Communists are NOT Socialists but they like to use the word
so they can give it a bad name and this suits the Capitalists quite nicely
because they ALSO want to give Socialism a bad name.
~ Jackie Jura


The true meaning of Socialism is
"government of the people, by the people, for the people"
~ Abraham Lincoln

To Orwell Today,

There were actually three feature-length movie versions of George Orwell's "1984." The first version was made in 1955 with Edmund O'Brien as "Winston Smith," Jan Sterling as "Julia," Sir Michael Redgrave as "O'Brien" and Donald Pleasance as "Parsons." This version "strayed" the farthest away from the book due in great part to the censors from the Hays Offices who ordered the sex scenes to be left out and the violence kept to a minimum. They also probably considered the "doublethink" prevalent all through "1984" to be subtle innuendoes directed against them. The second version of "1984" was made on black-and-white videotape in 1968 for the BBC and it was substantially closer to the original book. It was also shown twice on PBS Television during that year.

In the third version, (and probably the worst) made in the real 1984, the dialogue was so pared down, i.e., tried to convey 100% understanding of an issue using three words instead of say, ten words minimum needed to do so which, at times made it somewhat difficult to make sense out of everything, thanks probably to budget constraints while "1984" was still in production. It would require the production of at least a four-to-five-part made-for-cable mini-series of two hours per part to present a screenplay which would follow the book exclusively and the costs of doing so would probably be prohibitive today even with the use of computer-generated "virtual sets." And then there was the obviously-burned-out-and-dying Richard Burton as "O'Brien" and that rôle, in my opinion should have been gone to Anthony Hopkins who would have given a far superior and more menacing performance of "O'Brien" the way George Orwell describes him. John Hurt and Suzanna Hamilton were just so-so in the rôles of Winston Smith and Julia probably due to the limited dialogue available to them which kept the characters they portrayed rather shallow which also applied to the "O'Brien" character.

Chances are that no more movie versions of "1984" will ever be made but the availability of copies of the book should increase along with a new Foreword alerting every reader that everybody's very freedom is now more in danger of being destroyed than ever before and being replaced by the ultra-brutal-and-repressive psychopathic totalitarian system described in the minute-yet-easy-to-understand detail in "1984" which, in my opinion will always be a timeless classic. Socialism, no matter how one labels it is the cheapest form of government where there are no laws, just decrees which are always subject to change without notice. We must always keep in mind that freedom will never be free!

-Stephen Potter

Greetings Stephen,

Thank you for the information on the three movie versions of "1984". By the sounds of it, none of them were very accurate in following Orwell's book.

In reality 1984 and Animal Farm have been misrepresented by the Communists AND the Capitalists - something Orwell became aware of early with Animal Farm and immediately after the publication of 1984. He did everything he could to set the record straight before he died. After that, as has been mentioned previously on this website, the copyrights to the movies were taken out of the control of his estate and put into the control of his dishonest accountant:


Also, the following article sheds light on the making of the movies:

The cartoon that came in from the cold. London Guardian, Mar 7, 2003
(...Orwell's 1984 was made into a live-action feature with funds from the CIA. Work on the British production began in 1954, and, as with the animated Animal Farm, the ending was changed. We also know that the British government saw Orwell's work as useful for propaganda purposes: in March 1998 the Public Record Office declassified documents revealing that the government funded a newspaper comic strip in the early 1950s based on Animal Farm. It ran in several countries including Brazil, Burma, Eritrea, India, Mexico, Thailand and Venezuela...)

You say the sex scenes from 1984 were probably too risque for the first movie but actually there are no sex scenes in the book, just the leading up to and then the after effects. Orwell didn't like books that went into sexual detail, a phenomenon he'd started noticing in books he was reviewing in the late 1940s. He considered it hedonistic. Orwell was a very decent man and although he wasn't a prude he knew the difference between passion and pornography. Passion he loved, pornography he hated. Privacy he cherished.

You also misuse the word "Socialism" in your closing paragraph when you imply that it has no laws, just decrees. Don't you really mean to say "Communism"? There IS a difference you know. Orwell was a SOCIALIST which implies caring about SOCIETY which is made up of the masses of people. SOCIETY is the word from which SOCIALISM is derived. Communists are NOT Socialists but they like to use the word so they can give it a bad name and this suits the Capitalists quite nicely because they ALSO want to give Socialism a bad name.

The true meaning of Socialism is government "of the people, by the people, for the people"* and that certainly isn't the meaning of Communism, Capitalism, Fascism, Imperialism or any other form of Totalitarianism.

But I definitely agree with you regarding the paring down of the dialogue in 1984. I certainly noticed it in the version I saw, ie the John Hurt-Richard Burton one. That hideous movie was monosyllabic. However, I don't agree that it had anything to do with budget restraints but was instead an attempt to "narrow the range of thought" which is the goal of Newspeak and productions from the Ministry of Truth.

All the best,
Jackie Jura


*THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS (delivered by President Lincoln almost 100 years to the day before President Kennedy's assassination)

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~