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.
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.
Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography-Colour; Best Art Direction-Colour; Best Costume Design-Colour; Best Music Score-Substantially Original
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Supporting Actor (Tom Courtenay); Best Director (David Lean); Best Film Editing; Best Sound
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition
Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (Omar Sharif); Best Director (David Lean); Best Screenplay; Best Original Score