Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Doctor Zhivago

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 29 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3993
  1. Andrew Moscrop, GP trainee, Department of Primary Health Care, Oxford
  1. andrewmoscrop{at}

Moscow: a city of snow covered streets crowded with horse drawn sleighs carrying aristocrats, and mounted Cossacks wielding sabres against the peasantry. This is tsarist Russia before the first world war, as conveyed through David Lean’s compelling visuals and the rippling flow of Maurice Jarre’s Oscar winning score.

A bespectacled socialist leads an ill fated protest march. A cigar smoking bourgeois scorns his victim: “Don’t delude yourself this was rape: that would flatter us both.” The stole wrapped 17 year old girl hides a pistol in her muff and goes in search of her assailant. And Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif) …

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