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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Max Adrian ...
Lewis Casson ...
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Yefim
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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)  »

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Vanja-eno  »

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Trivia

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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commercial DVD available
28 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Chekhov's fascination with the inability to act makes him a spiritual ancestor of Samuel Beckett. I find the acting very satisfying, and what an all-star cast! Michael Redgrave is greatly moving in the title role, caught in the trap of upper-class ennui. And the women, particularly Rosemary Harris as Yelena are marvelous, each stuck in inescapable comfort. The modest scenery increases the oppressive claustrophobia of the atmosphere.

One definitely should see this production and immediately follow with Vanya on 42nd St.

A commercial DVD of this excellent production is available from a Canadian company called Learmedia.


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