Russia in winter has never looked more alluring. Neither have Omar Sharif or Julie Christie. As a love story played out against the background of a sweeping march of historical events, Doctor Zhivago is comparable to Gone With the Wind. Adapted from a complex novel by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago follows the tribulations of a Moscow doctor (Sharif) exiled by the Bolsheviks for writing poetry and separated from his true love (Christie). Director David Lean does for snow what he did for sand in his previous epic, Lawrence of Arabia. One of the most popular love stories ever filmed, Doctor Zhivago was nominated for 10 Oscars and won 5, though it lost Best Picture to The Sound of Music. Overly long at three-hours-plus, it's chock full of terrific images and gorgeous landscapes, to which the story at times becomes secondary. It's remembered by many viewers for the haunting love song, "Lara's Theme".
by Michael Betzold review