Ray Bradbury's bestselling masterpiece about a future without books takes on a chillingly realistic dimension in this film classic about a fireman charged with burning forbidden volumes.
© 1966 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
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Tomatometer®reviews counted: 9see all Fahrenheit 451 reviews
Top Critic Reviews
Rotten: This 1966 film often looks good (it was Truffaut's first in color, photographed by Nicolas Roeg), but the ideas, such as they are, get lost in the meandering narrative.
- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Fresh: While not one of Truffaut's strongest film, it is nonetheless one of his few explicitly political works and also boasts sharp imagery by Roeg) and indelible score by Herrmann.
- Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com, Thursday, June 24, 2010
Transposed to the screen by Truffaut and with an evoking score by Bernard Herrmann, Ray Bradbury's terrifying vision of a future is a brilliant allegory that remains intelligent and pertinent even today - when books may not be destroyed but are scorned by the people themselves.
- blacksheepboy, Friday, March 30, 2012
What has always impressed me about Bradbury's classic is his commitment to post-Enlightenment ideals. This film and Bradbury's novel obviously condemn book-burning. And the film lingers on the burning pages with an almost-overwrought, almost-melodramatic pathos. But it also shows Mein Kampf about to be torched. What Bradbury says is that in accordance with post-Enlightenment philosophy, when people are allowed free access to ideas, invariably the good ideas rise to the top and the bad ones fall. It is only after we trust in the goodness of human perception that we can see the burning of Hilter's work as tragic as the burning of Twain. What I've written so far is only about the source material because that's the only part of this film I liked. We never get to see Montag's journey; he goes from book-burner to reader in the matter of a quick night and a quicker conversation. I normally don't care about set design, but this is a shallow, half-hearted attempt at creating a Stepford Wives future, and we needed a greater commitment to this idea if Truffaut wanted to feature the design so prominently. Finally, I was remarkable unimpressed by Oskar Werner. His command of English was a stark contrast to all the characters around him, and he remained stolid, emotionless, and ineffective throughout most of the film's action. Overall, read the book; don't see the film.
- hunterjt13, Friday, January 21, 2011