Moscow in Madrid (1965) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • When David Lean made his film Doctor Zhivago (1965), he realized that it would be impossible to do location shooting in Moscow. Instead, he found a location on the plains outside Madrid, Spain and built a set to look like the Russian capital. This promotional film gives viewers a short look at the set under construction.

  • With a string of epic films behind him, including The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962), David Lean now focused on his next film, Doctor Zhivago (1965). Based on the best-selling book by Boris Pasternak - and banned in the Soviet Union - Lean faced the challenge filming a story of the Russian revolution without having access to Moscow or the Russian countryside. This brief film focuses on that challenge and Lean's solution of building sets near Madrid and using the Spanish countryside as a substitute.

  • Doctor Zhivago (1965) was the latest in a string of David Lean films set in harsh locations. Where the story is actually based, the Soviet Union, would be an impossible filming location. Not only did the government of the Soviet Union not allow filming there, but they wanted to talk Lean out of making the movie at all as the novel on which the film is based was banned there. Lean instead decided to film the movie in the Spanish plains, which would double for Siberia and where sets would be built to film the city sequences.



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