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118 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully restored masterpiece on 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...
Published on 10 Dec 2003 by Philippa Christmass

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3.0 out of 5 stars History reduced to soap opera
Handsomely produced, yes; great drama, no. Robert Bolt's screenplay boils Pasternak's novel down to romantic basics, so much so you'd think the Russian Revolution was stage just as a backdrop for this love story. And how is it possible to make a movie about a great poet without sharing one word of his poetry? David Lean gives us lot of shots of Sharif starring...
Published 15 days ago by James M. Shertzer


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118 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully restored masterpiece on DVD, 10 Dec 2003
By 
Philippa Christmass (Perth, WA Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Zhivago [1965] [DVD] (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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars David Lean's Epic Shines on Blu Ray, 7 July 2011
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The Bolshevik rebellion as seen through the eyes of poet/doctor Zhivago(Omar Sharif) and his myriad relationships with notably his wife Tonya(Geraldine Chaplin),wily entrepreneur Komarovsky(Rod Steiger),rebellion leader Pasha Antipov(Tom Courtney) and most tellingly of all Antipov's estranged wife Lara(the radiant Julie Christie).

Handsome production with brilliant production design by John Box is a triumph of storytelling being beautifully intimate for the most part while set against the epic backdrop of stunning vistas and wonderful set pieces- notably the railway journey through the Urals being the pick of the bunch.Performances are excellent with Steiger dialling down his usual bombastic style to very good effect probably the pick of the bunch and alhough nearly 200 mins in length it never sags and Lean can be forgiven the regular contrivances of the narrative and the heavy use of symbolism to convey messages and mood changes because there is a richness of atmosphere and a sense of history that permeates the whole film.Freddie Young's dazzling work as DP is truly extrodinary.

I can't be the only one to have never watched D Zhivago before and plumped for the blu even though i've had the 2 disc stan def for a couple of yrs now and i wasn't disappointed.Popping in the stan def after,the blu is certainly an improvement on it with the interiors looking wonderful and the sunflower in the hospital is quite beautiful as is Chaplin captured so exquisitely as she alights the train resplendent in her pink military style coat.The dts 5.1 sound is excellent too emphasising Maurice Jarre's now legendary score and the sequence of the charge across the ice is both an auditory and visual highlight.

A very worthwhile investment in a superb film.
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85 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr.Zhivago:Lean`s next great masterpiece., 26 Jun 2001
By A Customer
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 theme...my 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 Dr.Zhivago...you will know just why...!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Zhivago is an epic story of love in a Russian winter., 18 Feb 2001
There's one thing you can say with certainty about Doctor Zhivago, you get your money's worth! Would cinema goers today stand for every detail being included in a film? Perhaps not, but back in 1965 Doctor Zhivago was a total Cinemascope Stereosound experience. Not only that but we explored Russian tradgedy in it's most extreme form as only those East of the Urals know it. The music is incredible, sweeping in like snow over the frozen Steppes providing the background for.......well, one tragedy after another. I liked this film more not knowing it was shot in Spain. However, doesn't it show us how hard life used to be and how much we take for granted now? Julie Christie is beautiful and Tom Courtney handsome in this brilliant, sad movie. A product of it's time yes, providing entertainment for the bingo generation, yet it also teaches us a lesson of taking time and space......and in this classic you can feel the quality if not the width of understanding.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a gift!, 16 Dec 2008
By 
N. C. Bateman (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Zhivago [1965] [DVD] (DVD)
Age cannot wither it, nor custom stale its infinite variety. All human (or at least Russian) life is here in a stupendous, rich DVD transfer - spotless and detailed. You get everything, too - they've put in the overture and entr'acte title cards and music so you can have an intermission just as they used to in the cinema. The film is huge and you can really lose yourself in it. Yes, a lot of the book had to be cut. Yes, Omar Sharif never quite fits the role and yes, "Lara's Theme" can grate after a while - but against that you have Julie Christie at her most luminous, Rod Steiger at his most arrogant (but all broken up inside), some of the greatest landscape photography you'll ever see and a historical sweep that somehow remains human in scale. Disc one has the film on both sides - two-thirds of it is on side A (which is DVD-9) and the last third is on side B (which is DVD-5). The second disc (also DVD-5) has plenty of documentaries, archive clips, interviews and reminiscences and shows the astonishing amount of work it takes to make a film like this. You get a lot for your money.

Update: Sometime in the first half of 2009, the image on this page changed to one of a mostly red cover (the one I have and wrote about was mostly white). I'm not sure if it's the same edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest, 23 July 2008
By 
G. Holland - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I first saw this film 30 years ago and was bowled over by the scenery and the actors. Recently I decided to watch it with a more critical eye and found to my surprise that I was even more captivated by the vastness of the landscape which throughout the film forms the backdrop for the tragic love story that unfolds.
At first I thought that Sharif's Zhivago was too "soft" but as the film unfolded I realised that he was "the poet". Christie was as always perfect as Lara and we shouldn't forget Chaplin as the dutiful and loving wife. She plays the role with just the right amount of pathos. However it is Steiger and Courtney who carry the film.
The sight of Courtney standing at the front of a military train rushing past civilians that he neither sees or hears. Here is a man now utterly devoted to the cause of the revolution, who had finally overcome any emotional attachment he may have had to anyone. The train rushing through only served to symbolise the inevitability of civil war on a grand scale.
Steiger produced his best in this film as a greedy, powerful and deeply flawed man who when confronted with Lara (whom he desired) would risk all to help, although there would always be a price to pay.
Yes, Steiger and Courtney were superb,very well cast and for me they carried the film.
Of course Hollywood, being Hollywood the Revolution itself was glossed over to some extent. The book has a much sharper focus.
This film must stand as one of the greatest ever made and believe me I rarely give such praise.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wouldn't it have been lovely if we'd met before?", 7 May 2006
This review is from: Doctor Zhivago [1965] [DVD] (DVD)
"Doctor Zhivago" (1965) is simply an outstanding film, directed by David Lean and based on a novel of the same written by Boris Pasternak. How good is it? Well, it lasts more than three hours, but that doesn?t seem long, as you quickly become immersed in the story.

The movie begins with a flashback, as General Yevgraf Zhivago (Alec Guinness) is looking for the lost daughter of his dead brother, Yuri Zhivago, and a woman named Lara. Zhivago s book, "Lara s poems", was forbidden for a long time in the URSS, but has given him fame. Yevgraf talks to a beautiful young woman (Rita Tushingham) that could well be Zhivago s daughter, and he begins to tell her the story of her parents.

Truth to be told, I cannot describe well enough all you will see in this movie. Suffice it to say that "Dr. Zhivago" is an incredibly good love story, set against the backdrop of the First World War and the Russian revolution. Yuri (Omar Sharif) is a doctor and a poet whose opinions eventually land him in trouble, as they are far from politically correct. Lara (Julie Christie) is a woman that has survived very tragic events, and that married the wrong man, a fanatic obsessed with revolution who thinks that "The personal life is dead in Russia. History has killed it". Lara and Yuri briefly meet each other in their youth, but it is only much later that they realize they are in love. Unfortunately, by that time they both are married. They go their separate ways, but... this film wouldn t be so long if the story finished there :)

If you are interested in what happened to them, and want to know whether the young woman is their daughter, please watch "Dr. Zhivago". Not all your questions will be answered, but you will enjoy a film that really deserves to be called a classic. Highly recommended!

Belen Alcat
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsuitable for HD viewing!, 2 Feb 2014
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. As such I could only bring myself to watch an hour of the Blu-ray before I had to eject the disc and replace it with my standard definition DVD, and instantly the magic returned. The standard definition disc with it's "inferior" quality serves to disguise the background adequately, and manages to restore the look of the movie from High Definition film set, to Standard Definition movie magic. I only hope that in time and with a few Sunday viewings of my faithful DVD edition, I can eventually forget that I once witnessed the puppets strings.

Some movies were made to be watched in High Definition, Dr Zhivago just isn't one of them!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning..., 9 Sep 2013
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....movie which looks amazing on Blu-Ray and this Steelbook version only adds to it. Even if you already own this in some other format I would definitely recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Zhivago - Blu-ray version, 28 Mar 2013
By 
Billie K. Fuller (Hervey Bay, QLD, Australia) - See all my reviews
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Excellent blu-ray version of a classic movie. The video is crisp, clear and clean. The audio is clear, with good use of all the speakers, without it being obvious. There is a very good spread of sound across the front speakers, with some use of the rears.
While the titular character is selfish and unfaithful, the story provides a fascinating look at how the Russian Revolution affected the lives of the people it was happening to.
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Doctor Zhivago [DVD] [1965] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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