Dune 1984 Compared To Dune 2021



Posters for Dune 2021 on the left and Dune 1984 on the right.

HBO Max released Dune on October 21, 2021, and in addition to that, they also have the first Dune, which was released in 1984. These two movies have the same story but were portrayed differently. Denis Villeneuve was the director of the recent movie and David Lynch directed the 1984 version.

Dune is about a boy named Paul Atreides, who must travel to another planet across the universe. This planet is dangerous, and the trip may change the future of his family and his people. Conflicts arise when the Atreides family must face enemies who are going after a resource called the Spice.

The 1984 movie had a very informative introduction. It gave the insight into the background of the story. After the introduction, though, the movie didn’t really make any sense. 

The dialogue was strange and hard to understand. This was difficult to watch because the whole movie was based on talking and even things such as the fight scenes made no sense. The accents of different characters in the movie wasn’t a factor in the confusion. Some of the characters had a lot of unnecessary dialogue and it seemed to serve no purpose in the scenes or movie as a whole.

Lew Haimowitz, of New York, went to see the original Dune movie when it came out in 1984. He felt the movie was “extremely complex” and that adapting the “multi-themed book into an accessible movie is a daunting task.” When he originally saw the film, the theater passed out documents explaining elements of the story. “When I entered the theater, I was given a document that was supposed to make the film experience more positive by providing some necessary information. I felt that this was not a good sign at all. It was the only time that I can remember needing support information to understand a movie,” he said.

The animated graphics were impressive given the time this movie was released. The hair and make-up were strange yet fitting for the story. The costumes were amazing and the attention to detail was magnificent. 

The actors were overly dramatic in nondramatic situations. It was understandable because most of these actors were just starting out. In fact, Dune was one of the first movies Sting, of the 80s band The Police, acted in. It was a fun cameo, and another big name to appear in the film was Sir Patrick Stewart.

Some sets of the movie looked nice but some seemed to be poorly designed. The use of light and dark colors gave the sets a very intimidating look. There were a few desert overhead shots, though, that were beautiful and perfectly filmed. 

The newest Dune movie is quite a contrast to the original in many ways. There was another informative introduction, though not as informative as the older movie. The dialogue was understandable and not at all confusing. The story was clearer.

The new version had an all-star cast including Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, and Oscar Isaac. Their acting was powerful and moving. Chalamet and Isaac really appeared to form a father-son bond. Chalamet also paired with his on-screen mother, Rebecca Ferguson.

The animated graphics of the film were interesting and well employed. The graphics that were used in a training scene between Brolin and Chalamet’s characters were coordinated beautifully. It was similar to what Lynch’s Dune was trying to do, but it was unsuccessful due to the lack of technology back then.

The costumes were great, and like the costumes in the first movie the details were specific and executed well. The hair and make-up wasn’t extreme or strange.

The sets of the movie were beautiful and the non desert sets gave this ancient look. It looked like the characters stepped into a Roman or Egyptian era. The sets that were for desert scenes were beautiful and not fake at all. It was astonishing. The designs for the technology used in the story were also beautiful. The ships were designed in such a cool way and they looked almost bug-like.

Overall, these two adaptations were very different from each other. Though there were ups and downs for both movies, the second one was better because it’s a bit more modern and they had more technological advancements.