Fahrenheit 451

Release Date: TBA 2009

Movie of the Day for Friday, September 28, 2007
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The Monty Python boys accidentally burn some things.

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Fahrenheit 451 is the classic novel by famed science fiction writer Ray Bradbury that tells of the fascistic, fiercely anti-intellectual and hedonistic dystopia of the future where free thought is ruthlessly suppressed and books are outlawed.

The protagonist is Guy Montag, a fireman who not only has the traditional responsibility of putting out fires but also that of burning books, the homes containing them and beginning the prosecution of the owners. At the start of the story he is sure of the righteousness of his task.

All that changes when he meets Clarisse McClellan, who is like no other person he has ever met. She is free-spirited and worse still, intellectually curious, a free thinker. She introduces him to others like her, some of whom are secretly memorizing books so that they need not be printed and thus susceptible to destruction. These encounters force him for the first time in his life to question the ideals that form the basis of his life and reality.

Fahrenheit 451, the temperature at which paper burns, deals with several themes that are ever more relevant and topical than they are today. Published in 1953 the book is a sober examination of the effect of censorship on society, the most notable examples at the time being that of Nazi Germany and to a lesser extent that of America in the '50s. Ray Bradbury himself has resisted the addition of themes by others and their critical analysis to broad the scope to other themes. Nonetheless, others have attempted to attribute other themes to the novel such as knowledge vs. ignorance, the destruction of the nuclear family by technology, individual vs. society, etc. Some of these themes might very well make segments of current American society uneasy, however, so it’ll be interesting to see just how well received this movie will be.

The latest adaptation of the story, which has been done several times, is directed by Frank Darabont, who has helmed such films as The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Currently there are no actors attached to this project. (D. James Ruccio/BOP)

Vital statistics for Fahrenheit 451
Director Frank Darabont
Screenwriter Frank Darabont, Terry Hayes, Ray Bradbury (novel)
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Fahrenheit 451
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Matrix Reloaded, The 5/16/0391.77 91.77 3603 25471.00 25471.0 281.91 281.91 2.61
Minority Report 6/21/0235.68 37.09 3001 11889.00 11889.0 132.01 137.25 3.70
Matrix, The 4/2/9927.78 33.10 2849 9751.00 11133.0 171.38 204.23 5.82
Twelve Monkeys 1/5/9613.84 18.88 1533 9028.00 11846.7 57.14 77.95 4.10
Equilibrium 12/6/020.54 0.56 301 1799.00 1799.0 1.19 1.23 2.20



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