A few days ago, actor John Hurt passed away at the age of 77.
The sad news got me thinking about his nearly 60-year-long career. I love a lot of his movies. The Elephant Man, Hellboy, and Alien are all terrific. But, my favorite of Hurt’s roles was that of Winston Smith in 1984. Coincidentally, the book 1984 has recently been at the top of the bestseller lists.
It’s a cautionary, dystopian tale about Winston Smith, a low-ranking member of a totalitarian government that enforces its rule through extreme conformism, constant surveillance, and misinformation. Smith works in the Ministry of Truth, altering history text to reflect the wishes of the government. But he dreams of insurrection.
If you haven’t read 1984 or seen the film adaptation, now is a great time to get to it.