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The Brothers Karamazov

  NR Closed Captioning


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About the Movie

Dostoyevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov is given the Hollywood screen treatment in this sumptuous and colorful film. Lee J. Cobb, in an Academy Award®-nominated role plays Fyodor Karamazov, the wealthy father of four grown sons: Dmitri (Yul Brynner), a callous Russian officer; Ivan (Richard Basehart), the intellectual; pious Alexey (William Shatner in his screen debut); and half-brother Smerdyakov. Tensions erupt to a murderous end when libertine father and romantic son find themselves vying for the affections of the same woman, the wild Grushenka. Finding themselves adrift without the dark anchor that held them together, the four brothers must now find peace, each in their own way.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 9
  • Fresh: 2
  • Rotten: 7
  • Average Rating: 4.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: 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. – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader, Apr 8, 2008

Rotten: Very uncertain in period and atmosphere, and saddled with some terrible performances. – Tom Milne, Time Out, Apr 8, 2008

Rotten: When the acting's good, it's very good, but when it's bad, it's laughable and director Brooks' attempts at injecting Slavic intensity misfire badly sometimes. – Film4, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

The Brothers Karamozov

While it is impossible to capture the nuances and specifics of the novel, this movie does a wonderful job of creating the necessary emotions of the main theme. The premise is so complex, so far-reaching, one would never think it could be told in such a short time. Yet, the scenes are so well-chosen, so well-written, this movie does well. The scene where the army captain's consumptive son is pelted with snowballs conjures tears from the most hardened of us all. The love, the surrender of the possibility of forgiveness, is gut-wrenching. This is only a bit of the story. So much is told, again, in such a short time. The film is magnificent, if only for this.