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Nineteen Eighty-Four 

Swindon's connection to the film of the George Orwell classic

Updated: article first written in 2000
Big Brother watched over Swindon in the mid-eighties, during filming of the classic adaptation of George Orwell's terrifying vision, Nineteen Eighty-Four, starring Richard Burton (his last-ever film) and John Hurt.

With key scenes being filmed nearby at RAF Hullavington, intrepid Swindonians were recruited as extras.
Talk of the Town, Swindon, the hairdresser chosen for shaving extras' heads for the filming of 1984 starring John Hurt and Richard Burton
Off with it!:
an extra gets ready to lose his locks at the TA Centre in Rodbourne courtesy of Talk of the Town in Old Town ready for filming of Nineteen Eighty-Four
Like lambs to the slaughter they were led to the Territorial (TA) Army HQ in Rodbourne, where they had their 'identities erased' and their heads shaved using pudding bowls courtesy of local hairdressers Talk of the Town (who were based at what is now The Tuppenny pub in Old Town).

They were then shipped to Hullavington for filming and to take part in the dramatic opening of the movie (see below). By all accounts they each received £25 a day.

Sadly, none of the extras were available for interview, through fear of being intercepted by the Thought Police.
Richard Burton
Ninety-Eighty-Four was also Richard Burton's last act on screen. He died just weeks later in August 1984 at home in Switzerland.
1984 picture gallery
courtesy of calyxmultimedia
1984 hair-cutting at Talk of the Town
1984, starring Richard Burton, hair-cutting in Swindon at Talk of the Town
1984 filming at RAF Hullavington with Richard Burton and John Hurt
Filming near Swindon:
Richard Burton (r) taking a break with John Hurt (l)
and Suzanna Hamilton
Richard Burton during filming of 1984, his last-ever film
1984 filming starring Richard Burton and John Hurt
1984 first diary entry
Watch 1984 Trailer & Opening
courtesy of You Tube

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Nineteen Eighty-Four - IMDB info
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