Trivia / Doctor Zhivago

For the novel

  • Banned in China: Pasternak's book was originally banned in the Soviet Union. A Dutch secret agent managed to get his hands on a Russian copy and he distributed it to his contacts at the CIA. They produced (technically pirated because an Italian publishing house held the original rights) thousands of copies of the original book and gave them to unsuspecting Soviet tourists at the 1958 World's Fair who smuggled them back to the USSR.
    • And the movie wasn't shown in Russia until 1994.
  • Defictionalization: Later editions include excerpts of Yuri's poetry.

For the film

  • AFIS 100 Years Series:
  • All-Star Cast: Notably, the actors are credited in alphabetical order, despite Omar Sharif clearly playing the central character.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In an early scene, Komarovsky was supposed to kiss a shocked Lara. After noticing in rehearsals that Julie Christie was anticipating the scene and showing nervousness, Rod Steiger, with Lean's permission, decided, while kissing her, to not let her go and follow up that first kiss with a french kiss. It worked.
    • Another example (possibly) is when Komarovsky buys Lara that red dress and forces her to wear it. Shooting the scene was apparently delayed because Julie Christie was so repulsed by it that she refused to wear the dress. She was coaxed out by the production designer, who pointed out that Lara didn't want to wear the dress either, but she's forced to. Christie then agreed. When you watch the scene, Christie's discomfort and unwillingness really shines through.
  • Fake Nationality: The Lebanese-Egyptian Omar Sharif as the Russian Dr. Yuri Zhivago. Then again, most of the cast are British (or in Rod Steiger's case, American) actors playing Russians, so the trope's in effect for everyone.
  • Star-Making Role: For Geraldine Chaplin and Julie Christie, along with the same year's Darling.
  • Throw It In: In another scene, after Lara slaps Komarovsky, he slaps her back with his glove. Komarovsky's response wasn't on the script. Rod Steiger later commented that "nobody slaps Komarovsky and gets away with it".