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Doctor Zhivago(1965)

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Synopsis

Promising young surgeon Yuri Zhivago is happily married to a wife from a good family when a world war, the RussianRevolution and his growing passion for the beautiful Lara disrupt theirlives. Though Lara inspires his greatest poetry, they are kept apartby the forces of history until Zhivago defies the Soviet government to fleewith his love to the snowbound countryside of his youth. There, theysnatch a few moments of happiness until she vanishes with their infantdaughter, leaving Zhivago to spend the rest of his life searching for her.Years later, his half-brother, Yevgraf, tracks down a young factory workerwho knows little of her past except for her passion for music and poetry whichshe inherited from her father, Yuri.

Director: David Lean
Producer: Carlo Ponti
Screenplay: Robert Bolt
Based on the novel by Boris Pasternak
Cinematography: Freddie Young
Editing: Norman Savage
Art Direction: John Box
Music: Maurice Jarre
Cast: Omar Sharif (Yuri Zhivago), Julie Christie (Lara), Geraldine Chaplin(Tonya), Rod Steiger (Komarovski), Alec Guinness (Yevgraf), Tom Courtenay(Pasha), Ralph Richardson (Alexander Gromeko), Siobhan McKenna (AnnaGromeko), Rita Tushingham (The Girl), Klaus Kinski (Kostoyed), JackMacGowran (Petya)
C-180m.

Why Doctor Zhivago is Essential

Doctor Zhivago was the first major western film to capture theturmoil of the Russian Revolution, leading the way for such later epics asNicholas and Alexandra (1971) and Reds (1981).

Doctor Zhivago was the second of three films teaming David Leanwith playwright Robert Bolt. Bolt had previously saved the Lawrence ofArabia (1962) script. Their third collaboration would be Ryan'sDaughter (1970), starring Bolt's wife, Sarah Miles.

This was the third of four films Lean made with composer Maurice Jarre.The others were Lawrence of Arabia, Ryan's Daughter and APassage to India (1984). Jarre won Oscars® for all his Leancollaborations except Ryan's Daughter.

Along with the reissue of Gone With the Wind (1939), DoctorZhivago saved MGM from bankruptcy in the mid-'60s.

Doctor Zhivago marked a new path for the historical epic.Previous films had simply focused on the scope of world-shaping events.With Zhivago director David Lean and scriptwriter Robert Boltbrought a new romantic sensibility to the epic. That Victorian ideal wouldinform such later blockbusters as Mary, Queen of Scots (1971),Lady Gray(1986) andTitanic (1997).

by Frank Miller

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teaser Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Pop Culture 101 - DOCTOR ZHIVAGO

Doctor Zhivago's costumes inspired the "Zhivago Look" fordesigners like Yves St. Laurent and Christian Dior. Fur trims, silkbraiding and boots came back into fashion thanks to the film.

Also returned to fashion by the film's success was facial hair. Beardsand mustaches were in, just in time for the counter-culture revolution ofthe late '60s.

Maurice Jarre's soundtrack album for Doctor Zhivago was one ofthe best-selling film soundtracks of all time, selling more than 600,000copies.

The film's popular theme, "Lara's Theme (Somewhere, My Love)," hastraveled around the world. Jarre claims to have heard it everywhere from agondola in Italy to Central Africa, where it was played on tribalinstruments.

If you or someone you know were born after 1965 and are named "Lara" (spelled as such), you can thank Doctor Zhivago. Until the film' s success, the namewas rarely found outside of Russia.

Four documentaries have tried to capture the gargantuan production thatbrought Doctor Zhivago to the screen. Three short films from 1965-- David Lean's Film of Doctor Zhivago," Zhivago: Behindthe Camera With David Lean and Moscow in Madrid -- were little more thanextended promotional pieces for the film. A longer film made fortelevision in 1995, "Doctor Zhivago: The Making of a Russian Epic,"features narration by Omar Sharif. It includes interviews with RobertBolt, Geraldine Chaplin, Maurice Jarre, Rod Steiger and Olga Ivinskaya, thewoman on whom Boris Pasternak based the character of Lara. It is currentlyincluded with the supplementary materials on the DVD of the film.

In 2002, Doctor Zhivago became a miniseries in Great Britain.Newcomers Hans Matheson and Keira Knightley (later the star of Piratesof the Caribbean and Love Actually, both 2003) played Zhivago and Lara.Like the classic film version, the production was not shot in the SovietUnion. The closest the crew got was Prague and Slovakia. It aired in theU.S. on PBS outlets in 2003 to mixed reviews.

by Frank Miller

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teaser Doctor Zhivago (1965)

DOCTOR ZHIVAGO - Trivia and Other Fun Stuff

David Lean's epic film was not the first adaptation of DoctorZhivago. In 1959 a mini-series based on the book aired on Braziliantelevision. It was shot in Portuguese.

Boris Pasternak's novel was 512 pages long. A film incorporating everyscene in the novel would run 52 hours. David Lean's film version ran 197minutes at its premiere and 180 minutes in general release. The 2002British miniseries runs 485 minutes.

It took two planes to carry the production team and equipment toFinland to shoot Finland was the closest the production would come to the USSR. Somescenes were shot just 75 miles from the Soviet border.

Although their pairing sizzled on-screen, Omar Sharif and JulieChristie barely connected off-screen. He complained about her habit ofeating fried egg sandwiches during breaks in the shooting, which he founddistinctly unromantic. For her part, when questioned about their worktogether 17 years later, Christie said, "He was charming, but otherwise Idon't remember anything about him really...I can't even remember if I haveever met him since."

Omar Sharif's son Tarek played the young Zhivago. Sharif even directedhis scenes as a way of getting closer to the character. The star agreed tothe casting on condition no photos of the boy be used in publicity. Hedidn't want to interfere with the boy's childhood. When other film offerscame in for Tarek, Sharif turned them all down.

Make-up artists taped back Omar Sharif's eyes to give him a moreRussian look.

The ice for the "ice palace" -- the abandoned, frozen country estate inwhich Zhivago and Lara share their final days of happiness -- was mademostly from wax.
,br>The production crew for Doctor Zhivago consisted of 120plasterers, 210 carpenters, 60 masons, 25 tubular steel specialists, 30painters, 20 electricians and more than 300 back-uptechnicians.

The film used 10,000 extras, 3,500 of them in the Moscow streetscenes.

In one scene of social unrest before the Russian Revolution, the extraswere so convincing that police swarmed the set thinking they were stoppingan uprising against General Franco.

It took an orchestra of 110 to record the film's score. Twenty-two ofthem were balalaika players.

FUN QUOTES FROM DR. ZHIVAGO (1965)

"If they were to give me two more excavators, I'd be a year ahead of theplan by now."
"You're an impatient generation." -- Mark Eden as the Engineer showing AlecGuinness as Yevgraf the future of the Soviet Union.

"Good marriages are made in heaven...or some such place." -- RalphRichardson as Gromeko.

."Who are you to refuse my sugar? Who are you to refuse me anything?" --Rod Steiger as Komarovski attacking Julie Christie as Lara for refusing hisadvances.

"Now, that your tastes at this time should incline towards the juvenile isunderstandable; but for you to marry that boy would be a disaster. Becausethere's two kinds of women. There are two kinds of women, and you, as youwell know, are not the first kind. You, my dear, are a slut" -- Steiger asKomarovski puncturing Lara's dreams.

"What happens to a girl like that when a man like you is finished with her?"
"You interested?...I give her to you, Yuri Andreavich. Wedding present."-- Omar Sharif as Zhivago asking Steiger about Lara's future.

"They rode them down, Lara. Women and children begging for bread. Therewill be no more 'peaceful' demonstrations." -- Tom Courtenay asPasha.

"If we'd had children, Yuri, would you like a boy or girl?"
"I think we may go mad if we think about all that."
"I shall always think about it" -- Lara and Zhivago dream of what mighthave been.

"Tonya, can you play the balalaika?"
"Can she play? She's an artist!"
"Ah, then it's a gift." -- Yevgraf receiving confirmation from the Engineerthat Tonya (Rita Tushingham) is Zhivago and Lara's daughter.

Compiled by Frank Miller

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teaser Doctor Zhivago (1965)

The Big Idea Behind DOCTOR ZHIVAGO

Boris Pasternak was born in Moscow in 1890, the son of a celebratedportrait painter and a concert pianist. One of his influences as a childwas composer Alexander Scriabin, a friend of his mother's.

Pasternak first built his reputation as a poet and translator(particularly of Shakespeare's plays). In 1945, he started work onDoctor Zhivago, drawing on his own experiences during the RussianRevolution and his romance with Olga Ivinskaya.

Nine years later, Doctor Zhivago was accepted for publication bythe Soviet Union's State Publishing House, then banned as a vehicle for"hatred of Socialism."

When the novel was smuggled into Italy, the foreign rights were sold toan Italian publisher who declined orders to return the manuscript to theSoviet Union for revisions. He published the book in September 1957. TheAmerican edition was published by Pantheon Books in September1958.

Doctor Zhivago was translated into 18 languages before it waspublished in the Soviet Union.

Pasternak won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958 for both his poetryand the novel Doctor Zhivago. Under pressure from the Soviet Union,he chose not to attend the awards ceremony "in view of the meaning given tothis honor in the community to which I belong."

When the Nobel Prize Committee announced their choice, Soviet criticsdamned Pasternak as a "traitor," a "malevolent Philistine," a "libeler," a"Judas" and an "extraneous smudge in our Socialist country." He was alsoexpelled from the Soviet Writers' Union and his former mistress, OlgaIvinskaya, was arrested.

Pasternak never lived to see the Soviet Union change its officialopinion of his work. He died of lung cancer in 1960.

Despite the Soviet ban on the novel, foreign editions were smuggledinto the country, and a typewritten version was distributed by anunderground do-it-yourself publishing network. As a result, the bookattracted a devoted following among younger Soviets who established atradition of yearly pilgrimages to Pasternak's grave.

Winning out over several other producers Carlo Ponti bought the filmrights to Doctor Zhivago from its Italian publisher in1963.

At the time, David Lean was the only director who seemed capable ofpulling off such a large-scale production. On the strength of hisinternational success with Lawrence of Arabia, Ponti hired him andgave him complete artistic control.

Lean was attracted to the project because after two films with nofemale characters (The Bridge on the River Kwai [1957] and Lawrence ofArabia) he wanted to get back to a film with a love story. One of hisbiggest early hits had been Brief Encounter (1945), which, likeDoctor Zhivago, told a classic tale of doomed love.

He agreed to do the film on condition that Robert Bolt, who had writtenLawrence of Arabia write the script.

Although time constraints made it impossible to use more than about1/24th of the novel, the biggest change Bolt made was to add a framingstory in which Zhivago's half-brother, Yevgraf (Alec Guinness), tells thestory of Zhivago and Lara to a girl (Rita Tushingham) who could be theirlong-lost daughter.

by Frank Miller

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teaser Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Behind the Camera on DOCTOR ZHIVAGO

To cast the film, Lean turned to many of his old favorites, includingAlec Guinness, who had appeared in Great Expectations (1946) andLawrence of Arabia, and Ralph Richardson (Alexander Gromeko), whohad appeared in Breaking the Sound Barrier (1952).

MGM executives wanted established stars in the leads, originallysuggesting Paul Newman as Zhivago and Sophia Loren (Ponti's wife) asLara.

Lean's first choice for the title role was Peter O'Toole, who had risento stardom with his performance in Lawrence of Arabia. Havingsuffered through two years of shooting in the desert, however, O'Toole wasloath to commit to a similarly grueling film shoot in what promised to bedauntingly cold climates, so he turned the film down. That triggered arift between director and star that would last until 1988, a few yearsbefore Lean's death.

With O'Toole unwilling to make the film, Lean turned to the other actorwho had risen to stardom in Lawrence, Egyptian actor Omar Sharif.The casting was a surprise to everybody, including Sharif. He had askedhis agent to propose him for the role of Pasha, the student revolutionarywho becomes Zhivago's nemesis. Tom Courtenay would win an Oscar&nomination for his performance in the role.

After considering several other actresses for the lead, Lean choseBritish newcomer Julie Christie, over the studio's objections. He basedhis choice on a few clips from Darling (1965), which was currentlyin production and would go on to win her international acclaim and anOscar® a small role in Young Cassidy (also 1965); and one scenein Billy Liar (1963), in which she played opposite Courtenay.

Lean also had to fight to cast Geraldine Chaplin, daughter of thelegendary Charlie Chaplin, as Zhivago's wife, Tonya. With the exception ofan uncredited bit in her father's Limelight (1952), it was her firstappearance in an English-language film. She had only made two other films,both in France.

Initially Ponti wanted to shoot the film in the Soviet Union. Heabandoned that idea out of fear that the Soviet authorities would try tocontrol the film. Lean then considered Yugoslavia and the Scandinaviancountries, but after visiting them with designer John Box and continuitygirl Barbara Cole decided they would be too cold. He also feared thecorrupt Yugoslav bureaucracy would make shooting there tooexpensive.

When projected costs of shooting in Hollywood proved too high, Lean andPonti moved the production to Spain, which had recently emerged as a viableproduction location, particularly since the Spanish Army was available for extra work in military scenes at little cost. In fact, the inhabitants of many Spanish towns and villages were often employed as extras. Otherblockbusters shot in the region included El Cid and King of Kings(both 1961), not to mention portions of Lawrence ofArabia

BEHIND THE SCENES - DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)

It took two years to film Doctor Zhivago. Over 800 craftsmen inthree countries worked on the film. The final production budget was $14million, twice what the film's backers had agreed to.

The film's principal location in Spain was the C.E.A. Studios, near Madrid's international airport. Production designer John Box and his crew spent six months turning the ten-acre studio into a reproduction of Moscow between 1905 and 1920. Included in the set were a half-mile long paved street, trolley lines, an authentic replica of the Kremlin, a viaduct with real train engines, a church and more than 50 businesses. Publicists touted the set as the largest ever built for a film.

For Zhivago's trip through the Russian Steppes, Box constructed sets inthe mountains north of Madrid. This required diverting the course of ariver to fit Lean's vision and building miles of fresh railroadtracks.

Lean originally wanted to shoot each of the film's scenes in theappropriate season, so he scheduled a ten-month shoot. Unfortunately, hearrived in Spain during one of the country's mildest winters ever. Afterrepeated delays that added $2.5 million to the budget as he waited forsnow, he finally had to shoot during the warmer months.

Many winter scenes were shot in the summer, when actors had towithstand temperatures climbing to 116 degrees while muffled in Russianfurs. Costume designer Phyllis Dalton had to keep strict watch over theextras to make sure none of them were shedding layers of clothing to cooloff. Sharif would later note, "We had an army of make-up assistantswho every two minutes came and dabbed you because we were sweatingprofusely."

For scenes near Zhivago's country estate in the spring, the crew hadplanted 7,000 daffodil bulbs, but with the mild winter, they startedblooming in January. They had to dig up the bulbs, put them into coldstorage and replant them later.

Not only did the mild winter mean no snow; the fields started turninggreen too early. The crew used white paint, plaster dust and even whiteplastic sheets to create many of the film's snow-filledvistas.

For the scenes in which Zhivago and his family suffer through atortuous train ride to their summer home in the Urals, the company shot inFinland and Canada with the full cooperation of Finnish State Railways andthe Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

Although David Lean had championed Julie Christie to studio executives,during early days of filming he had a hard time getting what he wanted outof her. Rather than give her time to explore the role, he kept at her toget exactly what he wanted. When they returned to the hot Spanishlocations after time in icebound Finland, she finally collapsed under thepressure. Gradually, however, they developed a working rapport. Lean tookto visiting her in her apartment in Madrid and was quick to accept hersuggestions for the script. By the time production had finished, they hadforged a lasting friendship, though they would never work together again.

At the climax of Lara's sleigh ride with Komarovski, played by RodSteiger, she had to slap him when he tried to kiss her. She keptanticipating the kiss, so, with Lean's approval, Steiger made it a littlemore physical when they did the scene. Then, when she slapped him, heimpulsively slapped her back with his glove. Lean kept it in the filmbecause Christie's startled response was so honest and dramaticallypowerful.

The film got an added publicity boost during post-production whenDarling (1965), a searing look at the rise of a young model inswinging London, opened and made Christie an internationalstar.

Doctor Zhivago premiered in New York City on December 22, 1965,in time to qualify for the 1965 film awards.

When the film received only mixed reviews, MGM President Robert O'Briencommitted another $1 million to advertising. Publicity trumpeted thepicture as a cross between War and Peace (1956) and Gone With theWind (1939). They even suggested that exhibitors play only music from thefilm before and after screenings and not sell concessions while the picturewas running, though it's doubtful that any theatre managers gave up thechance for lucrative profits in that area. Helped by strong word-of-mouth,the film took off at the box office, becoming MGM's second-highest grosserto date, behind Gone With the Wind but ahead of the 1959 version ofBen-Hur.

Doctor Zhivago finally returned to his homeland in 1988, whenMikhail Gorbachev allowed it to be published there as part of his"glasnost" policy. In 1994, the Soviet Union finally agreed to allow thefilm to be shown there. It premiered to record attendance and glowingreviews

For the film's 30th anniversary in 1995, the Turner EntertainmentCompany (TEC) created a new print to be used for a theatrical reissue andnew home videos. Over the years, the heavy demand for prints around theworld had left the original negative worn and scratched, forcing MGM to useduplicate negatives for some sequences. Fortunately, the original negativehad not suffered from color degeneration, so technicians simply had tocreate new printing masters that eliminated the scratches They alsoreturned to the original sound elements to create a new soundtrack that wasthen recorded in DTS Digital Stereo. When the new version premiered at theAcademy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences® some viewers thought thefilm looked even better than it had at its premiere.

by Frank Miller

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teaser Doctor Zhivago (1965)

The Critics' Corner on DOCTOR ZHIVAGO

"At once generous yet austere, huge but never out of human scale, gentlyunfolded yet full of power, it is a work of serious genuine art." --Richard Schickel, Life.

"The sweep and scope of the Russian Revolution, as reflected in thepersonalities of those who either adapted or were crushed, has beencaptured by David Lean in Dr. Zhivago, frequently with soaringdramatic intensity. Director has accomplished one of the most meticulouslydesigned and executed films -- superior in several visual respects to hisLawrence of Arabia" -- Murf, Variety.

"Mr. Bolt has reduced the vast upheaval of the Russian Revolution to thebanalities of a doomed romance." -- Bosley Crowther, The New YorkTimes.

"See it, feel it, treasure it. Don't play games with it. And don't makecomparisons. No, I take that back. Make some comparisons with some of theother highly touted films currently going the rounds. Then go bask in itswonder." -- John Cutts, "It is all too bad to be true: that so much has come to so little, that tears must be prompted by dashed hopes instead of enduring drama." - Newsweek.

"A majestic, magnificent picture of war and peace, on a national scale and scaled down to the personal. It has every element that makes a smash, long-run box office hit." - The Hollywood Reporter.

"Though it doesn't equal Lawrence of Arabia, David Lean's epic wartime romance may be his most accessible film. It tells a simple love story in a complex setting and, for the most part, avoids easy resolutions to messy emotional relationships....Dr. Zhivago remains one of the most ambitious and watchable of the "big" '60s films, and one of the best depictions of a civil war's terrible human costs." - Mike Mayo, War Movies.

"Zhivago is a syrupy romance, without poetry or plausibility." - David Thomson, The New Biographical Dictionary of Film.

"..for the long list of stars, for David Lean, and for admirers of Pasternak's novel, Dr. Zhivago is no more than a competent blockbuster." - Peter Cowie, Eighty Years of Cinema.

"..in this movie, so full of "realism," nothing really grows - not the performances, not the ideas, not even the daffodils, which are also so "real" they have obviously been planted for us, just as the buildings have been built for us. After the first half hour you don't expect the picture to breathe and live; you just sit there. It isn't shoddy (except for the balalaika music, which is so repetitive you could kill the composer); it's stately, respectable, and dead." - Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies.

"Doctor Zhivago (M-G-M) is a mixture of Lean's two well-tried methods of dealing with the classics: ornate Dickensian for scenes like the burial of Yuri's mother, or Yuri's own poetic inspiration by ice and candlelight; epic spectacular for ravages and battles and, of course, the long train journey from Moscow to the Urals...The actors look good, but with the exception of Rod Steiger, who as Komarovsky has the most clearly defined role anyway, their performances lack momentum....One is always conscious that nobody is Russian, and that nobody quite lives up to one's preconceived idea of the character that he or she portrays." - Elizabeth Sussex, Sight and Sound.

Awards & Honors

Doctor Zhivago was the number two film at the box office in its year(The Sound of Music was number one) with over $60 million in rentalsin the U.S. alone. Its current international gross is over $111million.

In most of the year's acting awards, Julie Christie's performance inDoctor Zhivago was beaten out by her performance in Darling.The National Board of Review named her Best Actress for bothfilms.

Doctor Zhivago won Golden Globes® for Best MotionPicture-Drama, Best Actor-Drama (Omar Sharif), Best Director (David Lean),Best Screenplay (Robert Bolt) and Best Score (Maurice Jarre).

Doctor Zhivago was nominated for ten Academy Awards®,including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (TomCourtenay). It won for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography(Freddie Young), Best Art Direction (John Box), Best Costumes (PhyllisDalton) and Best Score (Maurice Jarre).

The film's best-selling soundtrack album won the Grammy® for BestOriginal Score Written for a Motion Picture or TelevisionShow.

In 1988, "Lara's Theme" won a special People's Choice Award as FavoriteAll-Time Motion Picture Song.

Compiled by Frank Miller & Jeff Stafford

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teaser Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Promising young surgeon Yuri Zhivago is happily married to a wife from a good family when a world war, the RussianRevolution and his growing passion for the beautiful Lara disrupt theirlives. Though Lara inspires his greatest poetry, they are kept apartby the forces of history until Zhivago defies the Soviet government to fleewith his love to the snowbound countryside of his youth. There, theysnatch a few moments of happiness until she vanishes with their infantdaughter, leaving Zhivago to spend the rest of his life searching for her.Years later, his half-brother, Yevgraf, tracks down a young factory workerwho knows little of her past except for her passion for music and poetry whichshe inherited from her father, Yuri.

Doctor Zhivago (1965) was the first major western film to capture theturmoil of the Russian Revolution, leading the way for such later epics asNicholas and Alexandra (1971) and Reds (1981).

Winning out over several other producers, Carlo Ponti bought the filmrights to Boris Pasternak's Nobel Prize-winning novel Doctor Zhivago from its Italian publisher in1963. At the time, David Lean was the only director who seemed capable ofpulling off such a large-scale production. On the strength of hisinternational success with Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Ponti hired him andgave him complete artistic control.

Lean's first choice for the title role was Peter O'Toole, who had risento stardom with his performance in Lawrence of Arabia. Havingsuffered through two years of shooting in the desert, however, O'Toole wasloath to commit to a similarly grueling film shoot in what promised to bedauntingly cold climates, so he turned the film down.

Then, Lean turned to the other actorwho had risen to stardom in Lawrence, Egyptian actor Omar Sharif.The casting was a surprise to everybody, including Sharif. He had askedhis agent to propose him for the role of Pasha, the student revolutionarywho becomes Zhivago's nemesis. Tom Courtenay would win an Oscar&nomination for his performance in that role.

After considering several other actresses for the lead, Lean choseBritish newcomer Julie Christie, over the studio's objections. He basedhis choice on one scenein Billy Liar (1963), in which she played opposite Courtenay and a few clips from Darling (1965), which was currentlyin production and would go on to win her international acclaim and anOscar®.

Lean also had to fight to cast Geraldine Chaplin, daughter of thelegendary Charlie Chaplin, as Zhivago's wife, Tonya. With the exception ofan uncredited bit in her father's Limelight (1952), it was her firstappearance in an English-language film.

It took two years to film Doctor Zhivago. Over 800 craftsmen inthree countries worked on the film. The final production budget was $14million, twice what the film's backers had agreed to.

The film's principal location in Spain was the C.E.A. Studios, near Madrid's international airport. Production designer John Box and his crew spent six months turning the ten-acre studio into a reproduction of Moscow between 1905 and 1920. Included in the set were a half-mile long paved street, trolley lines, an authentic replica of the Kremlin, a viaduct with real train engines, a church and more than 50 businesses. Publicists touted the set as the largest ever built for a film.

For Zhivago's trip through the Russian Steppes, Box constructed sets inthe mountains north of Madrid. This required diverting the course of ariver to fit Lean's vision and building miles of fresh railroadtracks.

Lean originally wanted to shoot each of the film's scenes in theappropriate season, so he scheduled a ten-month shoot. Unfortunately, hearrived in Spain during one of the country's mildest winters ever. Afterrepeated delays that added $2.5 million to the budget as he waited forsnow, he finally had to shoot during the warmer months.

Many winter scenes were shot in the summer, when actors had towithstand temperatures climbing to 116 degrees while muffled in Russianfurs. Costume designer Phyllis Dalton had to keep strict watch over theextras to make sure none of them were shedding layers of clothing to cooloff. Sharif would later note, "We had an army of make-up assistantswho every two minutes came and dabbed you because we were sweatingprofusely."

Doctor Zhivago was the second of three films teaming David Leanwith playwright Robert Bolt. Bolt had previously saved the Lawrence ofArabia (1962) script. Their third collaboration would be Ryan'sDaughter (1970), starring Bolt's wife, Sarah Miles.

Along with the reissue of Gone With the Wind (1939), DoctorZhivago saved MGM from bankruptcy in the mid-'60s. It also marked a new path for the historical epic.Previous films had simply focused on the scope of world-shaping events.With Zhivago director David Lean and scriptwriter Robert Boltbrought a new romantic sensibility to the epic. That Victorian ideal wouldinform such later blockbusters as Mary, Queen of Scots (1971),Lady Gray(1986) andTitanic (1997).

Doctor Zhivago was nominated for ten Academy Awards®,including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (TomCourtenay). It won for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography(Freddie Young), Best Art Direction (John Box), Best Costumes (PhyllisDalton) and Best Score (Maurice Jarre).

Producer: Carlo Ponti, David Lean, Arvid Griffen
Director: David Lean
Screenplay: Robert Bolt, Boris Pasternak (novel)
Cinematography: Freddie Young
Film Editing: Norman Savage
Art Direction: Terence Marsh, Gil Parrondo
Music: Maurice Jarre
Cast: Omar Sharif (Yuri Zhivago), Julie Christie (Lara), Tom Courtenay (Pasha Strelnikov), Geraldine Chaplin (Tonya), Rod Steiger (Komarovsky), Alec Guinness (Yevgraf).
C-200m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. Descriptive Video.

by Frank Miller

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