The Brothers Karamazov (1958)


“[takes out a magazine clipping, reads it] There is nothing in the world to make man love their neighbours. If there is no God, then nothing can be immoral. Everything becomes lawful, even crime. Crime becomes not only lawful, but inevitable. ” – Smerdjakov

Number of Times Seen – 1 (25 Dec 2018)

Brief Synopsis – As they witness the slow deterioration of their father who is a drunk and chases women, four brothers try to gain a larger inheritance by means of infighting while trying to outwit one another.

My Take on it – This is a film based on a classic novel that I never had much of a desire to see or even read.

The fact that Lee J. Cobb was nominated for an Oscar for his performance here made me finally decoded to see what this was all about.

For some strange reason, I always thought of this story as a circus based storyline and it’s quite far from that.

This is a very poor adaptation of the classic book and moves along too slowly that it comes across as being quite boring.

Yul Brynner and Cobb stand out among the cast but neither of them helps make this story’s transition from paper to screen any more smoother since things don’t manage to stay coherent the whole way through.

The characters are suppose to have a strong connection between one another, but they all seem to have weak ones instead this probably has to do with the fact that on paper it’s much easier to describe characters and the move to the screen makes that much more difficult.

Cobb was definitely deserving of his Oscar nomination here since this is a character so vastly different from other roles he was known for.

Look for a young William Shatner playing one of the brothers

Bottom Line – Poor adaptation of this classic novel by Dostoevsky.  Brynner and Cob stand out among the cast but something constantly feels missing the entire way through. The connections between the characters are weak and are probably much better explained on paper than they are able to reflect on the screen. Cobb was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here and it was quite different from the kind of roles he was known for.  Look for a very young William Shatner as one of the brothers.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – This film is supposedly one of the reasons Marilyn Monroe ran away from Fox, because she wanted to star in something serious. They lured her back to the studio with Bus Stop (1956). (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (4/10)

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One thought on “The Brothers Karamazov (1958)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1958 |

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