Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

UK, 1966
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.


* = uncredits

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 *

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)


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



  • 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)


  • 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