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Archive for August 13th, 2014

Doctor_Zhivago_1

by Judy Geater

I’m not sure how old I was when I first saw ‘Doctor Zhivago’ – maybe 11 or 12. But it immediately made a strong impression on me as the most romantic film imaginable, with its Russian setting, endless stretches of snow and central couple whirled along by violent and turbulent events beyond their control. Above all, the atmosphere is created by Maurice Jarre’s haunting score, and the sound of the balalaika. I’ve seen the film many times since then, though sadly never on the big screen as yet, and it has always cast the same spell.

Omar Sharif and Julie Christie seem perfectly cast as Zhivago and his true love Lara. So it’s strange to read in the TCM article on the film that director David Lean originally wanted to cast Peter O’Toole as Zhivago, after working with him on ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. Although O’Toole was a great actor, I can’t quite imagine him giving the understated performance that Sharif gives, constantly watching others and reacting to them. (more…)

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