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 »
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
I remember seeing this film in 1973 at the Royal Theater in L.A. I traveled for two hours on a bus to see it, and two hours to return home, and I never regretted the time spent. Bondarchuk as Astrov was brilliant, and the diluted Mosfilm color--which emphasized browns, reds, and golds--was perfect. I think this movie captures autumn better than any motion picture. Unlike the English language versions of the play, this one also emphasizes how the environment affects the characters. I dearly wish it would get released on either video or DVD. It's easily the best version of Chekhov's play---maybe the best film version of any of his plays.
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