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The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the October Revolution.
Komarovski: There are two kinds of men and only two. And that young man is one kind. He is high-minded. He is pure. He's the kind of man the world pretends to look up to, and in fact despises. He is the kind of man who breeds unhappiness, particularly in women. Do you understand?
Lara: Wouldn't it have been lovely if we'd met before? Zhivago: Before we did? Yes. Lara: We'd have got married, had a house and children. If we'd had children, Yuri, would you like a boy or girl? Zhivago: I think we may go mad if we think about all that. Lara: I shall always think about it.
Komarovski: I think you do. There's another kind. Not high-minded, not pure, but alive. Now, that your tastes at this time should incline towards the juvenile is understandable; but for you to marry that boy would be a disaster. Because there's two kinds of women. There are two kinds of women and you, as we well know, are not the first kind. You, my dear, are a slut.
[last lines] Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: Tonya! Can you play the balalaika? David: Can she play? She's an artist! Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: Who taught you? David: Nobody taught her! Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: Ah... then it's a gift.
Komarovski: [Contemptuously] Who are you to refuse my sugar? Who are you to refuse me anything?
Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: I told myself it was beneath my dignity to arrest a man for pilfering firewood. But nothing ordered by the party is beneath the dignity of any man, and the party was right: One man desperate for a bit of fuel is pathetic. Five million people desperate for fuel will destroy a city. That was the first time I ever saw my brother. But I knew him. And I knew that I would disobey the party. Perhaps it was the tie of blood between us, but I doubt it. We were only half tied anyway, and bothers will betray a brother. Indeed, as a policeman, I would say, get hold of a man's brother and you're halfway home. Nor was it admiration for a better man than me. I did admire him, but I didn't think he was a better man. Besides, I've executed better men than me with a small pistol. I told them who I was: The old man was hostile, the girl cautious, my brother... seemed very pleased. I think the girl was only one who guessed at their position.
Gromeko: [Aghast wile reading newspaper] They've shot the Czar. And all his family. [crumples newspaper] Gromeko: Oh, that's a savage deed. What's it for? Zhivago: It's to show there's no going back.
Tonya: Yuri, there's an extraordinary girl at this party. Zhivago: I know. I'm dancing with her.
Zhivago: What happens to a girl like that, when a man like you is finished with her? Komarovski: You interested? Zhivago: You shouldn't smoke. You've had a shock. [he pulls the cigar from Viktor's mouth, tosses it into the toilet] Komarovski: I give her to you, Yuri Andreevich. Wedding present.
Engineer: If they were to give me two more excavators, I'd be a year ahead of the plan by now. Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: You're an impatient generation. Engineer: Weren't you? Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: Yes, we were, very. Oh, don't be so impatient, Comrade Engineer. We've come very far, very fast. Engineer: Yes, I know that, Comrade General. Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: Yes, but do you know what it cost? There were children in those days who lived off human flesh. Did you know that?
Pasha: The private life is dead - for a man with any manhood. Zhivago: I saw some of your 'manhood' on the way at a place called Minsk. Pasha: They were selling horses to the Whites. Zhivago: It seems you've burnt the wrong village. Pasha: They always say that, and what does it matter? A village betrays us, a village is burned. The point's made. Zhivago: Your point - their village.
Anna: But, Boris, this is genius. Medical Professor: Really? I thought it was Rachmaninoff. I'm going for a smoke.
Pasha: They rode them down, Lara. Women and children, begging for bread. There will be no more 'peaceful' demonstrations.
Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: [narrating; on World War I] By the second winter, the boots had worn out... but the line still held. Even Comrade Lenin underestimated both the anguish of that 900-mile long front... as well our own cursed capacity for suffering. Half the men went into action without any arms... irregular rations... led by officers they didn't trust. Officer: [to soldiers] Come on, you bastards! Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: And those they did trust... Pasha: [leaps out of the trench and begins leading his men in a charge] Come on, Comrades! Forward, comrades! Earth-shakers! [an artillery shell explodes in front of him; he falls to the ground, and the soldiers retreat to their trench] Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: Finally, when they could stand it no longer, they began doing what every army dreams of doing... [the soldiers begin to leave their trenches] Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: They began to go home. That was the beginning of the Revolution.
Liberius: [Liberius and Razin are debating whether or not to allow Zhivago's release] I command this unit! Razin, Liberius' Lieutenant: We command jointly! The Party Bulletin expressly states... Liberius: Bah! [knocks bulletin out of Razin's hands] Liberius: I could have you taken out and shot! Razin, Liberius' Lieutenant: And could you have The Party taken out and shot? Understand this: as the military struggle draws to a close, the political struggle intensifies. In the hour of victory, the military will have served its purpose - and all men will be judged POLITICALLY - regardless of their military record! Meanwhile, there are still White units in this area - the Doctor stays.
Zhivago: You lay life on a table and cut out all the tumors of injustice. Marvelous.
Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: [narrating over a military parade in Moscow] In bourgeois terms, it was a war between the Allies and Germany. In Bolshevik terms, it was a war between the Allied and German upper classes - and which of them won was of total indifference. My task was to organize defeat, so as to hasten the onset of revolution. I enlisted under the name of Petrov. The party looked to the peasant conscript soldiers - many of whom were wearing their first real pair of boots. When the boots had worn out, they'd be ready to listen. When the time came, I was able to take three whole battalions out of the front lines with me - the best day's work I ever did. But for now, there was nothing to be done. There were too many volunteers. Most of it was mere hysteria.
Komarovski: Yuri Andreiivich, you've changed. Larisa - remarkably the same.
Liberius: Comrade Doctor, I need a medical officer. Zhivago: I'm sorry, I have a wife and child in Varykino. Razin, Liberius' Lieutenant: ...and a mistress in Yuriatin. Liberius: [laughs] Comrade Medical Officer, we are Red partisans, and we SHOOT deserters!
Komarovski: But don't you see her position? She's served her purpose. These men who came with me today as an escort will come for her and the child tomorrow as a firing squad! Now I know exactly what you think of me, and why. But if you're not coming with me, she's not coming with me. So are you coming with me? Do you accept the protection of this ignoble Caliban on any terms that Caliban cares to make? Or is your delicacy so exorbitant that you would sacrifice a woman and a child to it?
[repeated line] Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: How did you come to be lost?
Unknown: The doctor's a gentleman. The Bolshevik: Right! It's written all over him. Unknown: He's a good man. The Bolshevik: God rot good men. [Lara silently stares in loathing at the Bolshevik]
Gromeko: Good marriages are made in heaven... or some such place.
Komarovski: [speaking to Lara of Pasha] He's a very fine young man. That's obvious.
Komarovski: [to Lara] And don't delude yourself that this was rape! That would flatter us both!
Gromeko: What I want to know is how we're going to stay alive this winter.
Kostoyed Amourski: I'm a FREE man. He rattles the chains that mark him as slave labor. I am the only free man on this train! The rest of you are CATTLE!
Zhivago: [to the local commissar after examining an old sickly man] It isn't typhus. It's another disease we don't have in Moscow... starvation.
Razin, Liberius' Lieutenant: [Zhivago is trying to aide a wounded White soldier] It does not matter! Zhivago: Have you ever loved a woman, Razin? Razin, Liberius' Lieutenant: I once had a wife and four children.
Pasha: [to Yuri] The personal life is dead in Russia. History has killed it.
Liberius: [looking at the bodies of slain White soldiers, whom he was found to be teenagers] St. Michael's Military School? [finds their instructor's body] Liberius: You old bastard!
Pasha: I used to admire your poetry. Zhivago: Thank you. Pasha: I shouldn't admire it now. I should find it absurdly personal. Don't you agree? Feelings, insights, affections... it's suddenly trivial now. You don't agree; you're wrong. The personal life is dead in Russia. History has killed it. I can see why you might hate me. Zhivago: I hate everything you say, but not enough to kill you for it.
Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: A nameless number on a list that was lost, or mislaid. That was common in those days.
Zhivago: [to Komarowski about Lara] What happens to a girl like that when a man like you is finished with her? Komarovski: [Flippantly] Interested? I give her to you!