Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago (45th Anniversary Edition)

#39 on the 1998 AFI List of 100 Greatest American Movies

Doctor Zhivago (Russian: До́ктор Жива́го) is a 1965 epic drama-romance-war film directed by David Lean and loosely based on the famous novel of the same name by Boris Pasternak. It has remained popular for decades, and as of 2010 is the eighth highest grossing film of all time in the United States, adjusted for inflation.

* Omar Sharif as Dr. Yuri Andreyevich Zhivago
* Julie Christie as Lara Antipova
* Geraldine Chaplin as Tonya Gromeko
* Rod Steiger as Victor Komarovsky
* Alec Guinness as General Yevgraf Zhivago
* Tom Courtenay as Pasha Antipov/"Strelnikov"
* Siobhán McKenna as Anna Gromeko
* Ralph Richardson as Alexander "Sasha" Gromeko
* Rita Tushingham as Tanya Komarovskaya/"The Girl"
* Klaus Kinski as Kostoyed Amoursky
* Gerard Tichy as Liberius
* Noel Willman as Commissar Razin
* Geoffrey Keen as Professor Boris Kurt
* Bernard Kay as Kuril, the Bolshevik
* Jack MacGowran as Petya, the Groundskeeper

Despite being a huge box office hit, Doctor Zhivago received mixed reviews at the time of its release. It was criticised for its length and depiction of the romance between Zhivago and Lara. The preview cut, which ran to over 220 minutes, was criticized for its length and poor pacing; Lean felt obliged to remove up to 17 minutes of footage before the film's wide release, and the missing footage has not been restored or located. Lean took these criticisms very personally, and claimed at the time that he would never make another film. However, numerous critics — including Richard Schickel and Anna Lee — defended Doctor Zhivago, and its box office success allowed Lean to write off his critics. Lean made Ryan's Daughter in 1970, then waited until 1984 to make his final film, A Passage to India

The film left an indelible mark on popular culture and fashion, and to this day remains an extremely popular film: Maurice Jarre's score—particularly "Lara's Theme"—became one of the most famous in cinematic history. Over the years, the film's critical reputation has gained in stature, and today Doctor Zhivago is considered to be one of Lean's finest works and is highly critically acclaimed, along with Lawrence of Arabia, Brief Encounter, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and A Passage to India.

As with the novel itself, the film was banned in the Soviet Union. It was not shown in Russia until 1994.

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