Ryevsk, Russia, 1870. Tensions abound in the Karamazov family. Fyodor is a wealthy libertine who holds his purse strings tightly. His four grown sons include Dmitri, the eldest, an elegant ... See full summary »
Ryevsk, Russia, 1870. Tensions abound in the Karamazov family. Fyodor is a wealthy libertine who holds his purse strings tightly. His four grown sons include Dmitri, the eldest, an elegant officer, always broke and at odds with his father, betrothed to Katya, herself lovely and rich. The other brothers include a sterile aesthete, a factotum who is a bastard, and a monk. Family tensions erupt when Dmitri falls in love with one of his father's mistresses, the coquette Grushenka. Two brothers see Dmitri's jealousy of their father as an opportunity to inherit sooner. Acts of violence lead to the story's conclusion: trials of honor, conscience, forgiveness, and redemption. Written by
This film is supposedly one of the reasons Marilyn Monroe ran away from Fox, because she wanted to star in something serious. They lured her back to the studio with Bus Stop. See more »
If you'll permit a comment, sir, you're not at all like your brother Dmitri.
You're different from all of them. I could see that the first minute you arrived yesterday. Intelligence, audacity, cleverness...
You've just never met anyone who lives in Moscow.
No sir, it's those magazine articles you wrote, the ones about crime.
You enjoyed them.
[takes out a magazine clipping, reads it]
There is nothing in the world to make man love their neighbours. If there is no God, then ...
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As happens so often with film adaptations of great novels,we have a screenplay that will focus on the events of a novel,rather than on the underlying philosophical tenets and theories that seem to be involved.Perhaps it is inevitable that this be the case.The Karamazovs are,in actuality,the fragmented aspects of the author's
personality;a.)brutishness;b.)impulsiveness;c.)intellect;d.)spirituality;e.) depravity.(To wit;Feodor;Dimitri;Ivan;Alexis;Smerdyakov).And the real hero of the novel is Alexis.We are witnessing his growth and development as a hero against the sordid story of his family and the murder of their lustful,wicked father.It is development,particularly regarding the testing of his faith in the hard and often callous world,that marks the real journey of the story.This is minimalized in the film.I guess that this probably wouldn't have sold in 50s America.The adaptation ,given my observations,is really quite impressive.We can't fault any of the production values,efforts,and activities.And,with one exception,the cast is excellent.My one fault in this respect is with Lee J.Cobb.This outstanding character actor is much too young,virile,and attractive to portray accurately the character the author intended.Feodor Karamazov is supposed to be about 65,a physical wreck,sinister,and depraved.His physically debauched condition is intended to mirror his moral corruption.And,yet,given these attributes,he in nevertheless fascinating to women.(At least,certain kinds of women.I shudder to think what their agendas are if they find an old villain like this attractive.They must be as needy as all get-out,and viewing him through a fantasy veil that keeps out all accurate perceptions.)In my opinion,the late Donald Pleasence would have been a much more realistic choice for the part.Otherwise,given my criticism,this is a highly enjoyable film.
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