After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
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
Lean obviously tried very hard to recreate accurately the period of the story. Unfortunately he commits a mistake very common in historical movies from since the Silent Era: the women wear hair and makeup that is not right for the movie's historical era, but which belongs instead to the mid 1960s, the time the movie was made. See more »
And don't delude yourself that this was rape! That would flatter us both!
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When it was first released, the film originally ran 197 minutes. Early in its run, David Lean and editor Norman Savage shortened it to 180 minutes; this version was in circulation for years. By the mid-1990s, the uncut version was restored. See more »
"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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