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4.5 out of 5 stars351
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 10 December 2003
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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on 26 June 2001
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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on 2 February 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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on 7 July 2011
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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on 24 August 2010
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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on 7 February 2012
The blu-ray transfer is much better than I had hoped for. Amazing for a film this old. I failed to notice when I purchased this that there is a note stating that the special feature dvd may not be viewable outside of Europe. I can verify that to be is not viewable in the US. Nevertheless, I'm pleased with the purchase even without the special feature disk.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 November 2011
Although I am about to write a good review and the DVD quality is excellent both visually and orally on this remastered version and especially at these prices, I recommend seeing this in the cinema; David Lean's films are all too substantial to fit into a small screen - the vastness of the desert, the violence of a stormy Irish sea, the towering mountains of Bangalore or a huge steam locomotive dwarfed by the Russian emptiness.

This film is too well-known to need a full review and there are fifty-five anyway. Lean, Sharif, Christie, Steiger and Pasternak combined to make this lengthy, stunningly beautiful classic, the love story, "par excellence" with a haunting soundtrack which becomes a part of viewers.

Highly recommended but see the product details for all the technical information (if you need it).
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on 8 November 2009
This was such a great historical movie. I liked it better than Lawrence of Arabia--but that is just me. The scenes which show Russia as a place of alien beauty are great. AND the two leads, Julie Christie and Omar Sharif, are perfect. It made me a Julie Christie fan all those many years ago. One should see "Away from Her" to see her as a still beutiful yet soo different. She is not defined by her beauty. And its great that That generation still has a movie star peformning at the top of her skills. (Where is Jane Fonda, Faye Dunaway, Liv Ullman (a director now actually, but you see?....age and skilled and skilled is not really allowable these days on film. A big hurrah for Ms. Christie.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 December 2010
This is my favourite film of all time. I've watched it again and again and have just ordered another DVD as the one I bought 4 years ago has a scratch on the surface and doesn't play smoothly anymore. I notice that a few of the low-rated reviews are by people who thought they only received half the film and sadly didn't realize that the DVD is two-sided.

It's a great story that leaves one feeling sad but also uplifted by the sense that one has witnessed an intimate love story played out against a life-changing period in history. One of the joys of the film is the wonderful film-making skills of David Lean who captures the sheer scale and majesty of the breath-taking scenery.
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on 1 September 2011
I already had this film, but on a videocassette which was becoming a little rough. Doctor Zhivago is a truly wonderful film ... the sumptuous acting, the sets; Julie Christie so very beautiful ... I need an occasional fix, and so had to replace the videotape with a DVD.

As a historical presentation the film is reasonably accurate, but no-one ever bought or watched it as a history lesson ... one can just luxuriate in the beauty of the acting, and be swept away by the personal tragedies in there. Utterly splendid. Utterly timeless ... heartbreakingly beautiful. If I was marooned on a desert island, with just two videos, then this, and American Graffiti, would keep me content.
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