Dr. Zhivago
Entertainment: +3 1/2
Acceptability: +2

In revolutionary Russia, the Bolsheviks maintain that "Personal life is dead. History has killed it." But Dr. Zhivago is a personal life story. Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif) is brought up by his dead mother's wealthy friends in Moscow. He is a poet, but becomes a doctor to earn a living. He marries his foster parents' daughter (Geraldine Chaplin). At their engagement party he sees Lara (Julie Christie). She is a young girl who has been seduced and violated by a prominent lawyer, Victor (Rod Steiger). In her fury, she crashes the party and shoots him. Yuri later finds out Victor is the man who cheated Yuri out of his inheritance. Lara marries a fiery revolutionary, but later falls in love with Yuri while they are running a hospital for wounded soldiers. Visually and musically lush, this re-release of the original 1966 DR. ZHIVAGO is movie-making at its best.

This movie certainly deserves "R" for violence and adult content with its graphic war scenes and the aftermath of violence. Bodies of the wounded and dying are shown lying in the snow or fields. In one particularly brutal confrontation, the peasants shoot an officer and beat a general to death. Whole towns are burned and ransacked, and the revolution creates tragic living conditions for all. An 11-day cattle-car train ride through Russia made by Yuri and his family is unforgettable, both because of its terrible conditions and the beauty of the country. But these are violent, cruel times, and DR. ZHIVAGO realistically reflects that. Although there is no explicit sex, Lara and Yuri are shown in bed, as are Yuri and his wife. There is no nudity in a rape scene either. It is understood that Lara is Victor's mistress and that Lara and Yuri have an affair in this adult drama. To his credit, however, Yuri acknowledges that his affair is wrong and attempts to return to his wife. Except for a few crude words and two exclamatory profanities, DR. ZHIVAGO contains no foul language. While it is far too intense for children, this classic epic can be recommended for mature audiences.

Preview Reviewer: Margaret Reid
Distributor: MGM/UA Dist., 1111 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90202

Crude Language: Few (3) times - Moderate
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Exclamatory twice
Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (graphic battle scenes of dead and wounded, including women and children; desperate fight to get on train; men shot, beaten to death; cannibalism is mentioned; rape scene, no nudity; slapping; man knocked down and shot)
Sexual Intercourse: None but implied twice (husband and wife; two lovers)
Nudity: Once - Female rear
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Man makes a few suggestive remarks
Drug Abuse: Man encourages girl to drink once
Other: Mother shown in coffin; harsh conditions of freezing weather, rats, starvation; baby dying
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)