Doctor Zhivago (1965)
June 6, 2022 10:24 AM - Subscribe

David Lean's 1965 epic historical romance film adapts the 1957 novel by Boris Pasternak. Russian physician and poet Yuri (Omar Sharif), although married to Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin), falls in love with young field nurse Lara (Julie Christie) and experiences hardship during World War I and then the October Revolution. Score by Maurice Jarre.

Available for digital rental in the US on seemingly every service.

Recommended by both Robin and Steve at Family Video in Hawkins, Indiana.
posted by DirtyOldTown (7 comments total)
Saw this many years ago and came away with two impressions: (a) Omar Sharif is hot and (b) that's a whole lot of balalaika.
posted by praemunire at 2:30 PM on June 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

There's way too much story in the novel to fit in the film, but Robert Bolt (A Man for All Seasons, Laurence of Arabia, The Mission, etc.) does a pretty good job of keeping things comprehensible. The romance aspect takes center stage, and Omar Sharif is a total smokeshow, but what makes Lara worth wrecking what's left of your life over? Is it just the illusion of control?
posted by rikschell at 4:48 PM on June 6, 2022

I know this movie. Been watching it a long time.

There is Yuri and Lara in the center, sure, but the key roles for me are in the supporting case, stating with Rod Steiger as Komarovsky, Tom Courtenay as Pasha, and Alec Guinness as Yevgraf.

And of course Tonya. I am forever on Team Tonya.

Having read the novel, I think it and the movie too different to compare side by side.
posted by Fukiyama at 6:18 PM on June 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

"Doctor Zhivago" is a favorite. Yevgraf is my favorite Alec Guinness performance. He spends most of the movie not talking on screen, so the focus is on his acting. And he is so cool as the older Yevgraf in the framing scenes. Komarovsky is my second favorite Rod Steiger performance (gotta go with Chief Gillespie). I agree with Fukiyama. I am on Team Tonya. I've never been much of a fan of Lara. I don't know what her character is like in the book, but in the movie, she seems kind of dull. And I love the production.
posted by Stuka at 6:34 PM on June 6, 2022

I know this movie. Been watching it a long time.

Same here. Seen it in theaters, back in the day, at least twice. Watched it on video again recently to resolve soundtrack questions, and couldn't believe how boring, how sloppily shot in some sequences. For example the natural lighting of the station platform when Tonya's train arrives. Shadows in the wrong places, inexcusable. So many city scenes shot in the same place. And the way the film's made too long with a lot of pointlessly slow, 'just following people around, walking down hallways' -‌- ridiculous. Didn't need to be so long, with an intermission, even. Saved by Alec Guinness, and Rod Steiger -‌- "Don't you want my sugar?"
posted by Rash at 10:11 AM on June 9, 2022

The soundtrack: what's that Renaissance song which uses 'Tonya Arrives At Varykino'? Can You Understand.
posted by Rash at 10:42 AM on June 9, 2022

The music immediately makes me cry. Every time.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:49 PM on June 10, 2022

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