A retired professor has returned to his estate to live with his beautiful young wife, Yelena. The estate originally belonged to his first wife, now deceased; her mother and brother still ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Storyline

A retired professor has returned to his estate to live with his beautiful young wife, Yelena. The estate originally belonged to his first wife, now deceased; her mother and brother still live there and manage the farm. For many years the brother (Uncle Vanya) has sent the farm's proceeds to the professor, while receiving only a small salary himself. Sonya, the professor's daughter, who is about the same age as his new wife, also lives on the estate. The professor is pompous, vain, and irritable. He calls the doctor (Astrov) to treat his gout, only to send him away without seeing him. Astrov is an experienced physician who performs his job conscientiously, but has lost all idealism and spends much of his time drinking. The presence of Yelena introduces a bit of sexual tension into the household. Astrov and Uncle Vanya both fall in love with Yelena; she spurns them both. Meanwhile, Sonya is in love with Astrov, who fails even to notice her. Finally, when the professor announces he wants... Written by Appelsia

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20 November 1963 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Vanja-eno  »

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In the U.S., the film premiered on television, not in theatres. This made it eligible for Emmy Awards rather than Oscars. See more »

Connections

Version of Onkel Wanja (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Let the professional critics speak the truth!
27 August 2003 | by (London UK) – See all my reviews

DRN5's rather curious and one sided comments about the Olivier directed production of 'Uncle Vanya' needs to be put in the context of what the professional critics of the day expressed. That is not to say I did not enjoy 'Vanya on 42nd Street' - I did very much, but the Olivier production added another dimension portraying as it does, Chekhov's desire to say to people 'Have a look at yourselves and see how dreary your lives are'. 'This is ensemble acting in the Master Class' New York Times 'Miss Harris' argument, reconciliation and mutual confession with Joan Plowright are the best acted women's scenes I have ever watched. One after another, the British critics poured forth their praise...' American Newsweek Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, directed by Laurence Olivier, is the admitted master achievement in British twentieth-century theatre...for authority and finish

  • above all for centrality of purpose - this has no competitor' London


Sunday Times Olivier's Vanya...is one of the greatest productions of an era... the most satisfying and integrated...' London Observer 'Take this road to find greatness...with a cast that could not be bettered on the English-speaking part of the earth' London Daily Express 'Majestic Uncle Vanya....the acting of a magnificent company. This production of a great play is a rare achievement. London Evening Standard 'This company and this production will be remembered for a long time...that leaves you awed, grateful and humble in the face of such perfection. London Punch

A PAL standard DVD of this film will be released late in 2003 in the UK.


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