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Doctor Zhivago [1965] [DVD]

[Dual Disc Format]*
277 customer reviews

Price: £5.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, Alec Guinness
  • Directors: David Lean
  • Writers: Boris Pasternak, Robert Bolt
  • Producers: Arvid Griffen, Carlo Ponti
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, German, Romanian, Bulgarian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jun. 2006
  • Run Time: 192 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (277 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005MHNO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 792 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Following 'Lawrence of Arabia' (1962), director David Lean continued his epic phase with this adaptation of Boris Pasternak's novel. During World War One, Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif) studies to become a doctor in Moscow. He marries his childhood sweetheart Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin), but is attracted to dressmaker's daughter Lara (Julie Christie), herself engaged to young revolutionary Pasha (Tom Courtenay). Lara is also conducting an affair with government official Komarovsky (Rod Steiger). Yuri and Lara's paths cross again in the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution, and the two begin a passionate affair.


David Lean's wintry adaptation of Boris Pasternak's melodramatic Russian Revolution romance, Doctor Zhivago, is a masterpiece of epic filmmaking, but one that risks leaving the viewer cold. Though none of the film was shot in the then USSR, Lean's assured technique nevertheless illuminates the breathtaking backgrounds magnificently: from the snowy wastes of the Urals to the strife-torn streets of Moscow, Lean stages a series of wonderful set-pieces showing war, revolution and its terrible aftermath. The problem lies in the foreground. Omar Sharif's entirely passive Zhivago is, we are told, a romantic poet of great sensitivity who internalises all his emotions and expresses them in verse. The trouble is the audience never gets to see a line of his poems, not even the centrally important "Lara" cycle. Thus Zhivago at the end of the picture is as much an emotional blank to us as he was at the beginning. His affair with the idealised beauty that is Julie Christie's Lara is also taken for granted by the filmmakers rather than set up in any convincing way, their mutual attraction remaining a mystery that creates a vacuum at the core of the picture. Given that none of the central characters with the exception of Rod Steiger's fire-breathing lecher Komarovsky ever give way to strong emotions, the romantic heart of the film remains oddly frigid. Matters are not helped by composer Maurice Jarre's incessant "Lara's Theme", which many will find teeth-grindingly irritating. Still, any David Lean epic, even a flawed one, is always going to be a first-class cinematic experience, and Zhivago is assuredly that.

On the DVD: A stunning anamorphic widescreen print is the ideal way to appreciate David Lean's craftsmanship and this movie's glorious, wintry cinematography. Maurice Jarre's "Lara's Theme" and the rest of his patchwork score can be heard in a music-only track, while Omar Sharif is joined by Lean's widow Sandra and Rod Steiger for an intermittent commentary. The second bonus disc contains a good hour-long making-of documentary plus 10 shorter contemporary documentaries giving various insights into the location shooting and the cast and crew. But it's the sheer beauty of the picture that will astonish and make this disc forever treasurable. --Mark Walker

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

135 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Philippa Christmass on 10 Dec. 2003
Format: DVD
I first saw this film about 10 years ago. I was an impressionable teenager and was swept away by the intensity and romanticism of this film. Coming to it again after all these years,I wasn't sure how I would react. But to say I was NOT disappointed would be an understatement. The first thing to say is that this film looks even more stunning on DVD - the breathtaking cinematography is served well by the transfer to DVD. I was struck again by the visual beauty and lyricism of this film, and I must disagree with the amazon review - I thought Omar Sharif and Julie Christie's performances were brilliant in a subtle, understated way. There is none of the cheesy overacting which mars so many films produced in the mid-sixties. Sharif is mesmerising - he brings a quiet, sensitive soulfulness to his role as Zhivago. This film is so long that the DVD actually contains an "intermission", but with such an intriguing, involving story, you don't notice the hours pass. I am generally not one for Hollywood epics, but after watching this again it's reinstated as one of my all-time favourite films. DVD was invented so that we can have the privilege of seeing these beautiful, classic films in all their intended glory.
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89 of 97 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Jun. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
David Lean was a filmmaker whose films could range from small budgeted london yarns to huge expensive period epics....and DR.Zhivago was one such huge epic...One look at the film and its scenes and you know that a master is at the helm.. Here are a few sweeping visuals which you'll be hit with... vast expanses of snow white steppes deep in the wild heart of russia...a funeral procession winding its way through the desolation... An orphaned boy after the loss of his mother looks up at a tree and the rustling breeze makes the leaves fly around like poetry in motion... thats how Lean can make his scenes work...immaculate sense of emotion accompanied by dazzling photography and rousing music...its a hook you cant escape..(Maurice Jarre`s Lara`s mum hums it...and so do I..its unforgettable) Anyways on with the film...its based on Boris Pasternak`s hugely complex novel...and the plot of the movie too is big...its spans across decades one thread holding it tight...Lean`s masterful story telling... I wont give away the story because the visuals of the film will affect you in its own way and i dont want to walk you through it... The performances in the film are good almost as extraordinary as 'Lawrence of Arabia'(Lean`s other small little film)...Omar Sharif and Julie Christie share a great chemistry....supported well by a huge cast especially good is the role of Komarovsky played by Rod Steiger... The camerawork by Freddie Young is flawless...epic in its scope and delicately pristine in its beauty....the snow never looked so good in the movies....see the ice palace...its the most haunting of all movie sets ive ever seen..See the scene where snow flakes melt on a window when the rays of the sun wash over it... There never has been and never will be a filmmaker like David Lean...his loss is a real dent in the world of cinema... Go see will know just why...!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Freddie Del Fuego on 2 Feb. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
The movie itself is a masterpiece of unrivalled film making and will remain a firm favourite of mine for a lazy Sunday afternoon, however BEWARE!

If you already own this film on DVD, Doctor Zhivago [DVD], and are reading these reviews to ascertain as to whether your money would be well spent upgrading to the Blu-ray edition, look no further and place your wallet back in your pocket.

I recently bought the 45th Anniversary Blu-ray edition Doctor Zhivago [Blu-ray] [1965] [Region Free] as an "upgrade" from my standard definition DVD and genuinely wish I hadn't. Aside from what can only be described as a mediocre HD transfer of varied quality, the major setback of this edition is simply that this movie really isn't suitable for an HD viewing experience. Rather than enhance the viewers enjoyment, the upgrade in clarity unfortunately detracts from the films original beauty, and instead draws the viewers attention away from the story and towards background sets, and it's here that this Blu-ray edition succeeds in destroying the illusion. Suddenly the streets of Moscow become wooden mock ups, the snow begins to look like paper from a snow machine, interior sets look exactly that, like a film set, and the illusion rapidly begins to fade.

I can only compare the experience to eventually learning the method behind the magic trick that baffled you for so long, and suddenly the illusion holds no further interest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ana Montez on 24 Aug. 2010
Format: Blu-ray
a great transposition to BD . Just marvellous . It is even more beautiful , than it was . It's a pitty that the transposition to BD of the great classics is done in such a slow way . Just 2 or 3 in a full year . BD is still an expensive product , at least here at Portugal , and I see that the major production of BD films is action/animation movies to be seen on playing game stations.
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