Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1965. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Carlo Ponti Production. Screenplay by Robert Bolt, based on the novel by Boris Pasternak. Cinematography by Freddie Young. Produced by Carlo Ponti. Music by Maurice Jarre. Production Design by John Box. Costume Design by Phyllis Dalton. Film Editing by Norman Savage. Academy Awards 1965. Cannes Film Festival 1966. Golden Globe Awards 1965.
David Lean followed his epic Lawrence of Arabia with this equally large and mostly impressive screen adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s novel. It stars Omar Sharif as a Russian doctor whose marriage to placid Geraldine Chaplin is threatened by his love of a political activist’s wife (Julie Christie, the same year she won an Oscar for Darling and achieved international stardom). The large canvas of the film is set against the backdrop of the Bolshevik Revolution, so although the plot itself isn’t always as interesting as it wants to be, the grand spectacle keeps you enthralled all the same. It’s not as intelligent as Lawrence or as arresting, but it has unforgettable visuals that truly capture the huge, icy scope of Russia and a beautiful score by Maurice Jarre that will play in your head for days.