Uncle Vanya

1971, Movie, G, 110 mins

Review

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A slow but insightful version of Chekhov's stage play about hopelessness and the relationships among a pathetic old uncle, Smoktunovsky; a devoted doctor, Bondarchuk; and a visiting professor who arrives with his lovely new wife. The film is wordy and somewhat claustrophobic in its near-exclusive use of indoor locations. Bondarchuk is not only one of the top post-WW II Russian actors but also a respected director, who directed WAR AND PEACE, the eight-and-a-half-hour, $40 million epic version of Tolstyo's novel. This was the first US release for Andrei Konchalovsky, who would go on to work in the US on films such as RUNAWAY TRAIN; SHY PEOPLE; and TANGO AND CASH. (In Russian; English subtitles.) leave a comment

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