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Dr. Zhivago (1965)



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On the heels of The Bridge On the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, the brilliant director David Lean made Dr. Zhivago, an epic romance set amidst the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Dr. Zhivago isn't as good as these two, but it is a lush, affecting tale nonetheless. Lean's vivid storytelling techniques and the gorgeous sets and costumes bring an unforgettable tale to Boris Pasternak's novel.

The first two hours are better than the third, which slows down and injects some contrivances to get the characters through to the ending. No matter. Even in its weakest moments, Dr. Zhivago is a sumptuous romantic drama, and in its strongest moments, it is moving and human. The time it takes to paint its characters is well worth it: how often are movie characters so well drawn and elicit such sympathy that we can empathize with all three corners of a love triangle?