Fahrenheit 451 (1966) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –

Warning: Reading this film review might be considered a crime.

When it comes to reading, people either love it or hate it. Some people might be bookworms like Belle from Beauty and the Beast (1991) while other people might want to do other things with their time. What would happen, though, if reading was illegal? That question prompted Ray Bradbury to write one of the most celebrated novels of all time, which led to its subsequent film adaptation in 1966. The final result is a very interesting film that combines art, literature, science fiction, and horror into a classic dystopian motion picture.

A Toast

This film features a stellar performance from Oskar Werner as Montag as well as a great performance from the Oscar-winner Julie Christie as both Linda and Clarisse. Werner brings the famous and beloved literary character to life as he began questioning the motives of the rulers of the nightmarish world that he lives in. Such defiance reveals that Montag is a very human character capable of independent thought and critical thinking. Those two skills are very symbolic given the fact that they both stem from reading voraciously. The film also features some of the greatest literary classics ever written (even though most of them were burned and no one could read them). This film definitely does justice to Bradbury’s famous novel.

Verdict

The title of this film and the original novel it is based on refer to the temperature at which paper ignites on fire. Some immature students might enjoy the idea of burning what they read, but they might not be aware about the power of reading. For example, Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor) expressed anger when Julius Caesar (Rex Harrrison) burned down the great library of Alexandria in Cleopatra (1963), and many educators would be outraged if their students did not have a passion for reading and learning. Therefore, Fahrenheit 451 is definitely an underrated classic since it can teach audiences that reading can be pleasurable if done outside the mundanity of academic assignments.

Fahrenheit 451 (1966) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time a classic literary title appears on-screen.

Take another Drink: as soon as that famous title is being burned

Drink a Shot: every time Montag and the other firemen are seen floating in the air while using futuristic modes of transportation

And Have Your Favorite Drink: if you choose to drink your favorite beverage while enjoying a good book.

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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