From the man who brought you Lawrence Of Arabia (1962) and The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957) comes Doctor Zhivago. The problem is that David Lean didn’t deliver on this one. The film is essentially a melodrama set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. The problem is the melodrama doesn’t really go anywhere and the story of the Russian Revolution stinks of American propaganda while at the same time not really involving us. There is also a pivotal scene that makes no sense. Doctor Zhivago is kidnapped by a squad from the Red Army. They keep for a while before decided whether or not to send him back to his wife and child. They decide to keep him, yet in the next scene from the middle of all these reds he turns his horse and heads in the opposite direction. They do nothing, and there is no explanation given as to why. Also, while I can buy Egyptian actor Omar Sharif as being Russian, British actress Julie Christie isn’t nearly as convincing. Especially when she does it with a British accent.
I know I have rode this film pretty hard, but that is only because these problems really make the 3 hour plus price tag tough to swallow. The film is very well made and very pretty look at, but see the other two David Lean masterpieces before considering this film.