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Night Owl Paramedia’s™ 2016 Election Marathon: 1984 (1956 & 1984 U.S. versions), ANIMAL FARM(1954).

On election night, as Donald Trump surprised voters in the U.S. and world by becoming the President-Elect of the United States, Night Owl Paramedia™ran a 24hr marathon of George Orwell’s masterpiece and literary warning, “1984,” and “Animal Farm.”  Both the 1956 BBC U.K. version and modern ‘1984’ version of “1984” streamed live, along with “Animal Farm” (1954).  Orwell warned that totalitarian ideologies span liberalism and conservatism, that the ultimate end of power is power.  Like the 1954 version, this is a UK production, though it feels more like the 1953 American version. This makes sense being that the same writer from the 1953 American version, William Templeton, also co-wrote this one.

However, not only does this film have connections with the 1953 one, but it also does with the 1954 in that Donald Pleasence, who played Syme in the 1954 version, returns here as Parsons. The 1984 cinematic version is the film that most people will think of first when thinking of Orwell films. A British production, directed by Michael Radford and, very appropriately, released in the year 1984.  The plot here follows the novel’s story very closely. Of course there were the obligatory omissions, as a 2 hour film can rarely adapt everything from a 300-plus page book.  This film version does a masterful job of maintaining Orwell’s vision, world, and message.

“Animal Farm” is based on George Orwell’s novel, animals on drunken Mr. Jones’ (Maurice Denham) farm, led by prize hog Old Major (also Denham), gather to discuss their abuse. Old Major exhorts the animals to rebel. Boxer the horse, donkey Benjamin, pigs Snowball and Napoleon and the others agree, and when Old Major dies, they turn against Jones. But Napoleon secretly raises a group of puppies to do his bidding, and over time the efficiently run farm falters as Napoleon schemes to take over.