Monday, January 21, 2008

George Orwell

Today is the anniversary of the death in 1950 of George Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair. There is a documentary on his life and works at youtube: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6. I discovered his writings in high school, reading Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four for English class.

Animal Farm has been adapted for the screen several times, beginning in 1954 with an animated version:

This one has been dubbed for a foreign market and doesn't have English subtitles, but it is available in the original English on DVD from This video shows the type of animation used, though. {7/27/2008: That video is not currently available, but it's available in English in 4 parts part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here and part 4 here.) 1001 Flicks has a review.

There was also a made-for-tv Hallmark version in 1999:

Nineteen Eighty-Four has also been adapted for film, beginning with a 1956 version starring Edmond O'Brien (who starred in D.O.A.) and Donald Pleasence (who was Melchior in the made-for-tv Jesus of Nazareth). There was a version made in, of course, 1984 with John Hurt and Richard Burton:

George Orwell didn't just write science fiction and fantasy novels. The Road to Wigan Pier is a 1937 first-hand exploration of the hard life of the working class in England's industrial north. It can be read online here.

5/12/2009: The House Next Door has a long and interesting article.

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