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Doctor Zhivago (1965)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance, War | 31 December 1965 (USA)
The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the October Revolution.



(novel) (as Boris Leonidovic Pasternak), (screenplay)
3,410 ( 234)

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Won 5 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Siobhan McKenna ...
The Girl
Tarek Sharif ...
The Bolshevik
Gérard Tichy ...
Liberius (as Gerard Tichy)
Noel Willman ...


Lara inspires lechery in Komarovsky (her mother's lover who is a master at surviving whoever runs Russia) and can't compete with passion for the revolution of the man she marries, Pasha. Her true love is Zhivago who also loves his wife. Lara is the one who inspires poetry. The story is narrated by Zhivago's half brother Yevgraf, who has made his career in the Soviet Army. At the beginning of the film he is about to meet a young woman he believes may be the long lost daughter of Lara and Zhivago. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The entertainment event of the year! See more »


Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature themes | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

31 December 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doktor Schiwago  »

Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)


$111,722,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1999 re-release) | (1992 re-release)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (5.0) (L-R)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Not only did the mild winter mean no snow; the fields started turning green too early. The crew used white paint, plaster dust and even white plastic sheets to create many of the film's snow-filled vistas. See more »


When Yuri runs to a window in the Varykino estate to watch Lara leave with Komarovsky, he brushes against a banister covered in icicles. The icicles swing, revealing that they are made of wax. See more »


Komarovski: [speaking to Lara of Pasha] He's a very fine young man. That's obvious.
See more »


Referenced in Modern Family: Grill, Interrupted (2015) See more »


Prelude in G minor, Op.23-5
(1901) (uncredited)
Composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the Best Epic Films Ever Made
7 March 2003 | by (Flagstaff, AZ) – See all my reviews

I can't remember the origin of the quote, but I remember it distinctly. A Communist Party official of the Soviet Union, justifying the Bolshevik destruction of Tsarist Russia, told a foreign observer, `If you want to make an omelet, you've got to break some eggs.' The visitor replied, `I see the broken eggs, but Where's the omelet?' Dr. Zhivago is set at the time when the Bolsheviks, feverishly ideological, were creating their socialist state. The epochal drama that unfolds is the age-old question about whether the ends justify the means.

As materialists (matter precedes spirit, not vice versa), the Bolsheviks believed that they had found the holy grail of human progress in Marxism-Leninism, and were now able to assume the reins of history in their own hands. They believed that their violence was not only justified, but necessary, oblivious to the fact that they, too, somehow felt the angel of medieval teleology smiling over their shoulders.

In contrast to the Bolsheviks, Zhivago's ethos, if he had one, was almost identical to Kant's `categorical imperative,' which had just one axiom: treat people as ends in themselves, and not as ends to a mean. There couldn't be a sharper moral contrast.

There's a fabulous scene midway through the movie that highlights the difference in moral attitude. Dr. Zhivago confronts a communist functionary who has ordered the destruction of a village, a hamlet suspected of aiding the Mensheviks by selling them horses. To the Bolsheviks, if you weren't 100 percent behind them, you were a `counterrevolutionary,' sorta like Dubya's idea that you're either for us, or against us. And so Strelnikov, the passionate Bolshevik, glibly justifies his actions to Dr. Zhivago as easy as if he were tossing his hair aside, saying that the annihilation of the village, however cruel, is necessary to make a point. Zhivago replies: `Your point; their village.'

I love this film, a timeless epic. If there's a more beautiful heroine in all of movie-making history than Julie Christie (Lara), I'm not aware of it. And Omar Sharif is stunning as Iuri Zhivago, who heals the body with emetics, scalpels, antiseptic, and gauze, while he heals the soul with his poetry. Although the movie is three hours and 20 minutes long, the cinematography is so efficient, evocative, and densely layered that one hardly notices. This is, in my opinion, one of the best films of all time.

108 of 152 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why is this film NOTconsidered one of the greatest films of all time? BanduDandu
Chaplin/Tonya, or Christie/Lara? fnj2002
My favorite line in Doctor Zhivago zenstyle
Hi, can you help me please.. dmorkunas1
why dr zhivago didn't leave russia with lara, If he loved her so much? erfanall
Julie Christie looks like Peter O' Tool? shomy007
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