Synopsis by Mark Deming
In 1966, a year before he rose to overnight fame in The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman won an Obie Award for his performance in Journey of the Fifth Horse, a stage adaptation by Ronald Ribman of the story Diary of a Superfluous Man by Ivan Turgenev. The play was videotaped for public television that same year, and this home video release presents a recording of one of Hoffman's first truly great roles. Dmitri Zoditch (Dustin Hoffman) is a lower-level manuscript reader for a large publishing company, and while he's in love with the daughter (Susan Anspach) of the firm's deceased founder, he lacks the courage to court her. The diary of a second-rate nobleman who has fallen on hard times, Nikolai Alexeyevich Chulkaturin (Michael Tolan), has been submitted for publication, and the manuscript is given to Zoditch for appraisal. Told he must read the work in one night, Zoditch soon finds himself drawn into the world of the bitter Chulkaturin, whose angst is a compliment for the insignificance of Zoditch's own life. Charlotte Rae also co-stars.
angst, daughter, diary, manuscript, unrequited