François Truffaut adapted and directed Ray Bradbury's bleak tale of a future in which censorship is an institution.
Montag, played here with the perfect blend of sincerity and confusion by Oskar Werner, is a "fireman" of the future whose primary function is to hunt down and destroy books. In Montag's day, all reading material that has not been printed and approved by the government has been banned. The result? A homogenized society of people whose only thoughts are the ones they've been told to have.
Montag goes about his life, does his job (he's up for a promotion at the station) and has established himself as a respectable member of his community. He has a nice wife (played neurotically by Julie Christie) and a nice home. He has nice thoughts. One afternoon coming home from work he meets a school teacher on the train (played less neurotically by Julie Christie) who introduces him to the forbidden world of the books he burns and sets him on a path of self-destruction and discovery.
Considering that this movie was made in the U.K. in 1966 this is a remarkable transfer from the original film. The dated effects and washed-out color only make Bradbury's future seem as bleak as he intended. And for those of us who can't help but love your garden-variety Doctor Who special effects, get a load of that ridiculous fire engine!
Interactive menu with 16 chapter stops. I can't even imagine what extras they could have thrown on here. If you're a collector of classic sci-fi you've got to have this disc anyway and I for one was content with a good quality transfer and nice sound. At $14.99 it's a steal.
Amy Morrison, 11/08/2000