Dostoyevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov is given a Hollywood screen treatment by producer Pandro S. Berman and director Richard Brooks. Yul Brynner plays Dmitri Karamazov, a callous Russian officer who cuckolds his domineering father (Lee J. Cobb) with the old man's mistress Grushenka (Maria Schell). Richard Basehart is Dmitri's intellectual brother Ivan, while William Shatner is the pious Alexey Karamazov; both men eventually enjoy the attentions of the willing Grushenka. The Karamazovs' half-brother is Smedyakov (Albert Salmi), an epileptic whose purpose in the story is clarified after the family patriarch's murder. It is now part of Hollywood folklore that Marilyn Monroe fought long and hard to be cast as the enigmatic Grushenka.