
Eric Mason [2nd male nurse] *
Noel Davis, Donald Pickering [TV announcers] *
Michael Mundell [Stoneman] *
Chris Williams [Black] *
Gillian Aldam [Judoka woman] *
Edward Kaye [Judoka man] *
Mark Lester [1st small boy] *
Kevin Elder [2nd small boy] *
Joan Francis [bar telephonist] *
Tom Watson [sergeant instructor] *

Alternative Titles

Grau de Destruição – Portugal

Extracts included in
Night Gallery: The Different Ones/Tell David…/Logoda’s Heads (1971)
Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Press

2012
BFI Southbank Guide December 2012 p.9
Though Truffaut described it as his ‘saddest and most difficult film’ he invests the idea of a future without literature with a powerful sense of horror and regret, made all the more affecting by the inclusion of a haunting score by Bernard Herrmann. – author not credited

References

Periodicals

  • American Cinematographer vol.48 no.1 (1967) pp.34-??- illustrated article (Film in the space age by Ray Bradbury)
  • Cahiers du Cinema vol.5 (1966) pp.10-22 – illustrated article (The journal of Fahrenheit 451 by Francois Truffaut)
  • Cahiers du Cinema vol.6 (1966) pp.10-23 – illustrated article (The journal of Fahrenheit 451 by Francois Truffaut)
  • Cahiers du Cinema vol.7 (1966) pp.8-19 – illustrated article (The journal of Fahrenheit 451 by Francois Truffaut)
  • Film Quarterly vol.20 no.4 (1967) pp.3-10 – illustrated article (The fire and the future by George Bluestone)
  • Sight & Sound vol.43 no.2 (1974) pp.96-100 – illustrated article (Ray Bradbury: the illustrated man by Thomas R. Atkins)
  • Take One vol.3 no.11 (1973) pp.15-23 – illustrated article (Ray Bradbury on Hitchcock, Huston, and other magic of the screen by Arnold R. Kunert)

Books

  • Omni’s Screen Flights/Screen Fantasies: The Future According to Science Fiction Cinema – article (Fahrenheit 451: From novel to film by Gerald Peary)
  • Cine y derecho en 13 películas by Alfonso Ortega Giménez pp.95-105 – credits, article
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.131 – credits

Other sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide December 2012 p.9 – illustrated listing