Doctor Zhivago (Deluxe Edition)
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David Lean's Doctor Zhivago is an exploration of the Russian Revolution as seen from the point of view of the intellectual, introspective title character (Omar Sharif). As the political landscape changes, and the Czarist regime comes to an end, Dr.Zhivago's relationships reflect the political turmoil raging about him. Though he is married, the vagaries of war lead him to begin a love affair with the beautiful Lara (Julie Christie). But he cannot escape the machinations of a band of selfish and cruel characters: General Strelnikov (Tom Courtenay), a Bolshevik General; Komarovsky (Rod Steiger), Lara's former lover; and Yevgraf (Alec Guinness), Zhivago's sinister half-brother. This epic, sweeping romance, told in flashback, captures the lushness of Moscow before the war and the violent social upheaval that followed. The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was 14 years old when I first saw “Doctor Zhivago” in our local theater. At that time, the adults in my life didn’t think it was an appropriate film for someone as young as me. (It certainly was a different time back then.) They permitted me anyway, mainly, I suspect, because it’s based on a classic Russian novel that was then being banned by the Soviet government.
I came away from my first viewing of “Doctor Zhivago” with an abiding affection for the film and all its stars. Even now, fifty years later, this is a magical film for me. It’s epic in proportion. It has a hauntingly beautiful love story. It’s tells a fascinating story about a little known time in history. It’s technically gorgeous, filled with grand and colorful scenes, wonderful acting, eloquent dialogue, and hauntingly beautiful music.
Even though the pace of “Doctor Zhivago” is long (over 3 hours) and a bit slow in places, (especially by today’s standards), the story never drags. It is an intensely compelling drama that’s also a superb war story, a heartbreaking love story, and an exciting high adventure.
I recently purchased the streaming rights to “Doctor Zhivago” from Amazon Video. The film is presented in high definition. The video and audio qualities are both first-rate, certainly much better than my old DVD version of the film.
“Doctor Zhivago” is an essential film for any movie collection. Most highly recommended.
On my 60" plasma screen, this "Blu Ray" version had the same visual beauty as the original theater experience. The color, the clarity, and the depth of the cinematic feel reminded me of seeing it in the theater 50 years ago. My only reservation is that the sound quality of the "Blu Ray" DVD seemed a little thin. I have a low priced, but decent, Yamaha surround sound system and I expected a little more of a theater experience from the sound track, particularly the music.
Additional note about "Blu Ray" versions of older movies: I don't really know how they are made. Do they go back and scan every frame of the original? Do they play the film version on a screen and record it with a digital camera? Certainly, they don't just digitize the VHS tape, do they? We are way beyond that quality level. How they do it matters because I'm spending a lot of money on "Blu Ray" DVD's, and I want this to be the last time I ever have to buy a particular classic. I don't want to buy these all over again when the 4K Blu Ray version comes out.
Most of the "Blu Ray" classics I have bought are very high quality, and way beyond the standard definition DVD's that I have of the same movie. I have been impressed with the "Blu Ray" versions of Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lawrence of Arabia, and others. But, I'm not sure the lesser know classics have received the same attention to detail. I would like to know that they meet some standard of quality before buying them. Any input on this would be greatly appreciated.
In 1965 is was not possible to film this story in the Soviet Union however Lean chose locations that are faithful proxies for Moscow, the Russian steppes, and the Ural mountains.
I urge anyone with a soul to see this movie. It is without doubt a master work in film.