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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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