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Wednesday
Dec182013

Beauty Break: Julie Christie in Doctor Zhivago

The weather is turning colder (much colder if you live in the midwest) and Nathaniel just got back from Iceland, so this beauty break is inspired by the freezing weather and heated love affairs in Doctor Zhivago (1965). Specifically, this beauty break is devoted to Julie Christie as Lara, who never looked lovelier than when she was combining anachronistic hairstyles with fantastic winter wear.

1960’s hairstyles and 1900’s fashions while freezing after the jump!

This movie is mostly about hats.

This must be a popular pose, because Omar Sharif repeats it in a promo photo with Geraldine Chaplin:

Speaking of Geraldine Chaplin, in that promo photo she somehow manages to upstage Julie Christie! In Christie's defense that fur hat adds two feet to Geradine Chaplin's height. But back to Christie. Let’s talk about The Red Dress:

Julie Christie stated that this dress made her extremely self-conscious. (I don’t know why; if I looked that good in that dress I’d wear it every damn day.) When she complained to David Lean, he told her that’s what she was supposed to feel, so she channeled the feeling into this (admittedly very uncomfortable) scene. Here’s another of the dress:


Doctor Zhivago is really a beauty to behold. What these screenshots can't convey is the warmth and vulnerability Christie bring to her role as Lara. If you have 3+ hours to kill, it's a wonderful way to warm your bones during a cold Winter night. Let's end on some great poster art for this Best Picture nominee (released the same year as Darling, so it was all Julie Christie, all the time with the Oscar that year).

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Reader Comments (12)

I was just watching this movie last night and I adore it! Julie Christie is soo gorgeous!

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereli

Hats off to you, Anne Marie, for a lively read on one of my all time faves. It is really saying something when you have a film filled with gorgeous vistas and stunning landscapes, and they all pale in comparison to the leading lady. Julie shines so brightly in Zhivago that you can't help but blink a little whenever she's in closeup. Everything about the movie screams creativity--it's pure artistry on every level (photography, art design, editing, music). But it's greatest work of art is the camera's reflection of Julie's face. No wonder she shot to stardom with this grand epic.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Oh if only it could be all Julie Christie all the time everyday!! My favorite living actress who most definitely doesn't work as much as she should. Still effortlessly beautiful to this day. Al Pacino said it best when he called her the "most poetic of actresses".

Zhivago can be a challenge at times but as with all her films she makes it worthwhile. Those are great shots.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I would just like to point out that in both screenshots of Julie Christie in the Red Dress, Rod Steiger cannot stop staring at Christie's cleavage. Eyes up, Steiger.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Marie

ITA joel. I wanna subscribe to that All Julie, All the Time Channel. Sarah Polley had to beg Julie for several years to do Away From Her, so much is her resistance to working again. I fear we may never get another lead performance from this legendary artist. Julie is the queen and I am her loyal servant.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I think it was the one-two punch of Darling and the Doctor that got Julie that Oscar (and beat out the other Julie who would have been back to back).

Now on to Dr. Zhivago. I am certain I've seen this at least 20 times over the years. I think Julie Christie & Omar Sharif in this movie are IT! Both at the height of their beauty, all the snow, and the daffodils, the giant big screen, the amazing lighting, the never-better Maurice Jarre score, the furs, the horses. Well, it's more than anyone can really take.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

Call me crazy, but I think Christie should have won for her Lara and not for DARLING...and Geraldine was robbed of a nomination....unfortunately this last for all her career long....

December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMirko

Mirko, it really is incredible when that she won for another movie, when she is just out and o ut brilliant in this part. She's great in Darling too, but Lara is so more sympathetic. Diana is hard to like, but of course Julie is able to imbue her with a vulnerability that gets to you. Lara is such an iconic role, I was shocked when I was first finding out about the Oscars and I discovered she had not won for Zhivago. What a year she had!

December 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Actually it's good if you think that she won for a not so sympathetic role such the one in DARLING. anyway she's great in both movies...and her winning was still deserved...but Lara is a such enduring role

December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMirko

All of 15 years olld when I saw Dr. Zhivago for the first of countless times, I fell hopelessly in love with Julie Christie. Nearly 50 years later and I'm still there. Every decade has its IT girl. The 20s had Clara Bow, the 30s Garbo, in the 40s I'd go with Rita Hayworth, and of course Marilyn in the 50s. For me Christie embodied the 60s - British, unconventional, Mod, unbelieveably sensual, forthright and iconoclastic. Her disdain for the conventions of stardom only made her more attractive. There was always something unattainable in her persona, some piece that she reserved for herself alone. Her choices were always on the side of art over commerce. What other Oscar winning actress would have chosen to follow a blockbuster like Zhivago with a sci fi film by Truffaut? Then of course there's Petulia, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Don't Look Now. All art films, all classics. Thank you for posting this series of stills. I only wish it had included that amazing closeup of Lara in the library, when Zhivago happens upon her after a long absence. Those cornflower blue eyes radiating warmth and mystery and unfathomed depths of soul emerging from the field of daffodils is a shot for the ages, and the exact moment when I was smitten for life.

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouis Anzovino

'Hauntingly beautiful'. As in it stays with you. 'Stunningly beautiful' also works. The movie itself is fantastic but holy smoke, Julie...

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Hessling

Julie Christie is the most beautiful creature ever to walk God's earth.

I've never met her but know her cousin slightly. Apparently even before she was a star, when they went to parties together, as she walked in to a room people would gasp and fall quiet, flayed by her beauty. That must be quite inhibiting!

July 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

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