IMDb > The Brothers Karamazov (1958)
The Brothers Karamazov
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The Brothers Karamazov (1958) More at IMDbPro »

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The Brothers Karamazov -- Dostoyevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov is given the Hollywood screen treatment in this sumptuous and colorful film.

Overview

User Rating:
6.8/10   1,840 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 36% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Fyodor Dostoevsky (novel)
Julius J. Epstein (adaptation) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Brothers Karamazov on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 February 1958 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The greatness and glory, the loves and sins of the famed novel.
Plot:
Ryevsk, Russia, 1870. Tensions abound in the Karamazov family. Fyodor is a wealthy libertine who holds his purse strings tightly... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(28 articles)
The Devil, Probably
 (From MUBI. 31 March 2014, 9:09 AM, PDT)

Earliest Best Actor Oscar Winner Has Died
 (From Alt Film Guide. 1 February 2014, 6:52 PM, PST)

BFI London Film Festival 2013: ‘The Double’ an ambitious and darkly funny second feature
 (From SoundOnSight. 14 October 2013, 11:20 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Pales in comparison to the book, but does bravely adapting a monumental and notoriously complex literary classic and is solid on its own merits See more (23 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Yul Brynner ... Dmitri Karamazov

Maria Schell ... Grushenka

Claire Bloom ... Katya

Lee J. Cobb ... Fyodor Karamazov

Albert Salmi ... Smerdjakov

William Shatner ... Alexi Karamazov

Richard Basehart ... Ivan Karamazov
Judith Evelyn ... Mme. Anna Hohlakov
Edgar Stehli ... Grigory
Harry Townes ... Ippoli Kirillov
Miko Oscard ... Ilyusha Snegiryov
David Opatoshu ... Capt. Snegiryov

Simon Oakland ... Mavrayek

Frank DeKova ... Capt. Vrublevski (as Frank de Kova)
Jay Adler ... Pawnbroker
Gage Clarke ... Defense Counsel
Ann Morrison ... Marya
Mel Welles ... Trifon Borissovitch
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walter Bacon ... Courtroom Scribe (uncredited)
George Barrows ... MP (uncredited)
Sam Buffington ... Tipsy Merchant (uncredited)
Gene Coogan ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Giselle D'Arc ... Party Girl (uncredited)
James Dime ... Juror (uncredited)
Paul Frees ... Innkeeper (voice) (uncredited)
Molly Glessing ... Mother (uncredited)
Leonard Graves ... Third Court Officer (uncredited)
Clare Higgins ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Harry Hines ... Moronic Prisoner (uncredited)
Charles Horvath ... Polish Officer's Bodyguard (uncredited)
Richard LaMarr ... Waiter (uncredited)
Gustave Lax ... Juror (uncredited)
Peter Leeds ... Guard (uncredited)

Len Lesser ... Jailer (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Juror (uncredited)
Gregg Martell ... Juror (uncredited)
Shepard Menken ... Peter (uncredited)
Dorothy Neumann ... Old Crone (uncredited)

Gloria Pall ... Girl (uncredited)
Guy Prescott ... Friend (uncredited)

Diana Quick ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Bob Reeves ... Trial Spectator (uncredited)

Stafford Repp ... Innkeeper (uncredited)
Jerry Riggio ... Second Court Officer (uncredited)
Stephen Roberts ... Michael (uncredited)
Ziva Rodann ... Gypsy Singer (uncredited)
Scott Seaton ... Juror (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... Trial Spectator (uncredited)
William Vedder ... Father Zossima (uncredited)
Friedrich von Ledebur ... Chief Judge (uncredited)
Than Wyenn ... Waiter (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Brooks 
 
Writing credits
Fyodor Dostoevsky (novel "The Brothers Karamazov")

Julius J. Epstein (adaptation) &
Philip G. Epstein (adaptation)

Richard Brooks (writer)

Constance Garnett  English translation

Produced by
Pandro S. Berman .... producer
Kathryn Hereford .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Bronislau Kaper 
 
Cinematography by
John Alton 
 
Film Editing by
John D. Dunning  (as John Dunning)
 
Casting by
Mel Ballerino (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Paul Groesse 
William A. Horning 
 
Set Decoration by
Henry Grace 
Robert Priestley 
 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett 
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup creator
Frank La Rue .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Peggy Shannon .... hairdresser (uncredited)
 
Production Management
William Kaplan .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Shanks .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Wesley C. Miller .... recording supervisor (as Dr. Wesley C. Miller)
John Speak .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Lee LeBlanc .... special effects
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Albert Conti .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Lambert Marks .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Vicki Nichols .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Dave Saltuper .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Charles K. Hagedon .... color consultant
 
Music Department
Alex Alexander .... musician: cello (uncredited)
Georgie Auld .... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
Robert Franklyn .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Gerald Fried .... musician: oboe (uncredited)
Dominic Frontiere .... musician: accordion (uncredited)
Johnny Green .... conductor (uncredited)
Virginia Majewski .... musician: viola (uncredited)
Michael J. McDonald .... score remixer (uncredited)
Max Rabinowitz .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Uan Rasey .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Milton Raskin .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Si Zentner .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Andrei Tolstoy .... technical advisor (as Andrey Tolstoy)
Ted Butcher .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
145 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Marlon Brando was considered for the role of Dimitri.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Captain Snegiryov discuses Dmitri Karamazov's debt situation he notes that Dmitri Karamazov could not even repay 2 cents for every ruble he owes (0:33:35).The Russian ruble is divided into 100 kopecks not into cents.One sub-unit of the ruble is called a kopeck.See more »
Quotes:
Smerdjakov:If you'll permit a comment, sir, you're not at all like your brother Dmitri.
Ivan Karamazov:Half-brother.
Smerdjakov:You're different from all of them. I could see that the first minute you arrived yesterday. Intelligence, audacity, cleverness...
Ivan Karamazov:You've just never met anyone who lives in Moscow.
Smerdjakov:No sir, it's those magazine articles you wrote, the ones about crime.
Ivan Karamazov:[pauses] You enjoyed them.
Smerdjakov:[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 nothing can be immoral. Everything becomes lawful, even crime. Crime becomes not only lawful, but inevitable.
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Pales in comparison to the book, but does bravely adapting a monumental and notoriously complex literary classic and is solid on its own merits, 15 July 2015
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom

The Brothers Karamazov has quickly become one of my favourite books, with its riveting story, interesting and thought-provoking themes and some of the most brilliant characterisation of any book (how many pieces of literature have characters this multi-dimensional?) I've ever read. This 1958 film version does pale in comparison, lacking the book's depth of characterisation, but does a brave job adapting a monumental and complex book with some scenes being impossible to film, and is a solid film overall.

It's not perfect. Sometimes the film is stodgily paced (some might say overlong, not to me, considering the length of the book and the amount of story there is if anything the film's too short). The ending was always going to be a reasonably problematic one, with it in the book being as open-ended as it is, but this viewer couldn't help shake off the feeling that the ending felt too rushed and incomplete here. Most of the casting came off surprisingly well, but there were reservations about Maria Schell, despite her alluring appearance and her impressively played early scenes she was generally too genteel for Grushenka, a role that was in need of more earthiness and peasant-like.

However, The Brothers Karamazov looks great, with lavish colour photography and an evocative re-creation of the opulent but also gritty 19th-century Russia period. It's scored with a stirring yet also understated richness by Bronislau Kaper, and does benefit from controlled direction by Richard Brooks and a literate script that really provokes though and, even when condensed with the essence and the religious and philosophical themes missing, makes an effort to keep to Dostoevsky's tone of writing and giving the film substance. It is not an easy job adapting a nearly 800 page book into a two-and-a-half hour film, and while not completely successful due, to feeling sometimes like highlights being present but not always to their full potential and major characters being significantly reduced (Alexei, Zosima) at the expense at focusing primarily on Dmitri, it does so laudably. It is still mostly riveting and there wasn't much trouble following the story, with the major events depicted and structured relatively faithfully, and there is enough atmosphere, suspense, emotion and mystery to give the story some flavour.

From the acting front, the film comes off surprisingly successfully considering that initially there were a couple of actors that seemed unlikely casting (i.e. William Shatner). The two that came off the most strongly were Yul Brynner and Lee J. Cobb. Brynner is very charismatic and gives the right emotional intensity and vulnerability, while Cobb gives his patriarchal role so much juice and life, his demeanour sometimes even quite intimidating (the role is a problematic one due to being one that could easily fall into overacted caricature, Cobb admittedly does overact but enjoyably and the character still felt real. Richard Basehart brings many layers and nuances to Ivan, Claire Bloom is spot-on as Katya and Albert Salmi is effectively insidious as Smerdyakov. William Shatner does suffer from a greatly reduced (in terms of how he's written) character, but surprisingly this is Shatner at his most subdued and moving, most of the time in his acting for personal tastes he's the opposite.

All in all, pales in comparison to the masterpiece that is the book but it is a brave attempt. Taking it on its own merits, which is a fairer way to judge, The Brothers Karamazov has short-comings but is a solid film overall. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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