Uncle Vanya (1970 film)

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For other uses, see Uncle Vanya (disambiguation).
Uncle Vanya
Uncle Vanya FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Andrey Konchalovskiy
Written by Anton Chekhov (play Uncle Vanya)
Andrey Konchalovskiy (screenplay)
Starring Innokenti Smoktunovsky
Sergei Bondarchuk
Irina Kupchenko
Irina Miroshnichenko
Irina Anisimova-Wulf
Vladimir Butenko
Yekaterina Mazurova
Nikolai Pastukhov
Innokenti Smoktunovsky
Vladimir Zeldin
Music by Alfred Shnitke
Cinematography Yevgeni Guslinsky
Georgi Rerberg
Edited by L. Pokrovskoi
Distributed by Mosfilm
Release date
Running time
104 minutes
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

Uncle Vanya (Russian: Дядя Ваня, translit. Dyadya Vanya) is a 1970[1][2] film adaptation of the Anton Chekhov play of the same title and directed by Andrey Konchalovskiy.[3]

Plot summary[edit]

Serebryakov, a retired professor and his beautiful, much younger second wife, Yeléna, visit their country estate, which funds their urban lifestyle. Vanya, brother of the Professor's first wife, who manages the farm estate, and the local Doctor Astrov, both fall under Yelena's spell, while complaining of the endless ennui of their provincial existence. Astrov is an experienced physician who performs his job conscientiously, but has lost all idealism and spends much of his time drinking. Sofya, the Professor's daughter by his first wife, who works to keep the estate going with her uncle Vanya, meanwhile suffers from lack of esteem over what she sees as her own lack of beauty, and from an unrequited love for Dr. Astrov. Matters are brought to a head when the Professor announces his intention to sell the estate, Vanya and Sofya's home, to achieve a higher income for himself and his wife.

Differences from play[edit]


Critical reception[edit]

  • The New York Times wrote, "this "Uncle Vanya" is an exceedingly graceful, beautifully acted production that manages to respect Chekhov as a man of his own time, as well as what I would assume to be the Soviet view of Chekhov as Russia's saddest, gentlest, funniest and most compassionate revolutionary playwright...For the most part, the film proceeds at Chekhov's own pace as the camera, which has the presence of a household intimate, follows the action in close-up, sometimes overhearing scenes from adjoining rooms, sometimes, as if by chance, becoming so involved in the action that it doesn't remember to give us an establishing shot until a scene is almost completed...Because there have been so few screen adaptations of Chekhov's plays seen here, it doesn't mean as much as I wish it did to say that the new Russian film version of "Uncle Vanya," which opened yesterday at the Regency Theater, is probably the best filmed Chekhov I've ever seen." [4]
  • TV Guide noted "a slow but insightful version of Chekhov... 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 Tolstoy'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.[5]



  1. ^ "Andrey Konchalovsky Official Website". 
  2. ^ "Uncle_Vanya_1970 : ays : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Archive.org. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  3. ^ "Dyadya Vanya | Bfi | Bfi". Explore.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  4. ^ Canby, Vincent (1972-05-19). "Movie Review - Dyadya Vanya - The Screen: A Graceful 'Uncle Vanya'". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  5. ^ "Uncle Vanya Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 

External links[edit]