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The Latest Word From METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER on DAVID LEAN’S Film of DOCTOR ZHIVAGO. From The Novel By Boris Pasternak
A Carlo Ponti Production For Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Read more at
in70mm.com
The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc Culver City, California, 1966. Upton 0-3311. Prepared for in70mm.com from old MGM press by Brian Guckian, Ireland Date: 01.01.2015

"Doctor Zhivago" Opens To Record Breaking Business

 
Danish full page advert for the 70mm release. Click the image to see enlargement

"Doctor Zhivago"
is playing to record breaking business in its second week at the Loew’s Capitol Theatre in New York and the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood with both engagements having the largest advance sales of any Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer roadshow attraction in the history of the company. David Lean’s film of Boris Pasternak’s Nobel Prize winning novel completed its second capacity week at the Loew’s Capitol, January 5, with a smashing gross of $70,224. Capacity since the first performance, the Carlo Ponti Production had an SRO opening week gross of $56,679. The second higher week reflected increased ticket prices for the New Year’s Eve performance. With hundreds being turned away from the Loew’s boxoffice during the first two weeks, advance sales in New York are now in excess of $200,000, and continuing to build. The first week gross of $35,877 at the Paramount Theatre was the biggest opening of any previous MGM roadshow attraction, topping "Ben-Hur" and "How the West Was Won" with first week grosses of $32,855 and $32,114, respectively. Advance sales in los Angeles also are the largest for any MGM roadshow engagement. Projection for the second week ending tomorrow, January 6, at the Paramount indicates a gross comparable to the first week.
 
More in 70mm reading:

Facts For Editorial Reference About The Making Of Doctor Zhivago

Omar Sharif Passed Away

MGM Press (PDF)
"Doctor Zhivago" reviews (PDF)

70mm Blow Up List 1965 - by in70mm.com

Internet link:

Omar Sharif Passed Away
 

Five New Roadshow Engagements Of "Doctor Zhivago" Set

 
World premiere of  "Doctor Zhivago" in New York, 1964. Image by MGM

Five new roadshow engagements of David lean’s Film of "Doctor Zhivago" have been set for the Bismarck Palace, Chicago, January 27; Warner Theatre, Washington, D.C., February 2; Units Artists Theatre, Detroit, February 2; Beach theatre, Miami beach, February 2; and Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco, February 9, it was announced by Robert H. O’Brien, president of MGM. Theatre bookings were made as a result of the tremendously enthusiastic critical and public acclaim following the world premieres of "Doctor Zhivago" at Loew’s Capitol Theatre in New York and Paramount Theatre in Hollywood. "Doctor Zhivago" also will have its first overseas premiere in London in early spring, to be followed by Roadshow engagements throughout the world during 1966. lean, two-time Academy Award winner for "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai", remains as planned at the MGM Studios in Culver City to supervise the 70mm prints. Starring in "Doctor Zhivago" are Geraldine Chaplin, Julie Christie, Tom Courtenay, Alec Guinness, Siobhan McKenna, Ralph Richardson, Omar Sharif, Rod Steiger and Rita Tushingham. The screen play was written by Robert Bolt.
 
 

Hollywood Press Previews

 
Cast of "Doctor Zhivago" lined up in Madrid during filming. Image by MGM

So much excitement was generated for "Doctor Zhivago" through the advance campaign, that it was necessary to take over the entire seating capacity of the 1500-seat Hollywood Paramount Theatre for two evenings in order to hold press previews. Admittance was by invitation and all seats were reserved for both screenings. This permitted reviewers for Los Angeles newspapers to have extensive analyses of the picture in print the morning and afternoon when the first public performances began rather than the following day as is usually the case after the opening of a production.

In attendance at the previews (held the two days immediately preceeding the charity premiere) were:
National press and magazine reviewers.
News and feature syndicate writers.
All groups of photographers.
TV and Radio commentators.
Audio and Visual news programmers.
Major disk jockies.
Record Company executives and A&R men.
Trade reviewers, reporters and columnists.
Mutual ticket agency representatives.
Group sales workers.
Store promotion men and women.
Fashion experts and merchandising representatives.
Industry leaders.
Educational opinion makers.
 
 

"Doctor Zhivago" Stars At Premiere

 
Hollywood premiere flyer. Click the image to see enlargement

Through the presence in New York and Hollywood of Omar Sharif, Geraldine Chaplin, Julie Christie and Rod Steiger, prior to the premiere nights, much valuable exposure was obtained in the press and through the media of TV and radio. All four stars attended the New York premiere. All but Steiger were at the Hollywood affair and were widely photographed and appeared on the telecast of the evening's activities. Sharif, Miss Chaplin and Steiger were in Hollywood well in advance of the premiere here and did much to create interest in the premiere.

Omar Sharif

First member of the starring cast to come to this country was Sharif. In New York, he did interviews and made television appearances. He flew across the country, making stops for publicity and exploitation activities. His airport arrival sparked news art of him being sold a premiere ticket by Mrs. Frank Sinatra to the Hollywood event. He did syndicated column interviews with Hedda Hopper, Bob Thomas (AP) and Vernon Scott (UPI). He was interviewed extensively for a national radio show, the Ralph Story program. Following the premiere, he was honored by members of the Hollywood Press Correspondents Association at a breakfast. The affair on December 30 will spark official recognition for Sharif at the annual Golden Globe affair which precedes the Academy Awards.

Geraldine Chaplin

This star's visit to Hollywood marked her return to the place of her birth. Her arrival at the airport, with her oldest brother, Charles Chaplin, Jr., meeting her, was covered by TV newsreels. Film was shown on news programs on 6 of the 7 Los Angeles stations.

Press coverage on her included interviews with:
Vernon Scott (UPI)
Harrison Carroll (LA Herald-Examiner)
Charles Champlin (LA Times - Sunday feature)
Army Archerd (Variety and King features)
Abe Greenberg (Citizen-News)
Lydia Lane (syndicated beauty feature)
Peter Bart (NY Times)
Sidney Skolsky (Tintype)
 
 
Radio-TV coverage included:
Ralph Story network radio program
Bill Knight of KCOP
"Nine On the Line" show - KHJ-TV-Wayne Thomas
Pamela Mason, Channel 7, Syndicated TV
"Adams At Noon", KNX-TV show
"Teen Topics" - KFWB Radio

Miss Chaplin also did a Harpers Bazaar Fashion Layout for future publication.

Rod Steiger

His arrival at the airport was covered photographically.

He was interviewed by:
Bob Thomas (AP)
Hedda Hopper for future Sunday Syndicated feature
Sidney Skolsky for tintype
Christian Science Monitor
Cinema Magazine
George Jackson (Herald-Examiner)
 
 

Brilliant east-and-west Premieres launch "Doctor Zhivago"

 
Premiere of "Doctor Zhivago" at the Paramount cinema in Hollywood. Image by MGM

Within the brief span of twenty-four hours, 2461 non-stop jet miles apart, brilliant star-and-celebrity-studded audiences attended gala world premieres of "Doctor Zhivago" to dazzle Broadway and Hollywood. Record crowds attracted to Loew's Capitol Theatre in New York on the evening of December 22, and the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood the following night, enthusiastically acclaimed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's presentation of the David Lean film as one of the most eagerly anticipated motion pictures in years.

Adding glamorous excitement to both premieres were two new sensational and fascinating young feminine stars, Geraldine Chaplin and Julie Christie, making their first "in person" appear¬ances before American film fans. They flew into New York for the premiere with their co-stars of "Doctor Zhivago", Omar Sharif, Rod Steiger, Tom Courtenay and Rita Tushingham, two-time Academy Award winning Director David Lean and Producer Carlo Ponti.

Among the prominent entertainment, political and society notables who purchased $150 tickets for the opening night benefit performance, with all proceeds going to the Will Rogers Memorial Hospital and O'Donnell's Research Laboratories, were: MGM President Robert H. O'Brien, Senator and Mrs. Jacob K. Javits, Sophia Loren, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ewell, Keir Dullea, Robert Morse, Chet Huntley, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett Cerf, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard S. Gimbel.

Robert M. Weitman, MGM vice president and studio head; Benjamin Melniker, vice president and general counsel; Maurice Silverstein, president of MGM International; Morris E. Lefko, vice president and general sales manager; vice president John B. Burns, Laurence Tisch, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Englehard. Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. L. Gardner, Mrs. Elizabeth M. Graham, Princess Diane Eristavi, Miss Ann Fogarty, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Revson, Mr. and Mrs. Jules C. Stein, Mr. and Mrs. S. Joseph Tankoos, and Mrs. and Mrs. George Zauderer.

After the gay Pink Champagne Ball in the Imperial Ballroom of Hotel Americana, which climaxed the New York premiere, Geraldine Chaplin, Julie Christie, Qmar Sharif and Director Lean were airborne with only a few hours sleep, headed for Hollywood. With tickets for the West Coast Premiere of "Doctor Zhivago" sold out days ahead, another glittering audience of film stars and social leaders packed the Hollywood Paramount Theatre. The performance sponsored by the Women's Guild of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center raised a record net of $115,000, the entire proceeds contributing to the philanthropic organization's program of Free Bed Care, Research and Education at the Medical Center.

Director Lean, Geraldine Chaplin, Julie Christie and Omar Sharif shared the opening night spotlight with a dazzling array of Hollywood's top stars and personalities including: Julie Andrews, Polly Bergen, Joey Bishop, George Burns, Richard Chamberlain, Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin, Nancy Davis, Kirk Douglas, Tony Franciosa, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Greer Carson, Sonja Henie, Carolyn Jones. Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh, Dean Martin, David McCallum, Gregory Peck, Ronald Reagan, Donna Reed, Edward G. Robinson, Barbara Rush, Rosalind Russell, Jean Simmons, Nancy Sinatra, Jr., and Robert Vaughn.

Lights, bleachers, souvenir programs and a live telecast from 7:30 to 8:30 by KHJ-TV with noted columnist Army Archerd at the microphone added colorful Interest to one of the roost exciting of all Hollywood premieres. As in New York, following the Paramount premiere, the festivities shifted to the Beverly Hills Hotel where a gala supper party, also under sponsorship of the Cedars-Sinai Women's Guild, climaxed another memorable evening.
 
 

Radio And TV Coverage In New York

 
David Lean and his Zhivago cast: Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin and Omar Sharif. Image by MGM

Omar Sharif

Nov. 15th
Nov. 16th
Nov. 17th Nov. 18th Nov. 19th
Nov. 22nd Jan. 2

Julie Christie
Dec. 15th

Mike Wallace Interview CBS

Dec. 16th

I've Got a Secret
Interview Today Show at NBC
Tonight Show NBC
Interview Martha Deane, WOR
Interview Mimi Benzell NBC
Radio interview Casper Citron
Interview with Kathleen Carroll WPIX-TV
Monitor NBC 30 Rockefeller Plaza
Ed Sullivan Show

Monitor NBC interview Mimi Benzelle interview WNEW Radio Guy Savino Mike Wallace interview Arlene Francis of WOR

Geraldine Chaplin
Dec. 7th Interview Marlene Sanders ABC
Dec. 8th -
Dec. 9th Martha Deane-WOR (live Interview)
Dec. 10th NBG Radio News (Leonard Probst)
Dec. 10th Tonight Show
Dec. 12th What's My Line
 
 

"Doctor Zhivago" National Magazines

 
David Lean with his Zhivago cast: Julie Christie (right) and Geraldine Chaplin (left). Image by MGM

Before and After Premieres


Interest In the openings on "DOCTOR ZHIVAGO" was enhanced by publication In advance of the first showing of major breaks by the following magazines:

LIFE
Geraldine Chaplin - text and COVER

LOOK
Geraldlne Chaplin - picture layout including Production (April 10)

NEWSWEEK
Julie Christie profile and COVER (Dec. 20)

SATURDAY REVIEW
Omar Sharif COVER and short text on production (Dec. 25).

SEVENTEEN
Geraldine Chaplin text and color layout (Dec.)

COSMOPOLITAN
Geraldine Chaplin COVER and interview (June)
Julie Christie interview (Dec.)

ESQUIRE
Production - 5 pages (Dec.)

SHOW
Production with color art - (May)

REDBOOK
Geraldine Chaplin (March)

LADIES HOME JOURNAL
Geraldine Chaplin COVER and feature (May).

GLAMOUR
Geraldine Chaplin (June)

ATLANTIC MONTHLY
Production - multi-pages with art
 
 
David Lean (right) with Carlo Ponti (left) and Robert H. O’Brien (President of MGM). Image by MGM

MOVIES TODAY
Feature - Rod Steiger with art

FAMILY WEEKLY
Geraldine Chaplin feature, Julie Christie Feature, Rod Steiger Feature

PARADE
Omar Sharif feature, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rita Tushingham

TIME
Production takeout with art

HARPERS BAZAAR
Geraldine Chaplin art and text, Julie Christie

VOGUE
Geraldine Chaplin art and short text, Julie Christie and Tom Courtenay, Production feature with art by Violette Le Due

CINEMA
Production with art

M.D. MAGAZINE
Production with art


Following to be published:

LIFE
Production in color

LOOK
Julie Christie - probable cover

HARPERS BAZAAR
Geraldine Chaplin fashions
 
 

Promotion in Los Angeles included

 
Billboards:

40 24-sheet billboards were strategically placed around the city in Los Angeles.
25 colorful 30-sheets were utilized,
2 giant "spectacular" boards were alternated between 3 prime-viewing sites on Wilshire Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard.
The city was blanketed with 500 one-sheets

Trailers:

Short cross-plug trailers were utilized for two months in all State Wide Theatres. 6 prints of the 10-minute "Moscow in Madrid" documentary-type featurette were booked throughout the same chain of theatres. A special documentary color trailer was made for showings at various spots for group sales

Displays:

Colorful pictorial displays were installed at all spots where tickets were on sale. Special bumper stickers for automobiles and "Doctor Zhivago" match folders were widely distributed. All copy on "Doctor Zhivago" was sent to all press outlets on special paper. More than 50 windows in leading music stores are promised for displays when recordings are available. 24 top bookstores will install windows after the rush Christmas holidays. These will be augmented by displays in smaller bookstore and book departments in general stores. Members of the press received copies of the Pasternak novel and later copies of Bolt's screen play as published in hard covers by Random House.
 
 

Quotes on "Doctor Zhivago"

 
Hollywood ticket flyer. Click the image to see enlargement

David Lean speaks in a language of unspeakably beautiful images "Doctor Zhivago" is warm and rewarding entertainment. It reaches that level of taste, perception and emotional fullness where a movie becomes a motion-picture event.
Time Magazine


When "Doctor Zhivago" ends, you feel you personally have gone through the revolution. For sheer beauty, it can't be matched. And if you're a betting buff, put your money on Julie Christie for the Oscar.
Hedda Hopper


"Doctor Zhivago" is a monumental picture. A turbulent era is recreated in a vital, meaningful film. Transferred handsomely and eloquently to the screen, it is a masterpiece comparable to "Gone With the Wind".
George Jackson, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner


One of the most meticulously designed and executed films since the advent of sound and color. Sweep and scope are captured by David Lean with soaring dramatic intensity.
Daily Variety


So big, it can't be ignored. Lean is one of the legendary great movie makers, perhaps the best around. It is as throat-catchingly magnificent as the screen could be. I could rave on and on.
Philip K. Scheuer Los Angeles Times


Without a doubt the most handsomely mounted picture of 1965. Many scenes sheer enchantment, exquisitely detailed. Exemplary acting by all principals.
Los Angeles Citizen-News
 
 

David Lean's film is a majestic, magnificent picture. It has every element that makes a smash hit. Far more than a masterful motion picture: it is a life experience.
Hollywood Reporter.


"Doctor Zhivago" is a very, very big picture definitely an oscar contender in all categories.
Sidney Skolsky syndicated columnist


A considerable cinematic achievement. A warm and moving narrative Julie Christie's magnetism is so compelling the theatre crackles. She is something special...and so is "Doctor Zhivago".
National Observer


A notable achievement of the screen, made so by superlative performances by cast and all talents involved. A gripping and compelling motion picture.
Motion Picture Daily


A four star picture. Under David Lean's excellent direction and the skilful playing of a handpicked cast, the picture has come forth as one of the finest of our time.
Kate Cameron, New York Daily News


One of the great motion pictures of our times. A chronicle of both subtle emotions and spectacular events..."Doctor Zhivago" has definitely enriched the screen.
Rose Pelswick., New York Journal-American


Worthy to be placed by the side of great David Lean pictures, "Lawrence of Arabia", "The Bridge on the River Kwai", etc...a great picture in every sense of the word.
Archer Winsten New York Post


It is the spectacle of the year... An astounding production... Julie Christie again proves she is the star of the year.
Dorothy Manners
 
 
   
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Updated 22-12-16