THE MOVIE VERSION OF FAHRENHEIT 451
IS NOT LIKE THE BOOK by Ray Bradbury
RECOMMENDED MOVIE: Fahrenheit 451 (1966) Starring Julie Christie and Oskar Werner. Screenplay by Francois Truffaut and Jeannn-Louis Richard. Directed by Francois Truffaut. Produced by Lewis M. Allen. An Enterprise Vineyard Film Production.
WHAT’S IN THE BOOK THAT’S NOT IN THE MOVIE?
Clarisse is a 17-year-old who dies in a car accident in Part I. Montag’s wife is named Mildred. Montag and Mildred have a loveless marriage. The world is on the verge of war. Montag is chased and wounded by the Mechanical Hound. The characters of Faber, Granger, Mrs. Bowles, Mrs. Phelps, Fred Clement, Dr. Simmons, Professor West, Reverend Padover, and Harris in Youngstown are not in the movie. Symbols omitted from the movie include jet car races, super-sized billboards, three-sided TV walls, the salamander (fire truck), the phoenix on the Captain’s hat, the green bullet earpiece, Faber’s sprinkler system, and beetle cars.
WHAT’S IN THE MOVIE THAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK?
Clarisse is a 20-year-old teacher. Montag’s wife is named Linda. TV personalities Cousin Claudette and Cousin Midge, and people calling each other “cousin,” are not in the book. Symbols in the movie that do not appear in the book include TV antennas, the rocking chair, illegal long haircuts, wordless comic strip newspapers, the salamander logo on the Captain’s uniform and the fire house door, and the mailbox where citizens report book people. The characters of Fabian, Doris, Helen, Jackie, the man with the apple, the man at the mailbox, the principal and schoolboys, and the twins Pride and Prejudice are not characters in the book.
WHAT’S THE SAME?
The firemen who burn books, obsessive TV-viewing, the book people, Clarisse’s influence on Montag’s rebellion, Mrs. Montag’s drug addiction and overdoses, Montag’s stealing and reading books, the murder of Captain Beatty, Montag’s escape to the book people.
THE MOVIE: SUMMARY
The following is a scene-by-scene comparison of the movie to the corresponding chapters in the book.
THE MOVIE: PART 1 THE HEARTH AND THE SALAMANDER
The image of TV antennas on houses in a neighborhood appears on the screen. The film opens with firemen sliding down the pole and boarding the fire truck. (ERROR: The book opens with Montag happily burning a house) The scene switches to a man sitting at home, eating an apple. He answers his phone. Someone warns him to leave. He runs away before the firemen arrive. (ERROR: Not in the book) The firemen search the empty house for books. They find a copy of Don Quixote hidden in the light fixture and other books behind a false TV screen, in a coffee table, and in the radiator. (ERROR: Not in the book) The firemen gather the books and take them outside to be burned. A crowd gathers outside to watch the burning of the books. (ERROR: In the book, when firemen find books in a house, they burn the entire house down) Captain Beatty drives the fire truck. After burning the books, Montag talks to the Captain about a promotion he is about to be given. (ERROR: No promotion is mentioned in the book)