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Dr. Zhivago Haters Gather Here!


BasilBruce

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It seems to me that when people bring up their least favorite movie Dr. Zhivago always comes up. So I figured we should Discover why we dislike it so much. Please tell me I'm not alone in wishing David Lean had stuck to warm places.

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I can't honestly say that I hate Dr. Zhivago, because I've never been able to stay awake for more than a reel or two of it.  I'm just not a fan of Big Time Epic dramas, especially with Omar Sharif.  Because of Sharif, I probably slotted it into my hated "swashbuckler" category, and that finished off whatever interest I might have had in finishing it.  I would take a lot of money to make me sit through a "swashbuckler".

 

But since it's the 8th highest grossing movie of all time, there must be a few people out there who like it, and they buy sneakers, too. ;)

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There's just something smug and pleased with itself (redundant -if it's smug, it's ipso facto going to be pleased with itself) about this film.

My main complaint with it is, it's soooooo long. I don't like epics anyway (I don't care for Lawrence of Arabia either, but I gather you like that one, by your allusion to warm weather settings...).

 

Something happened to David Lean in the late 50s. Before that he made really good movies. My theory is, he caught some kind of illness during the filming of Bridge on the River Kwai (a rare kind of malaria, brought on by a bite from a Sri Lankan mosquito ) that affected his brain. Henceforth he was seized with an obsession to make big long fat epic movies (it had something to do with rejecting his last name.)

 

I do like BOTRK, but that was the last thing he made I do really like.

 

They should have made Zhivago's wife more dislikable if they wanted the audience to sympathize with him. She doesn't deserve being dumped by him for Julie Christie.

I know, I know, people have affairs all the time, whether they're married to good, nice spouses or not. But it doesn't help Dr. Zhivago's case that Geraldine Chaplin is a good person who loves her husband and family.

 

This is NOT really why I dislike the film so, just one of several reasons. (You could ask Dante for the others...)

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It seems to me that when people bring up their least favorite movie Dr. Zhivago always comes up. So I figured we should Discover why we dislike it so much. Please tell me I'm not alone in wishing David Lean had stuck to warm places.

I love epics. I love David Lean. I think A Passage to India is his real masterpiece though I like his other films as well. But try as I did a few times, I could not get into Dr. Zhivago. As far as Russia goes, I love Reds, an epic romance that takes place partly in Russia. But Dr. Z -- no. I far prefer Dr. X and The Black Pit of Dr. M.

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I can't honestly say that I hate Dr. Zhivago, because I've never been able to stay awake for more than a reel or two of it.  I'm just not a fan of Big Time Epic dramas, especially with Omar Sharif.  Because of Sharif, I probably slotted it into my hated "swashbuckler" category, and that finished off whatever interest I might have had in finishing it.  I would take a lot of money to make me sit through a "swashbuckler".

 

But since it's the 8th highest grossing movie of all time, there must be a few people out there who like it, and they buy sneakers, too. ;)

 

Just like you I have never seen the enitre film Dr. Zhivago.    I have seen parts here and there but since what I saw didn't spark any interest I hit the remote.    I do think Lawrence of Arabia is a great movie and I don't find it boring (i.e. too slow or too long).

 

8th highest grossing movie of all time?  That does surprise me.   Well does the total include those that asked for their money back?  (as well as 3 hours of their life!).

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If you are going to hate a David Lean picture- then my choice would be the overblown in more ways than one "Ryan's Daughter"

But at least Ireland was so beautiful in that film!

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Yeah, I too can't say I "hate it", as I've always felt the cinematography is excellently done. However, perhaps primarily because I've felt the thin romance storyline of which I've never picked up on any real "chemistry" going on between the two leads, I've pretty much thought of this film as one of Lean's "lesser efforts".

 

(...in fact, I've always thought of this story as sort of an "Ashley and a slightly nicer Scarlett had run off together during the political upheaval of their own country", and without a more bolder central character(i.e. Rhett) it pretty much equals "BOR-ing")

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A good point made was there was no chemistry between Shariff and Christie. The movie is billed as an epic love story, spanning years and frostbite. Why? Why do Zhivgo and Laura like each other more importantly, why do we like them?

 

Although I must say the music is magical.

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As is Sarah Miles. And Terrance Stamp. I mean Christopher Jones (they look alike?)

Christopher Jones did not have a very big career, but he was good in Ryan's Daughter, and in Chubasco and Three in the Attic. 

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It seems to me that when people bring up their least favorite movie Dr. Zhivago always comes up. So I figured we should Discover why we dislike it so much. Please tell me I'm not alone in wishing David Lean had stuck to warm places.

 

The "least favorite acclaimed movie" was the only question I answered on the Fun Questions thread.

It was the one I knew I had to answer.

 

As I have mentioned before, I really love Julie Christie, but I really hate  DR ZHIVAGO.

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The "least favorite acclaimed movie" was the only question I answered on the Fun Questions thread.

It was the one I knew I had to answer.

 

As I have mentioned before, I really love Julie Christie, but I really hate  DR ZHIVAGO.

I had heard -- don't know if this is true -- that Warren Beatty wanted Julie Christie for Reds, but couldn't get her.  I love Diane Keaton in that film, not sure Christie would have that lightness for Louise Bryant, but in one scene you can actually see how Beatty directs Keaton as Christie.

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A good point made was there was no chemistry between Shariff and Christie. The movie is billed as an epic love story, spanning years and frostbite. Why? Why do Zhivgo and Laura like each other more importantly, why do we like them?

 

Although I must say the music is magical.

 

I think you should change the title of this thread to something like 'tell me why you love Dr. Zhivago'.     This might be chum to bring in those that really do care for the film and maybe they could explain why.    Right now its all very one-sided  (but that doesn't surprise me).

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I was thinking about the David Lean movie 'RYAN'S DAUGHTER' and I wondered if anyone else thought the music score for it and 1984's 'A PASSAGE TO INDIA' sounded a lot alike?  Without going and checking I think Maurice Jarrè scored both movies and won an Oscar for 'PASSAGE TO INDIA'.  I like the music, but when I finally saw RYAN'S DAUGHTER last year (I'd already seen 'A PASSAGE TO INDIA' several times > Peter Sellers re-incarnated as Alec Guinness!) I was surprised at how alike the music scores were.

 

    And so it goes . . .

 

    In replying to the topic at hand I don't mind DR. ZHIVAGO.  I've seen it twice.  I thought it was pretty good (**½ stars out of ****).  And speaking of Zero Romantic Chemistry next to 'THE WEDDING PLANNER' ol' DR. Z looks better.  J Lo and Matt McC had -minus- amounts of chemistry in that RomCom I watched one time.  I thought J Lo was ok but found Matt most unconvincing.

 

 Doris Day and Ray Bolger in 'APRIL IN PARIS' had no chemistry and yet I kinda liked the movie despite that.   

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I was thinking about the David Lean movie 'RYAN'S DAUGHTER' and I wondered if anyone else thought the music score for it and 1984's 'A PASSAGE TO INDIA' sounded a lot alike?  Without going and checking I think Maurice Jarrè scored both movies and won an Oscar for 'PASSAGE TO INDIA'.  I like the music, but when I finally saw RYAN'S DAUGHTER last year (I'd already seen 'A PASSAGE TO INDIA' several times > Peter Sellers re-incarnated as Alec Guinness!) I was surprised at how alike the music scores were.

 

    And so it goes . . .

 

    In replying to the topic at hand I don't mind DR. ZHIVAGO.  I've seen it twice.  I thought it was pretty good (**½ stars out of ****).  And speaking of Zero Romantic Chemistry next to 'THE WEDDING PLANNER' ol' DR. Z looks better.  J Lo and Matt McC had -minus- amounts of chemistry in that RomCom I watched one time.  I thought J Lo was ok but found Matt most unconvincing.

 

 Doris Day and Ray Bolger in 'APRIL IN PARIS' had no chemistry and yet I kinda liked the movie despite that.   

Yes, absolutely the scores are similar. I remember thinking that when I first saw A Passage to India.  Forster's novel is one of my favorite books, and I was concerned about a film version. But I was so elated watching what Lean did with the book, that I felt like standing up in the Ziegfeld Theater and cheering!  Even where Lean may have diverted slightly from the actual plot, he is uncannily true to the spirit of that great novel. And the mystery of A Passage to India persists -- I think Lean depicted that SO cleverly!

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They should have made Zhivago's wife more dislikable if they wanted the audience to sympathize with him. She doesn't deserve being dumped by him for Julie Christie.I know, I know, people have affairs all the time, whether they're married to good, nice spouses or not. But it doesn't help Dr. Zhivago's case that Geraldine Chaplin is a good person who loves her husband and family.

 

Maybe if she was played by Ernest Borgnine in a Babushka?

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Dang, don't nobody like Zhivago.

 

For the record, I'm okay with it, but it's a slender story that doesn't need that much time to tell.

 

I read somewhere that David Lean was devastated by the mixed-to-bad reviews he got for the film, which nonetheless was a HUGE hit and was nominated for the picture/Director Oscar and DGA award for Best Director (the latter of which surprised him quite a bit since he thought so many critics "hated" the film.)

 

If it hadn't been for The Sound of Music, it would likely have won.  

 

He only did two more pictures, I think. The smilarly devisive Ryan's Daughter, which I' ve never seen and which again, bad notices from sent him into seclusion; and A Passage to India, which I like very very very much and- oddly enough- first saw at age eight when it was in frequent rotation on HBO. I remember getting into an argument with my dad because he hated India and I lwas captivarted even though there was much I did not understand about the story.

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The movie is overblown. Like somebody said no chemistry between Sharif and Christie but if you wanna take a cold dirty freezing train ride to adiyatin or whatever the hell it was called, this is the movie for you. They give a best supporting oscar to Tom Courtenay who plays who? Strogonoff? :lol:  a performance with all the vigor of a zombie and they pass on Rod Steiger as Komerovsky, the only decent performance in the film. What a very cold turkey.  :lol:  

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I like "Doctor Shivago" it has some many memorable sequences - from the funeral, to the massacre of the peasants, to the train journey.... Christopher Jones seemed to have some sort of mental problem Lean had a terrible time directin him in "Ryan's Daughter"- the only thing I don't like about "A Passage to India" is the music score.

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They give a best supporting oscar to Tom Courtenay who plays who? Strogonoff? :lol:  a performance with all the vigor of a zombie and they pass on Rod Steiger as Komerovsky, the only decent performance in the film. .   

 

 

Courtenay was nominated for Best Supporting Actor but lost to Martin Balsam in A Thousand Clowns. Points for spelling his name right though (not easy.)

 

I don't care for Steiger, but this is one of those rare instances where, for whatever reason, he's not cranking it at an 11. He runs an even paced 7 throughout the whole thing and it's nice for a change. Plus his role is kind of small...if I remember correctly (and I don't always.)

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Courtenay was nominated for Best Supporting Actor but lost to Martin Balsam in A Thousand Clowns. Points for spelling his name right though (not easy.)

 

I don't care for Steiger, but this is one of those rare instances where, for whatever reason, he's not cranking it at an 11. He runs an even paced 7 throughout the whole thing and it's nice for a change. Plus his role is kind of small...if I remember correctly (and I don't always.)

I batted zero with my Oscar choices that year (I was young then). I wanted Oskar Werner, Simone Signoret, Michael Dunn, and Ruth Gordon. But I liked Balsam and loved Cat Ballou that year, so I didn't really mind that Lee Marvin won Best Actor, though I usually hate actors who play drunks.

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