Doctor Zhivago

Tagline : Turbulent were the times and fiery was the love story of Zhivago, his wife and the passionate, tender Lara.

Runtime : 200 mins

Genre : Drama Romance War

Vote Rating : 7.5/10

Budget : 11 million $ USD

Revenue : 111.9 million $ USD

Plot : 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 World War I and then the October Revolution.

Cast Members


David Lean has assembled an excellent cast and together with Maurice Jarre's memorable score and some sweeping cinematography from Freddie Young does considerable justice to the lengthy Pasternak tale of "Yuri" - a Russian physician (Omar Sharif). Alec Guinness, now a General in the Soviet army, takes on the mantle of narrator - using the expertly innocent Rita Tushingham as the conduit for the flashbacks - and gradually we discover that it's all a bit internecine at the start. "Yuri" falls in love with the enigmatic "Lara" (Julie Christie) who just happens to be the love interest for "Komarovsky" (Rod Steiger) who would sell his own mother, he is certainly cheating on her's. Frustrated on that front, he ends up marrying his own cousin "Tonya" (Geraldine Chaplin) but with the end of the Great war looming and the October Revolution subsequently reducing the country to war-torn chaos, nothing is simple as families are split asunder trying to flee the guns and bullets. It turns out that "Lara" ended up marrying Communist big-wig "Pasha" (Tom Courtenay) but the war put paid to that relationship and when "Yuri" discovers this he wonders what might have been! This is a collection of love stories. Love for people, for their country, for a cause - and Lean manages to weave the complexities of the themes without bogging us down in doctrine or too much brutally. We know all of that is going on, but Robert Bolt's inspired screenplay drip feeds us the politics in an eminently appetising fashion whilst ensuring the human stories prevail. The vast expanses of Russia - especially as seen during their train journeys - are impressive, chilling, and allow us a respite from the constant barrage of dialogue that is usually pretty essential in enabling us to follow the plot. If you ever get the chance to sit for three hours and watch this on big screen then take it. This is cinema at it's more powerful and the sheer logistics of mass participation, mass transportation and glorious photography - without a computer to be had - is certainly worth sitting through as this epic washes over you.

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