The Brothers Karamazov (1957) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Brothers Karamazov (1957)

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Movie Info

Dostoyevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov is given a Hollywood screen treatment by producer Pandro S. Berman and director Richard Brooks. Yul Brynner plays Dmitri Karamazov, a callous Russian officer who cuckolds his domineering father (Lee J. Cobb) with the old man's mistress Grushenka (Maria Schell). Richard Basehart is Dmitri's intellectual brother Ivan, while William Shatner is the pious Alexey Karamazov; both men eventually enjoy the attentions of the willing Grushenka. The Karamazovs' half-brother is Smedyakov (Albert Salmi), an epileptic whose purpose in the story is clarified after the family patriarch's murder. It is now part of Hollywood folklore that Marilyn Monroe fought long and hard to be cast as the enigmatic Grushenka.

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Cast

Yul Brynner
as Dmitri Karamazov
Maria Schell
as Grushenka
Lee J. Cobb
as Fyodor Karamazov
Richard Basehart
as Ivan Karamozov
Albert Salmi
as Smerdyakov
William Shatner
as Alexey Karamazov
Judith Evelyn
as Mme. Anna Hohlakov
Edgar Stehli
as Grigory
Harry Townes
as Ippoli Kirillov
Miko Oscard
as Illusha Snegiryov
David Opatoshu
as Capt. Snegiryov
Simon Oakland
as Mavrayek
Jay Adler
as Pawnbroker
Frank de Kova
as Capt. Vrublevski
Gage Clarke
as Defense Counsel
Mel Welles
as Trifon Borissovitch
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Critic Reviews for The Brothers Karamazov

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

Bold handling of crude unbridled passion, of violently conflicting ideas, and of earthy humor makes up The Brothers Karamazov.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

Very uncertain in period and atmosphere, and saddled with some terrible performances.

June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Conspicuous assets are the striking color photography and the musical score, both of which help a great deal in enhancing the drama's savage and soulful moods.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

While not as terrible as his subsequent adaptation of Lord Jim, this 1958 Hollywoodization of the Dostoyevsky novel by writer-director Richard Brooks is pretty grotesque all the same.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

I would avoid this film as readily as one avoids Siberia.

Full Review… | September 4, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The film feels like 'Classics Comics' instead of a classic.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for The Brothers Karamazov

Did not think Brynner could do it, but he does it. A great film that is faithful to the written masterpiece. Maria Schell, I adore you, too.

william barkley
william barkley

The 1958 movie is an affront to Dostoyevsky. Richard Brooks butchered the plot. Instead of a philosophical drama showing the consequences of nihilism: no god, no moral law, everything is permissible. Brooks turned the movie into a childish morality tale about money. Yul Brynner and Claire Bloom held my attention. What's her name as Grushenka was forgettable. Horrible horrible horrible.

Louis L
Louis L
½

It is lavish and well made, it has a fine cast and excellent production values but it also bored me, and it is tediously overlong and drawn out.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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