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On May 4 of this year Warner Brothers released its 45th Anniversary Edition of Doctor Zhivago on Blu Ray.
This epic story within a story tells about events during the period of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia at the turn of the twentieth century.
Dr Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif), a handsome physician and poet, is married to the lovely Tanya (played by Charlie Chaplin’s oldest daughter, Geraldine Chaplin), but is taken with Lara (Julie Christie), who is married to Pasha (Tom Courtenay), a Revolutionary. Yuri is so caught up in his feelings for Lara that at one point in the film he gets out of bed with his unsuspecting pregnant wife to go to Lara.
It is scenes like this that are sure to invoke the emotions of the viewers.
Director David Lean did a very good job of creating scenes that brought the viewer right to the edge without going over. For example, there’s a scene where protesters are overrun and massacred by the government police, but we don’t see the gory details of the massacre. We see the police overtaking the protesters, and then we see the aftermath, but we don’t see any actual violence nor do we notice that until we stop and think about it later.
David Lean was truly a gifted man to pull off such scenes, and he did so in other films, too – Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai.
It’s interesting to note that most of this film was actually shot in the summer heat of Madrid and not a frigid winter in Russia. Additionally, some of the scenic shots were from Spain, Finland and Canada. The scenery, might I add, is absolutely gorgeous!
It’s also interesting to note that apparently Rod Steiger (Komarovsky) and Geraldine Chaplin were the only Americans in the main cast, which also includes such notable actors as British actor Alec Guiness (Comrade Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago, half brother of Yuri Zhivago), British actor Ralph Richardson (Alexander), Polish actor Klaus Kinski (Kostoyed) and Irish actress Siobhan McKenna (Anna).
This is certainly a classic film worth watching, and each time you do you’ll get something new out of it. The cast, music, costumes, and the storyline all play together under the direction of one of Britain’s most outstanding directors to create a remarkably striking cinematic tale that the viewer isn’t likely to soon forget.
Own it on Blu Ray
The two disc set includes the film and new special features Doctor Zhivago: A Celebration Part 1 & 2 (all-new production) along with the following additional special features:
- Commentary by Omar Sharif, Rod Steiger and Lady Sandra Lean (wife of David Lean) Part 1 & 2
- Introduction by Omar Sharif
- Doctor Zhivago: The Making of a Russian Epic
- 11 Vintage Featurettes
- Zhivago: Behind the Camera with David Lean
- David Lean's Film of Doctor Zhivago
- Moscow in Madrid
- New York Press Interviews Omar Sharif
- New York Press Interviews Julie Christie
- Geraldine Chaplin Screen Test
- This is Omar Sharif
- This is Julie Christie
- This is Geraldine Chaplin
- Chaplin in New York
- Blu-ray Exclusive: 8-Song CD Soundtrack Sampler of the Oscar®-winning score
Date Available: May 4, 2010
For more information and to order, please visit www.wbshop.com
Visit the official DoctorZhivago site at www.DoctorZhivagoMovie.com