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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.

Director:

David Lean

Writers:

Boris Pasternak (novel) (as Boris Leonidovic Pasternak), Robert Bolt (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,614 ( 869)

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

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Cultural mistrust and false accusations doom a friendship in British colonial India between an Indian doctor, an Englishwoman engaged to marry a city magistrate, and an English educator.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Omar Sharif ... Yuri
Julie Christie ... Lara
Geraldine Chaplin ... Tonya
Rod Steiger ... Komarovsky
Alec Guinness ... Yevgraf
Tom Courtenay ... Pasha
Siobhan McKenna ... Anna
Ralph Richardson ... Alexander
Rita Tushingham ... The Girl
Jeffrey Rockland Jeffrey Rockland ... Sasha
Tarek Sharif Tarek Sharif ... Yuri at 8 Years Old
Bernard Kay ... The Bolshevik
Klaus Kinski ... Kostoyed
Gérard Tichy ... Liberius (as Gerard Tichy)
Noel Willman ... Razin
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Storyline

During the Russian Revolution, Yuri Zhivago, is a young doctor who has been raised by his aunt and uncle following his father's suicide. Yuri falls in love with beautiful Lara Guishar, who has been having an affair with her mother's lover, Victor Komarovsky, an unscrupulous businessman. Yuri, however, ends up marrying his cousin, Tonya. But when he and Lara meet again years later, the spark of love reignites. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The entertainment event of the year! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | Italy | UK

Language:

English | Russian | French

Release Date:

31 December 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doktor Živago See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$111,722,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (Westrex Recording System) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rod Steiger was on set filming for 12 months. See more »

Goofs

During the "peaceful protest" scene, in a close-up of the crowd the mouth movements don't match the soundtrack. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: A nameless number on a list that was lost, or mislaid. That was common in those days.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hamlet (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The Internationale
Lyrics by Eugène Pottier
Music by Pierre De Geyter
[Sung by crowd in the street]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Flawless beauty - the fact that it's not Lean's best is beside the point
12 April 2002 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

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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