Doctor Zhivago
  • Doctor Zhivago
  • Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago

4.2 45
Director: David Lean

Cast: David Lean, Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Tom Courtenay


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Based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago covers the years prior to, during, and after the Russian Revolution, as seen through the eyes of poet/physician Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif). In the tradition of Russian novels, a multitude of characters and subplots intertwine within the film's 197 minutes …  See more details below


Based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago covers the years prior to, during, and after the Russian Revolution, as seen through the eyes of poet/physician Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif). In the tradition of Russian novels, a multitude of characters and subplots intertwine within the film's 197 minutes (plus intermission). Zhivago is married to Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin), but carries on an affair with Lara (Julie Christie), who has been raped by ruthless politician Komarovsky (Rod Steiger). Meanwhile, Zhivago's half-brother Yevgraf (Alec Guinness) and the mysterious, revenge-seeking Strelnikoff (Tom Courteney) represent the "good" and "bad" elements of the Bolshevik revolution. Composer Maurice Jarre received one of Doctor Zhivago's five Oscars, with the others going to screenwriter Robert Bolt, cinematographer Freddie Young, art directors John Box and Terry Marsh, set decorator Dario Simoni, and costumer Phyllis Dalton. The best picture Oscar, however, went to The Sound of Music.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Matthew Johnson
The master of epics David Lean found the perfect source material in Doctor Zhivago Boris Pasternak's phonebook-thick novel about the Russian Revolution, and the director turned in a tragic romance worthy of being considered alongside his classics The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia. Set in Russia during World War I and the fateful days of 1917, the film follows Dr. Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif), a well-respected poet as well as physician, and his true love, Lara (Julie Christie) as they struggle to hold onto each other in an era when life has become meaningless. Introduced before the war by the despicable cad Komarovsky (Rod Steiger), Yuri and Lara follow separate paths, only to be reunited during the Russian retreat from the front. Both married, they deny their love for one another and part, but they return to a world that has changed drastically: Lara discovers that her husband, the revolutionary scholar Pasha (Tom Courtenay), has become a ruthless general for the Red Army, adopting the name Strelnikov. Yuri returns to find his aristocratic home turned into a commune, and he and his wife Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin) soon must seek refuge in the countryside. The changes in their lives soon drive Yuri and Lara into each other's arms, seeking to live in happiness, if only briefly. Years later, Yuri's brother Yevgraf (Alec Guiness) tries to piece together their tragic story. Adapted for the screen by Robert Bolt (who also wrote Lawrence and A Man for All Seasons), Doctor Zhivago takes full advantage of its cataclysmic setting to push the limits of its love story. Once you've seen the film, it's hard to imagine again hearing the film's haunting "Lara's Theme" without feeling a slight lump in your throat. The close-captioned VHS Special Edition features a new digital transfer; newly remixed Dolby sound; an introduction by Sharif; 2 vintage documentaries, and a trailer.
All Movie Guide
Russia in winter has never looked more alluring. Neither have Omar Sharif or Julie Christie. As a love story played out against the background of a sweeping march of historical events, Doctor Zhivago is comparable to Gone With the Wind. Adapted from a complex novel by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago follows the tribulations of a Moscow doctor (Sharif) exiled by the Bolsheviks for writing poetry and separated from his true love (Christie). Director David Lean does for snow what he did for sand in his previous epic, Lawrence of Arabia. One of the most popular love stories ever filmed, Doctor Zhivago was nominated for 10 Oscars and won 5, though it lost Best Picture to The Sound of Music. Overly long at three-hours-plus, it's chock full of terrific images and gorgeous landscapes, to which the story at times becomes secondary. It's remembered by many viewers for the haunting love song, "Lara's Theme."

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Commentary by Omar Sharif, Rod Steiger and Sandra Lean; New commemorative tow-part 45th anniversary retrospective Doctor Zhivago: A Celebration

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Omar Sharif Yuri Zhivago
Julie Christie Lara
Tom Courtenay Pasha Strelnikov
Geraldine Chaplin Tonya
Rod Steiger Komarovsky
Alec Guinness Yevgraf
Siobhan McKenna Anna
Ralph Richardson Alexander Gromeko
Rita Tushingham The Girl
Jeffrey Rockland Sasha
Bernard Kay Bolshevik
Klaus Kinski Kostoyed
Gerard Tichy Liberius
Noel Willman Razin
Geoffrey Keen Prof. Kurt
Adrienne Corri Amelia
Jack MacGowran Petya
Mark Eden Young Engineer
Erik Chitty Old Soldier
Roger Maxwell Beef-Faced Colonel
Wolf Frees Comrade Yelkin,Delegate
Gwen Nelson Comrade Kaprugina,Female Janitor
Lucy Westmore Katya
Lili Murati Train Jumper
Peter Madden Political Officer
Jose Maria Caffarel Militiaman
Inigo Jackson Major
Maria Martin Gentlewoman
José Nieto Priest
Tarek Sharif Yuri at age 8
Emilio Carrer Mr. Sventytski
Luana Alcaniz Mrs. Sventytski
Katherine Ellison Raped Woman
Maria Vico Demented Woman

Technical Credits
David Lean Director
Robert Bolt Screenwriter
John Box Production Designer
Phyllis Dalton Costumes/Costume Designer
Eddie Fowlie Special Effects
Maurice Jarre Score Composer
Terence Marsh Production Designer
Carlo Ponti Producer
Winston Ryder Sound/Sound Designer
Norman Savage Editor
Dario Simoni Set Decoration/Design
Roy Stevens Asst. Director
Pedro Vidal Asst. Director
Freddie Young Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Disc #1, Side A -- Doctor Zhivago - Part 1
1. Overture [4:23]
2. Credits [2:50]
3. Yevgraf and Tonya [6:09]
4. Laid to Rest [3:11]
5. The Balalika [2:49]
6. Strangers On a Train [2:13]
7. Lara and Pasha [2:10]
8. Yuri and Lara [4:08]
9. The Demonstration [1:57]
10. Komarovsky [3:13]
11. Ended Dissent... [5:45]
12. Tonya Comes Home [2:07]
13. Pasha and the Gun [2:54]
14. "You'll Always..." [3:30]
15. Suicide Attempt [5:55]
16. Yuri Sees Lara [3:22]
17. Plain Speaking [3:41]
18. Brute Force [2:32]
19. The Christmas Party [5:31]
20. Interwoven Destinies [2:21]
21. Ringing Sorrow [1:46]
22. War's Toll [4:02]
23. Deserters Meet... [3:49]
24. "Are You a Nurse?" [2:25]
25. No More Czars [4:02]
26. Understood [3:00]
27. Farewells [2:43]
28. Full House [2:23]
29. "The Stove's Out" [3:56]
30. Pilfering Firewood [2:20]
31. Brothers Zhivago [3:18]
32. Boarding the Train [2:51]
33. The Only Free Man [2:09]
34. Disinfecting [3:35]
35. Another Passenger [3:26]
36. "Strelnikov!" [1:49]
37. Intermission [:57]
Disc #1, Side B -- Doctor Zhivago - Part 2
38. Entr'Acte [1:56]
39. Through the Urals [1:42]
40. With Strelnikov [5:42]
41. Varykino [3:30]
42. One of the People Too [2:31]
43. No Going Back [2:10]
44. Spring (Lara's Theme) [2:41]
45. Reunited [4:57]
46. Between Two Women [5:10]
47. Conscripted [2:48]
48. Soldiers to Schoolboys [3:25]
49. Turning Back [4:34]
50. Yuriatin... and Lara [4:08]
51. Tonya's Letter [2:44]
52. Komarovsky's Help [5:40]
53. Return to Varykino [3:23]
54. Writing Again [6:52]
55. Strelnikov's End [3:52]
56. Final Farewell [2:02]
57. A Mother's Duty [1:14]
58. Yuri's Last Glimpse... [3:23]
59. Yevgraf's Last Glimpse... [1:14]
60. A Gift [2:43]
61. Cast List [1:44]

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Doctor Zhivago 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the Classics. A movie of magnificent proportions. There hasn't been a movie like this in 35 years. Truly one of the best ever made. A great addition to your collection!
Guest More than 1 year ago
it is a mistake to take 'doctor zhivago' as a 'mere romance'. set in a very troublesome and turmoilsome period of human history where it is impossible to look through a black & white looking glass,or pass on an easy judgement over the events, 'zhivago' is a perpetual quest for 'life' and its pristine beauty and love and dignity and peace. one of the greatest pictures ever made. special thanks to pasternak, david lean and maurice zarre.
Guest More than 1 year ago
David Lean's beautiful movie, based on the classical novel by Pasternak, shows the personal tragedy of Dr. Zhivago, the invisible man. Forever looking out windows, gazing at moons, reading love letters from the two fatal women of his life, Dr. Zhivago is an idealist in search of love and freedom, and most of all of himself; a man who is unable to attach to any woman or any place. He is a ghost wandering about for a destiny that is always around the corner. For all the trains and trams he boards, he never manages to get on the right one. Lean tells the story of this tragic and humourless figure with visual horror, set in the cold, lonely rooms of the big estate in the country. He finally faces himself in the mirror for all he is worth: a frozen, old, red-eyed spectre that will never find peace. And his lack of peace is Pasternak and Lean's ultimate narrative triumph. For the same reason, the action takes place in a turbulent and dramatic Russia in the times of the communist revolution. In times of revolution, a doctor is supposed to be neutral and helpful to whoever might be sick or wounded. But neutrality is impossible in times like these. Zhivago, however, is a harmless figure, never risking or sacrificing the beauty of any of his ideals which therefore all wither away. Whatever Pasternak's view of the revolution and the czar rulership might be, the political issues are merely a thematic background on which Zhivago acts, a background in which choice has become necessary, symbolizing the personal choice that Zhivago is forced to make, but which he is unable to make because of his wish to please everyone and retain his vision of beauty and poetry. Obtaining personal peace requires that you are willing to fight the war first, is Pasternak's comment. Even as a poet, he is ironically unable to describe life and Lara. This fact by the way makes it ridiculous that the scene in the estate where he has written a poem for her should be deemed romantic. The scene only underlines his inability to describe her as the complex good-and-bad figure that she is and that Komarovsky clearly understands. Zhivago is a lover of art, but a spectator of life and must therefore fail, which is most beautifully illustrated in his death scene, where the mere sight of Lara is actually fatal. He never reaches the point of human or emotional contact with any of his women. The story has only little ambiguity to Zhivago's tragedy apart from the fact that he loved and wrote. Even true passion did he seem to lack. The dam at the end may symbolize the restrictions that he should have imposed on his high ideals and emotions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
have seen on big screen 31 times still a great movies after 37 years
LionsinDanielsDen More than 1 year ago
In 1967, my Mother wanted me to see this movie. She said it was a picture about our homeland. The relatives left in 1880 to work here on the CB&Q railroad. Standing in line and looking at the poster, I was not impressed. I was not impressed until the opening music with the beautiful lines of birch trees. Then some sort of memories ignited in my DNA! Words are weak to express the intensity of my deep feelings. Yes, the movie was not filmed in Russia, and it diverged from the book, but it started a fire in my heart for history, literature, politics, and Russia. I have a degree in literature, media, speech, and a masters in Political Science. For 40 years I wrote a newspaper column "Daniel in the Lions'Den", was a social worker, and taught sociology in college, and have been very politically active. Last November, our church went to Moscow to rebuild an orphanage. We went to the theater, the circus, Red Square, Puskin's home, the churches, the slums, and the beautiful rural homes. I say all this because this Movie started all this. The locations and other details were imperfect, but movie drove me to research for the Truth. The new friends I met there say I have a Russian Soul. I hum the film's music almost daily when I am sad or when I am happy. I have the VCR, DVD, and CD, as well as Pasternak's Novel. "Can she play the ballilika? She is an artist!" Please, just buy the DVD, and let the movie set your Soul on fire with energy and Love. And, visit Russia. You will love the people, and the rows and rows of birch trees!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great blend of drama and music with 'Lara's Theme.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Doctor Zhivago is, in my opinion, one of the greatest films ever made! The incomperable director David Lean perfectly captures Boris Pasternak's tale of the Russian Civil War and hearts 'torn by love.' There are pleanty of epic images abound: from the revolution in the streets, to Zhivago's desperate escape to the Urals, to the 'ice palace' where Yuri(Zhivago) and Lara spend their last days together. Yuri is a poet torn between the two women he loves. One is the fiery, passionate Lara who becomes Yuri's great love. The other is Yuri's meek and beautiful wife, Tonya, who devotes her whole life to her husband and his art. All three of these people-and others- soon become caught up in the tidal wave of history. Full of indelible preformances and hauntingly scored by Maurice Jarre, Doctor Zhivago is 'moviemaking wonder' of love pursued, lost, found, and lost again.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Doctor Zhivago' is one of those mammoth widescreen productions that is diminished when viewed in a home theater setting. The DVD features an excellent transfer presenting the film in its original Panavision aspect ratio. This 2 disc Special Edition of the film is a must for movie buffs who will enjoy the 'making of' documentary of the film along with some fascinating interviews with Omar Sharif and Julie Christie at the time of the movie's premiere. 'Doctor Zhivago' is a testament to the directorial genius of David Lean. More popular with the moviegoing public than the critics, it has stood the test of time and is a genuine cinematic classic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
no further comment other thnan just great, great, great !! 'better in a different way than Sound of Music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unlike some other reviews here, I think that this is good classic historical romance. Yes, it helps to like history and have 3 and 1/2 hours to devote to this film. What I admire the most about this film is the cinematography and how important the characters eyes are. They tell much of the emotional portion of the story. Even though it was not filmed in Russia, but Canada, Finland and Spain, you belive it is in Russia giving it a feel of authenticity. The acting was good by all main characters. If you pay attention you will see the future Obi-Wan"Ben"Kenobi - Alec Guinness from "Star Wars" and Rod Steiger who also played Judd in the musical "Oklahoma". This is a good view of Russia before Communisim took hold. The plot is good enough and it is interesting to see how the characters meet up throughout the film. Children"teens" may not have the patience for this movie. It is rated PG-13. In any case, it is worth a viewing just to see another great movie made in 1965 which won 5 Oscars.
JohnP51 More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite movies. I have the VHS version of it and by now it is so worn that I can't play it anymore. So, I am going to purchase the DVD this weekend. Everything about this movie keeps me watching it over and over and the cinematography is among the best. Sort of like "Lawrence of Arabia" but set in Russia.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GrannyBert More than 1 year ago
Best movie ever made.  I must watch this againin the next few days!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw (probably a pirated VHS version) some 17 years ago. I am still searching for a copy for myself, to watch and absorb. It certainly made a strong impact on me with regard to my morals as a married man. Still looking.
Guest More than 1 year ago
DOCTOR ZHIVAGO is my all time favorite film to watch. I don't know exactly why, because I don't think it's the very best film that's ever been made, but I do get totally involved with the characters in DOCTOR ZHIVAGO and character involvement is, I think, the most important ingredient in either the writing of novels or the making of films. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO isn't a film 'about' the Russian Revolution, although it is set against the backdrop of the revolution and the decisions and fate of the film's characters are dependent, to a large degree on the war that's raging around them. Instead, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO is a film that explores the poetic Russian soul through an intimate look at one very enigmatic and charismatic man, Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif), part-time (his part-time status is imposed by the constraints of the revolution) physician, specializing in family practice, and part-time love poet. Yuri Zhivago is the ultimate idealist and the ultimate romantic. As such, he can't stand either the Tsarist regime or the cruelty of the Bolsheviks and, it's just as well, because the Bolshevik's can't stand him, either, save for his own half-brother, skillfully played by Alec Guinness. Yuri Zhivago is a man who was born in Siberia, in that wild, untamed and beautiful land beyond the Urals. After the death of his mother, a musical artist, herself, the young Yuri goes to Moscow to live with his beloved aunt and uncle and their pretty little daughter, Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin). Yuri falls in love with Tonya almost immediately, and, of course, there's no doubt that the two will marry. Although theirs seems to be the perfect union, trouble is brewing in the form of the revolution and a woman who is both as enigmatic and charismatic as is Yuri, a dressmaker's daughter, Lara (Julie Christie). Yuri leaves Moscow, a privileged member of the upper class, to minister to the wounded and, when he returns, he finds the Bolsheviks in charge and his once lavish home partitioned off so that many families can live there. Yuri, his wife Tonya, their son, Sasha, and Tonya's father are reduced to living in only a few cold and barren rooms with little to eat. When Yuri decides that things must change, he takes his brother's suggestion and, with his family, leaves Moscow for their country home in the Urals. There, life is not as luxurious as it once was, but at least it is peaceful and free from harassment. It is not free from Lara, however, a woman who was once a nurse and with whom Yuri spent long, though chaste, hours. Now, however, he finds he cannot deny his love for the beautiful Lara, and, even in the land beyond the Urals, far away from Moscow, problems develop as Yuri is forced to choose between Tonya and Lara. As is often the case in real life, however, fate makes his decision for him. I think Omar Sharif was the perfect choice to play Yuri Zhivago. In the 60s, he was obviously as charismatic and as dreamily poetic as Yuri Zhivago is supposed to be. For me, in this film, Sharif was the very embodiment of the poetic Russian soul. Although I've heard criticism of Julie Christie's portrayal of Lara, I think she played her role perfectly. She definitely looked like a woman three men would be totally in love with and mesmerized by. Although her husband, Pasha Antipov (Tom Courtney) leaves her to devote himself more fully to the revolution, when he finds the revolution needs him no longer, he sets out for Lara's. Komarovsky (Rod Steiger), as a wealthy, world-weary aristocrat, never loses his fascination with Lara, as well, and, as his actions near the film's closing moments show, he just might love her more selflessly than does Zhivago, who, of course, loves her the most passionately. I don't think anyone who's seen DOCTOR ZHIVAGO will forget its stunning cinematography: the forests, the Urals in the distance, the fields of daffodils waving in the wind or the dacha encrusted in ice. No matter what you think of this film, I believe you'd
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