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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Cast

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Marina, the nurse
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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 Ujka Vanja (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
How brilliantly the heart can ache.
1 January 2007 | by (Illinois) – See all my reviews

Executed in a traditional theatrical style devoted to the text and the Staislavsky school, this production may seem static to modern viewers. Most contemporary stagings of Chekov plays display pronounced movements to demonstrate relationships and emotional states, often involving physical contact between the characters that would have been deemed boorish during the rural Tsarist Russia of the play's setting. This forthright filming of the 1963 National Theatre production conveys the Chekovian mastery of self-doubt, longing and wishfulness through smaller gestures and voice. The key voices are Michael Redgrave and Laurence Olivier at the peaks of their greatness.


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