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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:

Writers:

(novel) (as Boris Leonidovic Pasternak), (screenplay)
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Won 5 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jeffrey Rockland ...
Sasha
Tarek Sharif ...
Yuri at 8 Years Old
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Liberius (as Gerard Tichy)
Noel Willman ...
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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:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

31 December 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doktor Živago  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$111,722,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alec Guinness and David Lean quarreled frequently on the set of this film. According to Guinness, Lean was "acting the part of a super-star director" and frequently insulted Guinness's performance and him personally. This caused a rift to develop between the two and they would not work again until A Passage to India (1984) almost twenty years later. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Dr. Zhivago first arrives in Moscow (near the beginning of the movie). He is boarding a tram on Tverskaya street. In the background, is a statue of Yuri Dolgoruky, the founder of Moscow in 1147. The statue was placed there in 1947 on the 800th anniversary of Moscow's founding. It wasn't there before the Bolshevik revolution, the time during which the scene is supposed to have taken place. See more »

Quotes

Unknown: The doctor's a gentleman.
The Bolshevik: Right! It's written all over him.
Unknown: He's a good man.
The Bolshevik: God rot good men.
[Lara silently stares in loathing at the Bolshevik]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: Extradition: British Columbia (2009) 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

One of the Best Epic Films Ever Made
7 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

I can't remember the origin of the quote, but I remember it distinctly. A Communist Party official of the Soviet Union, justifying the Bolshevik destruction of Tsarist Russia, told a foreign observer, `If you want to make an omelet, you've got to break some eggs.' The visitor replied, `I see the broken eggs, but Where's the omelet?' Dr. Zhivago is set at the time when the Bolsheviks, feverishly ideological, were creating their socialist state. The epochal drama that unfolds is the age-old question about whether the ends justify the means.

As materialists (matter precedes spirit, not vice versa), the Bolsheviks believed that they had found the holy grail of human progress in Marxism-Leninism, and were now able to assume the reins of history in their own hands. They believed that their violence was not only justified, but necessary, oblivious to the fact that they, too, somehow felt the angel of medieval teleology smiling over their shoulders.

In contrast to the Bolsheviks, Zhivago's ethos, if he had one, was almost identical to Kant's `categorical imperative,' which had just one axiom: treat people as ends in themselves, and not as ends to a mean. There couldn't be a sharper moral contrast.

There's a fabulous scene midway through the movie that highlights the difference in moral attitude. Dr. Zhivago confronts a communist functionary who has ordered the destruction of a village, a hamlet suspected of aiding the Mensheviks by selling them horses. To the Bolsheviks, if you weren't 100 percent behind them, you were a `counterrevolutionary,' sorta like Dubya's idea that you're either for us, or against us. And so Strelnikov, the passionate Bolshevik, glibly justifies his actions to Dr. Zhivago as easy as if he were tossing his hair aside, saying that the annihilation of the village, however cruel, is necessary to make a point. Zhivago replies: `Your point; their village.'

I love this film, a timeless epic. If there's a more beautiful heroine in all of movie-making history than Julie Christie (Lara), I'm not aware of it. And Omar Sharif is stunning as Iuri Zhivago, who heals the body with emetics, scalpels, antiseptic, and gauze, while he heals the soul with his poetry. Although the movie is three hours and 20 minutes long, the cinematography is so efficient, evocative, and densely layered that one hardly notices. This is, in my opinion, one of the best films of all time.


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