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BasilBruce

Dr. Zhivago Haters Gather Here!

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Oy vey, so many bad tippers!

You shouldn't have served them that ham and lobster sandwich!

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BasilBruce, on 17 Jul 2014 - 11:09 AM, said:snapback.png

 

 

 

 

Yep, ya see?! Even the RUSKIES don't use those dumb superfluous 'u's!!!

 

LOL

 

It's Lara, for yefgraf's sake.  :D

It's Larissa, to be precise -- Larissa Antipova.

 

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I think that one reason Zhivago is not as well liked as other Lean pictures is that the movie seems to come off smug. It just seems to have an overblown feel to it, almost as if you should like it because it is a David Lean picture. But to me the only characters that were cared for were Tonya and Pasha (even though he was a commie). To bad they didn't end up together. I still think Pasha could have lived if he had ran away, he must have been in shape from all that lonely long distance running. ;)

 

As someone said there is nothing wrong with loving Zhivago, after all I watch That Hagen Girl for a guilty pleasure.

The real reason why most people who dislike DR ZHIVAGO (and they are a small minority) dislike it is because it has what may be the most passive protagonist in the history of cinema.   Yuri Zhivago inevitably reacts to what goes on around him, but never instigates any action or activity.  He scarcely has an opinion or point of view, and that's a difficult thing for a movie audience to latch onto -- much more difficult than for readers of the novel, but it is precisely the point that novelist Boris Pasternak was trying to make: the kind of Every Man that Zhivago represents, who make up the vast bulk of members of a society and without whom no society can function, are ultimately the ones first abandoned by that society's unavoidable turn toward control by political elites who will twist the very ideals of the society to advance their increasingly selfish and self-aggrandizing ends.

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I also find the score annoying . . . although perhaps it's because I associate it with the movie.

No, it's the music; Maurice Jarre was a pretty dreadful composer.

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Interesting thread.

 

People hate "Doctor Zhivago", aren't sure about Rod Steiger and seemingly not too into Tom Courtenay.

 

Well, Bravo! Not that I agree with those thoughts necessarily but I am all for people being free to state that they do "hate" something as we can't all like the same things as that would be so boring.

 

I think for me, I can totally appreciate the artistry of Lean in all his pictures, this one included...but of all of them this one is the one I really don't enjoy watching again. It is a bit like forcing myself to read "Ulysses" by James Joyce again, as doing it once is enough of an accomplishment.

 

As for Steiger, I totally like him and enjoy the fact he can sometimes be a totally serious actor in a film, or be a total fop and act the fool in something like "The Loved One". What I would so enjoy seeing is if TCM would play his first tv version of the teleplay "Marty" as I've always wondered how Borgnine's performance would compare.

 

Tom Courtenay has always been appealing to me in his low-key style so I like him too.

 

Opinions about films are like a Rohrschach [spelling?] test to me, showing often more about the person viewing them than about the film itself. What one brings to the film, influences one's beliefs about its qualities mayhaps.

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As for Steiger, I totally like him and enjoy the fact he can sometimes be a totally serious actor in a film, or be a total fop and act the fool in something like "The Loved One". What I would so enjoy seeing is if TCM would play his first tv version of the teleplay "Marty" as I've always wondered how Borgnine's performance would compare.

 

The TV Marty is avaiable online and IMHO Steiger is far superior to Borgnine, heart-rending where EB is just awkward.

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Thank you, Richard Kimble for this information on the "Marty" teleplay.

 

I hear you are hiding out in Las Vegas, since there are so many One-Armed Bandits there.

 

True?

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No, it's the music; Maurice Jarre was a pretty dreadful composer.

Certainly he was with Clint Eastwood's Firefox.

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The real reason why most people who dislike DR ZHIVAGO (and they are a small minority) dislike it is because it has what may be the most passive protagonist in the history of cinema.   Yuri Zhivago inevitably reacts to what goes on around him, but never instigates any action or activity.  He scarcely has an opinion or point of view, and that's a difficult thing for a movie audience to latch onto -- much more difficult than for readers of the novel, but it is precisely the point that novelist Boris Pasternak was trying to make: the kind of Every Man that Zhivago represents, who make up the vast bulk of members of a society and without whom no society can function, are ultimately the ones first abandoned by that society's unavoidable turn toward control by political elites who will twist the very ideals of the society to advance their increasingly selfish and self-aggrandizing ends.

 

 

Yes, that's probably true about the Dr. (being passive). Plus, I think Sharif just doent have the charisma to carry the film, as say, the original choice (O'Toole) would have.......

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Yes, that's probably true about the Dr. (being passive). Plus, I think Sharif just doent have the charisma to carry the film, as say, the original choice (O'Toole) would have.......

I doan know, I think Sharif was just doing what Lean told 'em to do. Personally, I think Omar done good! :)  Like after some reds grab him and he gets interviewed by Strogonoff  :lol: Zhivago really gives him a good zinger with "your point, their village"..Of course, Strogonoff knew the guy was harmless when Zhivago told him he knew Lara.  :)

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I doan know, I think Sharif was just doing what Lean told 'em to do. Personally, I think Omar done good! :)  Like after some reds grab him and he gets interviewed by Strogonoff  :lol: Zhivago really gives him a good zinger with "your point, their village"..Of course, Strogonoff knew the guy was harmless when Zhivago told him he knew Lara.  :)

Of course, the real reason that Doctor Zhivago ultimately waxes flat is that David Lean seems to miss the whole point of the Pasternak novel. An entire culture subjugated by a relentless and soulless ideology and it's associated tyranny which seems completely lost on Lean, instead Lean sees it only as a backdrop to insert in spots like the old guy in the cap informing Zhivago and company about the murders of the royal family by them stinkin' bolsheviks while he delivers the morning paper to them. Lean is too indifferent to the bolshevik tyranny. Anyway, that's my take.

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Yes, that's probably true about the Dr. (being passive). Plus, I think Sharif just doent have the charisma to carry the film, as say, the original choice (O'Toole) would have.......

 

It's weird how Sharif is so good and intense and has so much presence in Lawrence of Arabia and so bland in about everything else he ever did.

 

I think he was the expected winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1962 and it was something of an upset when Ed Begley won for his vicious, tyrannical politician in Sweet Bird of Youth. Looking back at Sharif's career and subsequent exile from America (for an assault on a valet, apparently) it looks like it was one of those rare wise decisions on the part of the AMPAS.

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It's weird how Sharif is so good and intense and has so much presence in Lawrence of Arabia and so bland in about everything else he ever did.

 

I think he was the expected winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1962 and it was something of an upset when Ed Begley won for his vicious, tyrannical politician in Sweet Bird of Youth. Looking back at Sharif's career and subsequent exile from America (for an assault on a valet, apparently) it looks like it was one of those rare wise decisions on the part of the AMPAS.

Yeah, but in Lawrence of Arabia Sharif is playing an arab and not a pacifist russian.

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Of course, the real reason that Doctor Zhivago ultimately waxes flat is that David Lean seems to miss the whole point of the Pasternak novel. An entire culture subjugated by a relentless and soulless ideology and it's associated tyranny which seems completely lost on Lean, instead Lean sees it only as a backdrop to insert in spots like the old guy in the cap informing Zhivago and company about the murders of the royal family by them stinkin' bolsheviks while he delivers the morning paper to them. Lean is too indifferent to the bolshevik tyranny. Anyway, that's my take.

 

Da! Spokink like true Capitalisk, comrade!!! LOL

 

;)

 

Sorry ND, couldn't resist...but I would think if Lean had started proselytizing and propagandizing his flick, it PROBABLY would have turned out even WORSE!!!

 

(...'cause personally I CAN'T STAND when movies start doing that and end up pretty much telling their audiences to stop thinking for themselves 'cause IT will tell you all you need to know, AND from one particular point-of-view...nope, do NOT insult my intelligence by doing that, 'cause I think we get ENOUGH of THAT while watching those asinine political ads we now endlessly see on our TV sets!!!!)  

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I just now remembered that TCM used to show a between-the-films interview with Omar Sharif wherein he talked about how Lean insisted- in more artful words than mine- that he be a total blank as the title character. I didn't sense any frustration when he mentioned it, but he did seem to be saying it was quite a challenge to convey nothing, feel nothing, project nothing as an actor.

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I just now remembered that TCM used to show a between-the-films interview with Omar Sharif wherein he talked about how Lean insisted- in more artful words than mine- that he be a total blank as the title character. I didn't sense any frustration when he mentioned it, but he did seem to be saying it was quite a challenge to convey nothing, feel nothing, project nothing as an actor.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydMj_Bl5TFU

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Then I guess it's too bad Sharif didn't stand up more to Lean and allow him to express his character a little more, huh.

 

(...aaaah, but then again you folks DO know how for many years those Brits controlled those Egyptians, and so maybe there was some kinda "residual historic cultural dynamic" in play that kept Omar from doin' that, EH?!) ;)

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I may be wrong but i think peter O'Toole would have been horrible as the lead in this movie. He looks less Russian than Sharif and is much more aloof, which plays well in Lawrence of Arabia.

 

This movie was a massive success, I am not sure why anyone would change a thing with it. Yes the back story could be explained better, I agree but that leaves some mystery to the movie. At one point before the house and possessions are taken away there is a part where they are talking in the house and you hear gun shots. Those came from the firing squads that were eliminating all the resistance, but it is only casually noticed and is only a nuisance as it bothers them at night.

 

In the middle when they flee in the train, you see the train they are on is a beat up relic with filthy conditions yet the train that carries Strelnikov is brand new and modern. It shows the priorities of the new government, and that was only the beginning. Moscow was horrific at that point with massive starvation and destitution.

 

They originally wanted to film this in the Soviet Union but couldn't because the Soviets didn't want a movie made about how they treated the people. It is actually lucky for the production team as i couldn't imagine being subjected to making a movie like this with them watching every time you open an eyelid.

 

And things are still bad, just look at the recent Olympics, they only allowed people one piece of toilet paper when they used the bathrooms. Some things never change, lol.

 

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I just now remembered that TCM used to show a between-the-films interview with Omar Sharif wherein he talked about how Lean insisted- in more artful words than mine- that he be a total blank as the title character. I didn't sense any frustration when he mentioned it, but he did seem to be saying it was quite a challenge to convey nothing, feel nothing, project nothing as an actor.

 

LOL. No wonder he comes off so bland............

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And things are still bad, just look at the recent Olympics, they only allowed people one piece of toilet paper when they used the bathrooms. Some things never change, lol.

 

Wow! I didn't know that, MM!

 

So, ya think there might have been a lot of people asking other people if they could "spare a square"???

 

(...you Seinfeld fans out there will get this one)

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I may be wrong but i think peter O'Toole would have been horrible as the lead in this movie. He looks less Russian than Sharif and is much more aloof, which plays well in Lawrence of Arabia.

 

This movie was a massive success, I am not sure why anyone would change a thing with it. Yes the back story could be explained better, I agree but that leaves some mystery to the movie. At one point before the house and possessions are taken away there is a part where they are talking in the house and you hear gun shots. Those came from the firing squads that were eliminating all the resistance, but it is only casually noticed and is only a nuisance as it bothers them at night.

 

In the middle when they flee in the train, you see the train they are on is a beat up relic with filthy conditions yet the train that carries Strelnikov is brand new and modern. It shows the priorities of the new government, and that was only the beginning. Moscow was horrific at that point with massive starvation and destitution.

 

They originally wanted to film this in the Soviet Union but couldn't because the Soviets didn't want a movie made about how they treated the people. It is actually lucky for the production team as i couldn't imagine being subjected to making a movie like this with them watching every time you open an eyelid.

 

And things are still bad, just look at the recent Olympics, they only allowed people one piece of toilet paper when they used the bathrooms. Some things never change, lol.

 

 

Hard to say about O'Toole. His hair was dyed blonde for Lawrence, so he would've at least blended in with his real hair color. And with most of the cast being British, fit right in too......

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Wow! I didn't know that, MM!

 

So, ya think there might have been a lot of people asking other people if they could "spare a square"???

 

(...you Seinfeld fans out there will get this one)

 

 

LMREO!!!!!! (I dont have a square to spare........)

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Well, personally I think O'Toole would have been GREAT as a Russian, especially considering he was master as projecting that certain "haunted, faraway, pessimistic and fatalistic look" on his face.

 

(...and pretty much like Russians are anyway, RIGHT?!) ;)

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