6 user 6 critic

Three Sisters (1970)

G | | Drama | 3 November 1970 (UK)
Olga, Masha and Irina Prozoroff (Louise Purnell) lead lonely and purposeless lives following the death of their father who had commanded the local army post. Olga attempts to find ... See full summary »


Laurence Olivier, John Sichel (co-director)


Moura Budberg, Anton Chekhov (play)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeanne Watts Jeanne Watts ... Olga
Joan Plowright ... Masha
Louise Purnell Louise Purnell ... Irina
Derek Jacobi ... Andrei
Sheila Reid ... Natasha
Kenneth MacKintosh Kenneth MacKintosh ... Kulighin
Daphne Heard ... Anfissa the nana
Harry Lomax Harry Lomax ... Ferrapont the watchman
Judy Wilson ... Serving maid
Mary Griffiths Mary Griffiths ... Housemaid
Ronald Pickup ... Baron Tusenbach
Laurence Olivier ... Dr. Ivan Chebutikin
Frank Wylie ... Maj. Vassili Vassilich Solloni
Alan Bates ... Col. Vershinin
Richard Kay Richard Kay ... Lt. Fedotik


Olga, Masha and Irina Prozoroff (Louise Purnell) lead lonely and purposeless lives following the death of their father who had commanded the local army post. Olga attempts to find satisfaction in teaching, but secretly longs for a home and family. Masha, unhappy with her marriage to a timid schoolmaster, falls hopelessly in love with married Colonel Vershinin. Irina works in the local telegraph office, but longs for gaiety. Their sense of futility is increased by their brother's marriage to Natasha, a coarse peasant girl. She gradually encroaches on the family home until even the private refuge of the sisters is destroyed. They dream of starting a new life in Moscow, but are saddled with the practicalities of their quiet existence. Despite their failures, they resolve to seek some purpose and hope when the army post is withdrawn from the town. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Alan Bates replaced Robert Stephens, who was forced to withdraw through illness. See more »


Version of Estudio 1: Las tres hermanas (1970) See more »


Maiden's Prayer
See more »

User Reviews

Superb cast, production; lousy sound
24 July 2005 | by fwmurnauSee all my reviews

A fine, sensitive filming of a fine stage production of Chekhov's masterpiece THE THREE SISTERS. A few of the actors are a bit too broad and stagey (especially the oldest sister, the schoolteacher), reflecting inexperience acting for the camera, but that's a minor flaw.

What's up with the sound? I rented the DVD and the sound track is terrible for a film from this period. It's hard to make out some of the dialogue, especially when a character turns away from the camera. I hate having to strain to hear dialogue, especially dialogue by Chekhov! It seems to be a recording problem. The film was shot on what seem to be massive stage sets. This family's provincial home looks roughly the size of the Winter Palace. I'm guessing the cavernous sets swallowed up and muffled the dialogue, resulting in the poor sound quality.

Aside from the deficiencies of the sound (and there's no excuse for such a problem in a production from 1970 -- fire that sound engineer!) it's a great production of a gently funny and bittersweet classic play.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

3 November 1970 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A három nővér See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed