Surveillance in the Movies

Title image courtesy of

With Young London News’ theme today being surveillance, we thought why not discuss surveillance in the movies. Hollywood has had a lot to say on the subject over the years.

Here’s 5 movies involving surveillance that are worth watching:

1. 1984 (1984)

The first film that springs to mind is Michael Radford’s take on George Orwell’s classic novel 1984. The film is all about a totalitarian future society in which surveillance is everywhere and just seen as a given.

2. Rear Window (1954)

A different take on surveillance. Hitchcock’s Rear Window is more about nosey neighbours and a rather life threatening fixation with binoculars. In Rear Window professional photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies (James Stewart) finds himself in a wheelchair and decided to pass the time by watching his neighbours and he unwittingly witnesses a murder.

3. Demolition Man (1993)

One can’t talk about surveillance without mentioning Stallone’s Demolition Man, where his risk-taking police officer is cryogenically frozen in 1996, and then unfrozen in 2032 to find mainstream society changed and all crime seemingly eliminated. He wakes up in a world where even the use of swear words are met with a fine.

4. Enemy of the State (1998)

The late Tony Scott’s Enemy of the State is all about surveillance. Will Smith’s Robert Clayton Dean finds himself in a bit of a predicament when he just happens across some rather incriminating evidence against a government official. The government then goes all out to try and track Dean down which includes, yet not limited to, the use of satellite imaging.

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Finally, time for a Marvel Superhero film! Stephen Rodgers, a.k.a Captain America (Chris Evans), is a man out of his time, not used to the world we live in. When the organisation he works for, S.H.I.E.L.D, decide to launch Helicarriers, Captain America finds the idea of constant surveillance difficult to deal with and he has to combat a conspiracy in the surveillance state of his country.



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