Audrey Hepburn’s compassion intensified during early hardship, growing up in Europe during World War II. Travelers to Europe today would find it difficult to imagine that enduring near-starvation was the plight of one who lived to become the most iconic movie star of her era. World War II left its ugly mark on many people, but blessed with physical beauty, a delightful personality, and great stamina, Hepburn survived to brighten lives around the world with her presence onscreen. This month, at a very different time, she brightens our lives once again as we watch the movie, Charade (Donen, 1963). Continue reading Charade Showcases Dazzling Audrey Hepburn
Pre-Movie Night Reading
Director: David Lean
Date of Release: 1965
Awards: Five Oscars in 1966, Five Golden Globes in 1967, and multiple others
Omar Sharif as Doctor Zhivago
Julie Christie as Lara
Alec Guiness as Yevgraf
This movie is an epic drama about Russian physician, Yuri Zhivago, who experiences the dramatic upheavals that WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution bring to his homeland. Throughout the story, idealist Zhivago endures numerous hardships, which includes falling in love with a nurse, Lara, when he also loves his wife and family.
Read beforehand to enhance the movie-watching experience:
- Much of the movie takes place between 1912 to 1925, which spans World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the Russian Civil War.
- It is based on the novel by Boris Pasternak, which was smuggled out of Russia and eventually published in Italy in 1957. The Soviet Union finally allowed the book to be viewed by the public in 1988.
- The film was shot in Spain during the regime of General Francisco Franco. While the scene with the crowd chanting the Marxist theme was being filmed at 3:00 am, local police showed up at the set thinking that a real revolution was taking place. Apparently, people who lived near the filming venue woke up to the sound of revolutionary singing, and mistakenly believed that Franco had been overthrown. As the extras sang the revolutionary Internationale for a protest scene, the secret police surveyed the crowd, making many of the extras pretend that they didn’t know the words. (Source: IMDb)
- Doctor Zhivago is well known for its soundtrack, particularly Maurice Jarre’s “Lara’s Theme,” which won an Academy Award for Best Music Score.
For some apolitical men, a conscientious few, ideas need not have a practical application. They are of intrinsic worth. The advantage to be gained by exploiting an idea is of no concern. These men love ideas for the sake of wisdom, tranquility, and transcendence; Zhivago was such a man.
—Ian Bloom, Illumined Illusions
I remember observing out loud to Lucy after she and I had tallied the votes for the Fall Film Competition, that the four top films seemed lacking in commonality except for their dates of release. But of course, as I expressed last month, it began to occur to me that a theme for these films might be “social defiance”. Continue reading Doctor Zhivago: Pasternak and Politics
A Doctor Zhivago review must first include a comment about its extraordinary success at the box office. Upon its release, Doctor Zhivago was so popular with its audiences that it remains as MGM’s second most profitable film. Guess which film is first? Gone with the Wind!
Both Gone with the Wind, released in 1939, and Doctor Zhivago in 1965 are epic movies adapted from books and set in times of immense turmoil that war brings and both include irresistible love stories. Continue reading Doctor Zhivago: Mary’s Movie Night Review