Boris Pasternak & David Lean
A Love Story
Doctor Zhivago is hardly unusual in David Lean‘s oeuvre for its huge ambitions but, for fans of movie love stories, the 1965 classic is often regarded as the most epic of them all.
Breathtaking landscapes, multiple story arcs covering decades, grand historical themes, 197 minutes of emotional devastation – films don’t get much bigger than this. Based on Borís Pasternak‘s famous novel, it is a long and complex journey through the chaos of the first world war and the Russian revolution, but at its heart it remains first and foremost a love story. It is a story of five people, three men in love with one woman and two women in love with one man.
Doctor Zhivago was nominated for 10 Oscars, including best picture, and won five of them, not including best picture. (The Sound of Music took it that year.) Doctor Zhivago is David Lean‘s last great film and is sometimes unfairly criticised (though nothing compared to the roasting he received for “Ryan’s Daughter” a few years later). Perhaps this is because it does not quite equal the quality of his previous works. Nevertheless, it collected a number of Oscars, made a fortune at the box office, and introduced the world to Maurice Jarre’s memorable “Lara’s Theme”