Three Sisters (1970 film)

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Three Sisters
Three Sisters 1970 DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Laurence Olivier
John Sichel
Produced by James C. Katz & John Goldstone
Screenplay by Moura Budberg (trans.)
Based on Three Sisters (play)
by Anton Chekhov
Starring Alan Bates
Laurence Olivier
Joan Plowright
Music by William Walton
Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth
Edited by Jack Harris
Distributed by British Lion Films
Release date
2 November 1970 (UK)
4 February 1974 (US)
Running time
165 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Three Sisters is a 1970 British drama film starring Alan Bates, Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright, based on the 1901 play by Anton Chekhov. Olivier also directed, with co-director John Sichel; it was the final feature film directed by Olivier. The film was based on a 1967 theatre production that Olivier had directed at the Royal National Theatre. Both the theatrical production and the film used the translation from the original Russian by Moura Budberg. [1] The film was released in the U.S. in 1974 as part of the American Film Theatre. This was a series of thirteen film adaptations of stage plays shown to subscribers at about 500 movie theaters across the country.




The film was apparently not widely reviewed in either its 1970 British or its 1974 US releases. Following the US release, the prominent critic Judith Crist wrote, "Once again we are faced with a neither-film-nor-play production, but it is, in Moura Budberg's liberal but satisfying translation and under Olivier's semi-cinematic direction, one at very least to fascinate devotees of the play. ... Through several performances, in Geoffrey Unsworth's luscious cinematography (and I mean the adjective in praise of the uncluttered and naturally generated flow his work deserves), and in the pacing there is somehow a sensuality and a sexuality underlying the work that I had not hitherto felt." [2] Molly Haskell wrote that the film "boasts in Joan Plowright's Masha the finest performance I have seen or ever hope to see of one of Chekhov's greatest women characters." [3]

Home video

The film was first released as a region 1 DVD in 2004. [4] A Blu-ray version was released in the US in 2017. [5]

See also

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  1. Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich (1971). The Three Sisters. Moura Budberg (trans.). London: Davis-Poynter. ISBN   9780706700046. OCLC   10864445.
  2. Crist, Judith (11 March 1974). "Movies/Judith Crist". New York Magazine. p. 79.
  3. Haskell, Holly (14 March 1974). "Chekhov: A Feminist Vision". The Village Voice. p. 72.
  4. The Three Sisters (DVD (region 1)). Kino International Corporation. 2008. OCLC   841312340.
  5. Orndorf, Brian (8 June 2017). "Three Sisters Blu-ray Review".