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Uncle Vanya (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama | 13 December 1957 (USA)
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 »

Writers:

Anton Chekhov (play), Stark Young (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Franchot Tone ... Dr. Mikhail Lvovich Astroff
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Clarence Derwent Clarence Derwent ... Serebriakoff
Dolores Dorn ... Elena Andreevna
Shirley Gale Shirley Gale ... Voinitskaya
Gerald Hiken Gerald Hiken ... Telegin
Peggy McCay ... Sofia
Mary Perry Mary Perry ... Marina
Sanford Seeger Sanford Seeger ... A Workman
George Voskovec ... Voinitsky (Uncle Vanya)
Edit

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...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Superb as a Motion Picture!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 1957 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Uncle Vanya See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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User Reviews

 
It's Day-to-Day Living That Wears You Out
8 August 2017 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

The well-to-do are fascinated by themselves. That, of course, is true of whatever individual or group you may choose to consider. Given that the well-to-do have traditionally have had the money and leisure to study literature and art, therefore, it is hardly surprising that a disproportionate share of drama concerns itself with them. However, given the greater resources in time and money they have, it always seems odd to me that the great works of art concern themselves with their unhappiness. Leisure, boredom and dissatisfaction with the world are not curses, but opportunities, so it seems to me that a movie like UNCLE VANYA has an element of disapproving satire in its consideration of unhappy, well-off gentry.

Because of the great esteem that Chekhov's works are held in, it's hardly surprising that Franchot Tone produced, co-directed and starred in this version of the play. It's superbly acted, if unsurprisingly stagy. It's very accessible in its techniques, even though it seems more like a play staged for television broadcast than movie theaters. The camera-work uses long takes, with camera movement to preserve composition. The most beautiful shots are the medium close-ups, the portrait shots. Stark Young's adaptation Chekhov's Russian language is fine. It's simply that, beyond the undoubted excellence of the work on its own terms, watching people being miserable for a hundred minutes with no let-up is not my idea of a good time.


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