IMDb > "BBC Play of the Month" Platonov (1971)

"BBC Play of the Month" Platonov (1971)

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Anton Chekhov (play)
John Elliot (adaptation)
View company contact information for Platonov on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
23 May 1971 (Season 6, Episode 9)
Corrected spelling of "Platonov". Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A lot of fun, impressively done See more (1 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Christopher Morahan 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Anton Chekhov  play
John Elliot  adaptation

Produced by
Cedric Messina .... producer
Original Music by
Norman Kay 
Production Design by
Eileen Diss 
Costume Design by
Juanita Waterson 
Camera and Electrical Department
Sam Barclay .... lighting technician
Other crew
Rosemary Hill .... script editor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

120 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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A lot of fun, impressively done, 1 May 2014
Author: runamokprods from US

A BBC Play of the Month. A good example of Chekhov's cheerful skewering of the upper and bourgeois classes with wit, edge and humor. Very impressive for a first full length play (although I've read this two hour version is edited way down from a script almost 3 times as long – which would have been quite hard to take).

Rex Harrison plays Platonov, an intellectual, teacher and sharp tongued ex-soldier who seems to have women throwing themselves at him left and right. Harrison is excellent and great fun, but arguably a bit long in the tooth for Platonov – he was 63 when this was made. But he makes it work with his warm, perversely fatherly charm.

The whole cast is strong, crucial to any Chekhov play working. Patsy Byrne is wonderful as Platonov's unsophisticated wife who manages not to see her husband for the cad he is, until it's too late. Sian Phillips is terrific as Anna, a sort of proto-feminist who desires Platonov, but only on her own terms.

In the end, it's a comedy (with a touch of tragedy) about how hypocritical we can be when it comes to matters of our heart (and loins). You can clearly see Chekhov's influence on, for example, some of Woody Allen's comedies. The production is fairly rudimentary technically, not pretending to be more than a filmed play, but that doesn't stop it from being highly enjoyable.

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