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Doctor Zhivago
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Doctor Zhivago More at IMDbPro »

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121 out of 163 people found the following review useful:

Classic Filmmaking

10/10
Author: FANatic-10 from Las Vegas, NV
12 January 2004

"Doctor Zhivago" is a film whose like we will not see again. This was one of the last gasps of true epic film making, a story of human beings set against a vast historical panorama, made without any computer-generated images and featuring only people to keep your interest, with not a space alien or hobbit in sight. Who can believe now that there was a time when that was sufficient?

I first saw this film when I was 8 years old. Certainly I was not able at that time to understand all aspects and nuances of the story, but I was nonetheless mesmerized by the production: the sheer scope and spectacle of it, the absolutely glorious cinematography, the rich characters. It was unforgettable to me, and along with a few other films from that period like "The Sound of Music", fostered a lifelong love for movies. For that alone, I have a soft spot in my heart for this film and will always be grateful for it (and David Lean).

So, I admit I'm prejudiced. I'm unabashedly in love with this movie, and find it hard to take criticism of it even when the rational part of me acknowledges that there might be some accuracy in it. We all have our weaknesses! Its especially blasphemous to me to hear anyone criticize Julie Christie as Lara - even as an 8 year old who wasn't too fond of girls, I thought she was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen and well, she's still right up there on my list! For those people who question why Yuri would be with her when he was married to Tanya...well, look at her for God's sakes (no disrespect to the lovely Geraldine Chaplin)! Is any further justification really needed? As to the ingrate who slammed her performance and downgraded her subsequent career implying she had no talent, it has always been my impression from all I've read that Miss Christie has never been one of those to pursue stardom and her career at all costs. She certainly had many opportunities to do splashy commercial films, but instead has had an interesting, long and varied career working in quality projects with many great filmmakers (Truffaut, Schlesinger, Altman, Beatty, Lumet, Branagh, etc.) She has been true to herself and has proven to be an outstanding talent. There are certainly many more deserving targets for the gentleman to heap venom upon than this wonderful actress.

"Doctor Zhivago" was a reflection in the 60's of the 1930's "Gone With the Wind" and a precursor to the 1990's "Titanic": a sweeping love story with charismatic leads set against a cataclysmic event. Old-fashioned undeniably, but would you really want it any other way? I still find myself able to be swept up in it though I've seen it umpteen times, so whatever flaws it may possess, there must be something inherently powerful in it that draws me to it. Or else I'm just a sucker for Julie Christie, I don't know...

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107 out of 150 people found the following review useful:

Drowned in the Purity of Sentiment

Author: Ion Martea from London, UK
9 December 2004

No wonder the highest directorial achievement for direction of the British Academy of Film and Television is named after David Lean. An artist who knew how to combine great performances, with breathtaking settings, haunting soundtrack, in order to create works of art that are to remain as pillars for the future generations of film-makers.

"Doctor Zhivago" is definitely one of his most outstanding works, a film that breathes with life, and suffers with passion. Neither, though, of the credited people can take as much credit for it, as David Lean. Omar Sharif delivers one of his best performances of his career, Julie Christie has never been as stunning, or Rod Steiger as Komarovsky or Tom Courtenay as Antipov ever left more memorable performances than these ones. Not even Maurice Jarre, who composed one of the most unforgettable themes in film history, or Robert Bolt, for his skillful adaptation on Pasternak's difficult novel, not even Freddy Young's cinematography, can rise above the vibration of genius, which is David Lean. We almost feel the complexity of the universe collapsing on us with a mad power that we instantly become part of it, and fall in love with all its particles.

For those who haven't seen the film, this might make little sense, and it can give a misleading understanding of what one is to expect. "Doctor Zhivago" is a poet, who at the beginning of the 20th Century is caught in the historical Bolshevik revolution. An outstanding doctor, married to his childhood friend, Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin in a warm performance), finds that there is beauty beyond deceit, love beyond commitment, by starting an affair with an enigmatic lady which appears often in his path in the most unnoticeable of moments. Their destiny is as confused as Russia in the turmoil started by the Reds, it is shaped by history without their approval. There is no solution for a country that abandoned its passions in its desire of self-improvement, just as for the two lovers, which find themselves abandoned in the middle of the Siberian taiga.

This is a slow film and for the good reasons. We are allowed to breathe the story, to give it momentum, and to judge it from within, as if the choices were not Yury's, Lara's or Tonya's, but our own creation. And this is the brilliance of Lean's direction. The story transcends time and space, and it melts within the triviality of our life. Beyond it, we are left with nothing but love, pure and blindingly real.

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101 out of 141 people found the following review useful:

One of the Best Epic Films Ever Made

Author: Casey Machula (csm23) from Flagstaff, AZ
7 March 2003

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.

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61 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Sweeping and romantic epic saga of the Russian Revolution

9/10
Author: roghache from Canada
10 May 2006

This is one of the most hauntingly beautiful, timeless epic romances of all time, set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. Stunning cinematography combines here with a turbulent historical setting, an unforgettable idealistic hero, and one of the most compelling fictional love triangles of all time. This surely ranks among the best of director David Lean's many masterpieces. It is based on Boris Pasternak's novel, which I confess to not having read so cannot comment on the faithfulness of the film.

The story revolves around the dreamy physician and poet, Yuri Zhivago, and his dramatic experiences during the tumult of the Russian Revolution. The story is told in flashback mode during later Communist years by Yuri's half brother, Yevgraf, a Soviet Army officer, to the young woman, Tanya, who may be the long lost daughter of Yuri and his lover, Lara. As a sensitive young boy, Yuri's mother dies and he is adopted by a foster family, the Gromekos. Later reaching adulthood, he studies medicine and marries his childhood sweetheart, Tonya, and they have a little boy, Sasha. However, earlier at their engagement party, he has found himself strangely drawn to a beautiful & mysterious woman named Lara. Soon all their personal lives are thrown into turmoil by World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution.

The handsome Omar Sharif is brilliantly empathetic in the role of Zhivago, masterfully conveying his character's emotions. Who can forget his intensely expressive, tear filled eyes at some of the more emotional moments, especially with snowflakes melting on them? A physician but also a poet, Yuri has a deep appreciation of the beauty around him. His gentleness and idealism stand in sharp contrast to the horrific violence of war and revolution, as Yuri witnesses such atrocities as dismemberment and cannibalism. Also, this is a man who remains very much an individual despite the Bolshevik's philosophies of collectivism.

That era's devastating events unfold, including the Bolshevik Revolution and subsequent Civil War between the Tsarist Whites & the Communist Reds. However, the main conflict here is internal within Yuri's own heart, as he is torn between fidelity and passion. He deeply loves his sweet, gentle, and dependable wife, Tonya, and struggles to remain faithful. Yet he is tempted by a forbidden passion for the alluring Lara, a nurse at the wartime army hospital where both are caring for wounded soldiers. Lara serves as his muse, speaks to his soul, and is the inspiration for his poetry. Unlike most modern cinematic tales of infidelity which involve little restraint or guilt, Yuri and Lara desperately seek personal integrity as they are repeatedly brought together (and separated) by the upheaval of war and revolution. Surely if Yuri is 'the worst of sinners, then he is the worst of sufferers also'.

The two women in Yuri's life, wife and mistress, stand in sharp contrast, though both come across as sympathetic characters. The lovely Geraldine Chaplain portrays his ladylike, aristocratic wife, Tonya, who is well bred and has been schooled abroad. The daughter of the bourgeois Gromeko, she is actually Yuri's step sister, which might understandably tend to elicit more platonic than passionate feelings from her husband. Yuri and Lara succumb to their passions even as the blameless Tonya is pregnant with Yuri's second child. Tonya is a warm, loving wife and devoted mother, undeserving of her husband's infidelity.

Julie Christie plays the gorgeous & enigmatic Lara, a woman whose station in life makes her vulnerable to misuse by men, yet she possesses a genuine resourcefulness and inner strength. As a teenage girl, she is seduced and violated by the lecherous Victor Komarovsky, a despicable politician and her own mother's lover. She falls under repeated abuse by this vile & contemptible character, who calls Lara a slut and treats her as such. Later she is fiancé & then wife to the misguided idealist and activist, Pasha, who holds intense political ideologies which become more crucial than his wife to him. Pasha later becomes Strelnikov, the obsessive Bolshevik officer who eventually comes into confrontation with Zhivago. During much of the tumult, Lara entrusts her own & Pasha's daughter, Katya, into the care of others. Of course the legend of Lara lives on musically in Maurice Jarre's lovely, haunting Lara's Theme.

Supporting cast members include Rod Steiger, who is perfect as the villainous Komarovsky, and Tom Courtenay as Pasha / Strelnikov, a shy and pure individual who earns the abused Lara's respect and love, later going on to become a cold hearted revolutionary. Alec Guiness portrays Yuri's half brother, Yevgraf, and Ralph Richardson is Tonya's aristocratic & gentlemanly father, Alexander Gromeko.

This film has amazing Oscar winning cinematography throughout. During World War I and the Revolution, there are vivid scenes of battle, mass desertion, and endless march through the desolate, blizzard ridden Siberian wasteland. Also visually stunning is the spectacular train ride Yuri and his family must make from Moscow to the Urals, site of the family dachau. However, surely most viewers' truly unforgettable pictures are the snowy white sleigh ride and the magnificent ice castle at Varykino. No other film can compare in its depiction of winter scenery. This sweeping panorama, the era's tumultuous political events, and the emotional portrait of one sensitive man's experience of them, create a visual masterpiece and a truly immortal screen saga.

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56 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

A Grand and Elegant Entertainment

10/10
Author: middleburg
13 August 2004

David Lean's "Doctor Zhivago" is a classic film, one that will live on as long as their are films. There are scenes in this movie that will invariably become

indelibly etched in the viewers imagination: The opening funeral march through the vast Siberian landscape, the grandeur of the Czarist Russian palaces, the march of the revolutionaries through the Moscow boulevards, the train ride

straight out of Dante's Inferno, the Ice-covered interior of the Zhivago country estate (a truly magical moment in the film), the wealth of beauty captured in the cinematography of this film is astonishing. Julie Christie's Lara is one of those great screen personas--she becomes a woman of such mysterious beauty. The

final scene of Yuri's desperate attempt to reach her in the crowded Soviet

Moscow is heartbreaking. And that music score! The opening film credits with Jarre's genuinely beautiful music, complete with balalaikas sets the mood for this great, grand entertainment. One of the best ever!

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57 out of 73 people found the following review useful:

Magnificent Film!

10/10
Author: jhclues from Salem, Oregon
17 January 2002

Within the heart and mind of the true poet resides a grasp and perception of life and the human condition unequaled in it's purity by any other art form. From Rimbaud to Frost to Jim Morrison, he will in a few words or lines create or recreate an experience, thereby enabling his audience to know that experience, as well, albeit vicariously. The poet, of course, will choose the medium through which he will share his vision. For director David Lean, that medium is the cinema; and with `Doctor Zhivago,' a film of sweeping and poetic grandeur, he reveals that within, he harbors the heart and soul of the poet. Indisputably, this is the true nature of David Lean; and it is evident in every frame of this film from the beginning to end.

To borrow a line from the more recent `Moulin Rouge,' this is a story bout `love.' A love story set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. Dr. Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif) is a general practitioner, but he is also a poet; through his vocation as a man of medicine, he tends to those in need in everyday real life. But it is through his avocation as a poet that he expresses what he sees. He marries Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin) and has children; but the War and revolution intervene, and it is during these tumultuous times that his life becomes inexorably intertwined with a government official, Komarovsky (Rod Steiger), a young revolutionary, Pasha (Tom Courtenay), his half-brother, Yevgraf (Alec Guinness), and finally, Lara (Julie Christie). It's desperate times for Russians from all walks of life, and Zhivago does what he can to do what he can to keep the fragile threads of his life-- and of those around him-- intact. But fate plays a hand, and in the end, even Zhivago must go where Destiny leads.

With `Zhivago,' David Lean has crafted and delivered a magnificent and monumental motion picture of epic proportions that at the same time is disarmingly intimate, rendered as a world within a world, with each a vital part of the other. Lean blends actors, cinematography, story and music with his own compassionate perspective to create a true work of art; a work of true poetry. In telling his story, he offers breathtaking visuals, like the awesome vistas of the snow-covered Urals, or a long shot of a wide open Russian plain with a solitary figure in the distance trudging through the snow, juxtaposed against the enormity of the landscape.

Often, however, what he doesn't show you, but suggests, is even more effective and emotionally stirring. Consider the scene in which a complement of mounted dragoons, sabres drawn, ride down upon a crowd peacefully demonstrating in the city streets; Lean sets it up so that you understand what is about to happen, then trains his camera on Zhivago, watching from a balcony overlooking the street as the carnage unfolds below. And in Zhivago's eyes, in the expression on his face, in his reaction to what he is witnessing, there is more horror because of what Lean has established in your imagination-- and which significantly enhances the impact of it-- than anything the most graphic visual depiction could have produced. Similarly, when the Czar and his whole family are shot, Lean does not take you there; instead, you learn of it and realize the impact of it through the reaction of Alexander Gromeko (Ralph Richardson), Tonya's father, and it places it into a context that makes it all the more effective. This is filmmaking at it's best, and an example of what makes Lean's films so memorable.

Put a talented actor into the hands of a gifted director, and results of more than some distinction can be expected; and such is the case with Omar Sharif and David Lean. In 1962, Sharif received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his work in Lean's `Lawrence of Arabia,' and in `Zhivago,' Lean's next film, Sharif gives a sensitive, affecting performance for which he should have received a Best Actor nomination, but inexplicably, did not (It was Lee Marvin's year for `Cat Ballou'). Still, as Yuri Zhivago, he has never been better. Sharif successfully manages to convey his deepest, internalized emotions, expressing them through the genuine compassion with which he imbues his character. Lean allows his star the time he needs to share with his audience his appreciation of the beauty he perceives in the world around him, and it's in those pensive moments that we, in turn, perceive the inner beauty and poetic nature of the man. You have but to look into Zhivago's eyes to know his sense of joy in all living things. It's a wonderful collaboration between actor and director that so vividly and poignantly brings this character to life.

1965 was a career year for Julie Christie; she received the Oscar for Best Actress for her work in `Darling,' yet in this film created an even more enduring and memorable character in Lara (aided in no small part by the hauntingly lovely `Lara's Theme,' by Maurice Jarre, which indelibly etched Christie/Lara in the consciousness of `Zhivago's vast, international audience). Lara's beauty is obvious, yet of a kind that goes much deeper than what you see on the surface; her station in life has made her vulnerable to misuse, but at the same time has endowed her with a strength born of necessity. And Zhivago sees in her a quality and a resourcefulness that fulfills his romantic notions of perfection, and with a beguiling screen presence and a performance to match, Christie makes those notions credible and believable.

Guinness, Richardson and Courtenay are exceptional in their respective roles-- Lean without question knows how to get the best out of his actors-- and also turning in noteworthy performances are Siobhan McKenna (Anna), Rita Tushingham (The Girl) and Klaus Kinski, who is unforgettable as Kostoyed, manacled and designated for forced labor, yet the `Freest man on this train!' One of Lean's greatest films. 10/10.

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45 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

One of the most ambitious and watchable of the "big" Sixties films....

9/10
Author: Righty-Sock (robertfrangie@hotmail.com) from Mexico
23 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Doctor Zhivago" tells a simple love story in a turbulent setting and, for the most part, avoids easy resolutions to disordered emotional relationships… Even though the focus is openly on those relationships, everything in the film recurs around the general destructive effects of the Russian Revolution… The irrational actions of both World War I and the prolonged struggles among the various Bolshevik factions are the driving forces behind the tragic plot…

In adapting Boris Pasternak's novel to the screen, writer Robert Bolt tells the story in flashback, with the powerful Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago (Alec Guinness) questioning a teenaged girl (Rita Tushingham) about her past… He thinks she might be the daughter of his brother Yuri (Omar Sharif), the dreamy poet-physician and Lara (Julie Christie), the love of his life…

Flashback to their youth and the first time that Yuri and Lara's paths cross on a streetcar… He's a promising, successful medical student and poet, engaged to his childhood sweetheart Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin). Lara is the daughter of a dressmaker who has a long-term "arrangement" with Victor Komarovsky (Rod Steiger), a political chameleon who comes out on top no matter who is in power… Lara's fiancé Pasha (Tom Courtenay) is an idealistic revolutionary who is part of that change… Komarovsky's interest in Lara is not platonic…

As those relationships are being selected, protesters are marching in the streets and the Czar's troopers are taking them seriously… In the first big confrontation between a demonstration and a cavalry charge on snow-covered streets, Lean avoids the inevitable comparisons to Sergei Eisenstein's Odessa steps scene in "The Battleship Potemkin," but he can't he1p but make a few references to it… The clash in the streets also serves as a counterpoint to Komarovsky's seduction of Lara, and the two elements are cleverly interwoven… The combination of the personal and the political has rarely been so striking as it is in that effective sequence…

The most memorable scenes, however, take place during World War I and the revolution: a mass of deserters meets a mass of replacement troops on a lonely road; Yuri and family embark on a long severe rail journey from Moscow to the Urals and negotiate territory controlled at times by Red Guards and at times by White Guards; a machine gun attack on an unseen enemy across a field; Yuri's being harried into service and then his long trek back home through the snow…

Lean gives the film an impression of stark, beautiful expanse… Like all love stories, "Doctor Zhivago" depends on viewers' involvement with the characters, and these work very well… While Lara is the effective expression of the pain and chaos of those cataclysmic times, Yury can see no happiness in his existence without the love of this beautiful woman, which to him is immortal... And while something was broken in Lara's whole life, she continues to be for Yuri an expression of life, and from the distressing emotion of losing her a new and unexpected life of poetry arises…

Julie Christie and Omar Sarif are attractive, but not in conventional Hollywood terms, and their supporting cast could not be better… The film remains one of the most ambitious and watchable of the "big" Sixties films, and one of the best depictions of revolutionary and post-revolutionary Russia with all its turmoil and torment…

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49 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Flawless beauty - the fact that it's not Lean's best is beside the point

10/10
Author: Spleen from Canberra, Australia
12 April 2002

David Lean had just directed two of the greatest films ever made ("The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Lawrence of Arabia"), the more recent of which was easily the greater. As you'd expect "Doctor Zhivago" isn't as good. But this isn't to say that it's flawed in any way; there is, in fact, NOTHING wrong with it.

Of course, the previous two films had exceptionally strong stories; this one, while rich in incident, has almost no story - which would not be interpreted as a defect. The point of the film is to sketch a historical epoch by showing us the thin life-lines of a handful of people who lived through it. It's like looking at a stretch of a vast river and seeing the illuminated pathways of half a dozen or so minute particles. If there seems to be an undue amount of coincidence in the way these pathways repeatedly intersect ... well, we had the whole river to choose from.

It was fashionable to criticise Maurice Jarre's score at the time, but, in addition to being undeniably attractive and catchy, it comes across as a model of intelligent and tasteful scoring today. Bolt's script is based on less promising material than "Lawrence of Arabia" so is less inspired, but still flawlessly crafted. Particularly good are the gaps in the narrative. Some things we simply don't see: anything of Yevgraf's life before he enters the story, anything that happens to Pasha when he isn't in the vicinity of Zhivago ... but we have the material available to infer, and as it happens, it's the fact that we infer rather than see that makes the story feel so convincingly large.

Most of all, this is a beautiful film, with some of the most breathtaking location footage (it doesn't matter that it's Spain and Finland standing in for Russia) ever shot. As always, the real test is whether the characters look like they're really there (Moscow, the distant Russian countryside), their feet really touching the ground and leaving footprints. If "Doctor Zhivago" had done nothing but convey this impression so well it would still be a masterpiece.

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33 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Romance And Revolution

9/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
10 December 2006

You really do miss something when you see a formatted version of Doctor Zhivago as I recently did. This is the kind of film that was made literally for the big screen. It's what epic movie making is all about.

I also think that you should see this on the big screen back to back with Warren Beatty's Reds. Two very opposite views of the Russian Revolution, one from the inside and one from the outside. You could have a very interesting discussion on which is which.

The title character, played by Omar Sharif, is Dr. Yuri Zhivago who is both doctor and poet. He was orphaned as a child and raised in the house of Ralph Richardson and Siobhan McKenna. He marries their daughter, Geraldine Chaplin who of course he loves, but naturally like a sister.

The real passion of his life is Julie Christie who is married to a committed Bolshevik in Tom Courtenay. Courtenay is also a guy, with shall we say, some issues. She loves him in her own way though and goes to search for him when he volunteers for the army to subvert it as the Bolshevik plan was when Russia entered World War I.

Christie meets Sharif at the front and the passion ignites. But all around them the society they knew and were brought up in is crumbling about them. Their story set against the background of the Russian Revolution is what Doctor Zhivago is all about.

Zhivago knows change was inevitable, the old order in Russia was ready to be toppled. But he's a poet and not one to let his art be subverted for the sake of the state. Fortunately he's also a doctor and his services are needed, in fact the Bolsheviks rather brutally insist on his accompanying one of their brigades as a medical officer.

I still remember as a lad the acclaim Boris Pasternak's novel got world wide when it was published while being banned in his home land. After winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, Pasternak died shortly thereafter. It's a pity he did not live to see this film, I think he would have approved.

From the deserts of Arabia to the steppes of Russia, David Lean certainly knew how to direct a film that involved vastness. Yet the people of his stories be it Lawrence of Arabia or Doctor Zhivago never get lost in the spectacle. Lean makes you care about the characters that Pasternak created, you get involved in the romance of Sharif and Christie, you want to know if they'll make it in this country undergoing revolutionary convulsions.

Other performances of note are Alec Guinness as Sharif's half brother Yevgeny Zhivago, a committed Bolshevik himself and Rod Steiger as the opportunistic Komorovsky.

Doctor Zhivago won a host of awards in several technical categories, strangely enough it wasn't nominated for Best Picture in 1965 though. It is a classic and even now with the Soviet Union a memory, I doubt if even a Russian made remake of Zhivago could equal what David Lean and his wonderful cast gave us in 1965.

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35 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

So different from the book

Author: aeqvanu (aeqvanu@Wanadoo.nl) from The Hague, Netherlands
3 November 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At age 15 I relished on the romance between Lara and Pavel Antipov. We were all a bit idealistic in the 60 's and me too. I loved the herodom of Pasja (Pavel Antipov) whilst I abhorred the character of Zhivago, which I considered unmanly. In some commentaries a wrong image is cast on the romance between Lara and Zhivago vs a vs the romance between Lara and Pasja. After reading Pasternaks book recently, I got to know, that the writers intention was very different. Shortly before Antipov commits suicide, Zhivago has a penetrative conversation with Lara at his home in Varykino. Lara vehemently defends her husbands attitude. After his captivity by the Germans, he turns to the Communists, without joining their ranks. As a high placed military, he is instructed to punish disobedient subjects, burning down villages, etc. Lara sees these acts as one of a hero, of a person who only will come back to his wife and daughter Katya, after having received the laurels of honour and courage. At this Zhivago exclaims:"But then you must still love this man tremendously!". Lara admits and answers:"If the course of life may be reversed, I would leave everything behind, you too, Zhivago, and crawl on my knees back to Pasja. Then she explains why she was so much attracted to her childhood lover (who is slightly younger than she): her quest for pureness, unaffectedness, and she found it all in shy, but passionately loving Pasja. Later, when Pasja commits suicide, his motive is not the discovery of Lara and Zhivago's love, but Pasja's fear to be executed on false accusations. I hope my commentary sheds a light on the beautiful relationship between Lara and Pasja.

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