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Vanya on 42nd Street (Criterion Collection)
The Criterion Collection
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In the nineties, André Gregory mounted a series of spare, private performances of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in a crumbling Manhattan playhouse. These treasures of pure theater would have been lost to time had they not been captured on film, with subtle cinematic brilliance, by Louis Malle (My Dinner with André). In Vanya On 42nd Street, a stellar cast of actors—including Wallace Shawn, Julianne Moore, Brooke Smith, and George Gaynes—embark on a full read-through of Uncle Vanya (adapted into English by David Mamet); the result is as memorable and emotional a screen version of Chekhov’s masterpiece as one could ever hope to see. This film, which turned out to be Malle’s last, is a tribute to the playwright’s devastating work as well as to the creative process itself.
New documentary featuring interviews with Andre Gregory, and the cast
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Steven Vineberg and more
Top customer reviews
Few people know that it was Chekhov who inspired Stanislavski to present his material in a totally realistic way -- which led to a worldwide revolution in not just theatre, but films as well.
The cast is top of the line, and it is directed by a master. I highly recommend this film, especially for Chekhov aficionados.
Jesse Lee Vint III
Truly an artistic achievement!