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The Sea Gull (1968)

G | | Drama, Romance | November 1969 (UK)
An aging actress named Irina Arkidana pays summer visits to her brother Pjotr Nikolayevich Sorin and her son Konstantin on a country estate. On one occasion, she brings Trigorin, a ... See full summary »


Sidney Lumet


Anton Chekhov (play), Moura Budberg (adaptation)




Complete credited cast:
James Mason ... Trigorin
Vanessa Redgrave ... Nina
Simone Signoret ... Irina Arkadina
David Warner ... Konstantin Treplev
Harry Andrews ... Pjotr Nikolayevich Sorin
Denholm Elliott ... Dr. Yevgeny Dorn
Eileen Herlie ... Polina
Alfred Lynch ... Semyon Medvedenko
Ronald Radd ... Shamraev
Kathleen Widdoes Kathleen Widdoes ... Masha


An aging actress named Irina Arkidana pays summer visits to her brother Pjotr Nikolayevich Sorin and her son Konstantin on a country estate. On one occasion, she brings Trigorin, a successful novelist, with her. Nina, a free and innocent girl on a neighboring estate, falls in love with Boris Trigorin. As Trigorin lightly consumes and rejects Nina, so the actress all her life has consumed and rejected her son, who loves Nina. The victims are destroyed while the sophisticates continue on their way. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The young are always young, foolish and totally our of step. See more »


Drama | Romance


G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Kathleen Widdoes as Masha, is the only American in the cast. See more »


The shadows of the actors often go in the opposite direction of the natural outdoor shadows cast by the late afternoon sun. See more »


[first lines]
Semyon Medvedenko: Why do you always wear black?
Masha: I'm in mourning for my life. I'm unhappy.
See more »


Version of Great Performances: The Seagull (1975) See more »


Sonata No.25 in G, Op.79
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Arranged by Sonny Burke
See more »

User Reviews

The Seagull soars gracefully.
29 October 2012 | by st-shotSee all my reviews

Filled with excellent performances and moved smoothly off the stage to the outdoors Sidney Lumet's interpretation of Anton Chekov's The Seagull is an impressive transition to celluloid. Told in a languid low key with minimal but effective camera movement Lumet with patient deliberation slowly builds the play to its powerful climax without hardly ever raising its voice.

Aging prima donna Arkadina (Simone Signoret) and Trigorin (James mason) a well known writer visit the estate of her brother where her son Konstantin (David Warner) is attempting to hone his trade as a writer. Along with Nina (Vanessa Redgrave) , a neighbor he's in love with he put's on a dramatization of his work for assorted guests. Self absorbed as the family is Konstantin's work receives little attention or credit. Nina in turn falls heavy for Trigorin who is more than willing to see her on the side. Years pass and lives have changed but Konstantin struggles on with little or no interest from anyone as the group is once again brought together in the final act.

The Seagull is a lengthy melancholy piece of theater that in the wrong hands can be a drudgery to get through but Lumet moves his cast about like a skilled chess player, each and every one fleshing out their character with an intense subtlety. I hesitate to single out performers since all hit their marks perfectly but Vanessa Redgrave gives an an outstanding performance saving her best for last as the hopelessly romantic Nina while conversely Denholm Elliot as the most self aware member of the group maintains a low key despair that is every bit as effective.

There are plenty of films that employ great writers, excellent directors and superb actors that often times (Catch 22, for example) collapses under the weight of all its talent. The Seagull is a fine example of how well it works when all the pieces fit.

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Release Date:

November 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Gaivota See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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