This Michael Chekhov Documentary is a great introduction to his work
Aired on PBS, the award-winning Chekhov documentary profiles the story of Michael Chekhov and his colleague George Shdanoff, as their lives moved from Russia to Hollywood. With narration by Gregory Peck, film clips of the many great stars they coached and interviews with Anthony Quinn (shot by Lisa Dalton) and others makes this documentary both entertaining and educational as it reveals the technique and the biography.
From Czarist Russia’s Moscow Art Theatre to Hollywood’s Dirty Harry, narrators Gregory Peck and Mala Powers join an A-list of Hollywood stars to take us through the odyssey of two Russian-born men. Academy Award-nominated Michael Chekhov and noted director/actor George Shdanoff brought a unique technique of acting to Hollywood. Lisa Dalton filmed on location in Russia, Switzerland, Germany, France, England and the United States to co-produce this documentary examines the journey of Chekhov and Shdanoff that led to their creation of this revolutionary acting system, which turned Stanislavski’s acting theory on its head, and empowered the legendary Hollywood stars and directors of the 40s, 50s and beyond to create their most memorable work on stage and in films.
The range and scope of the noted artists to be inspired by these two great coaches is astonishing: Ingrid Bergman, Lloyd Bridges, Yul Brynner, Leslie Caron, Cyd Charisse, Gary Cooper, Yvonne de Carlo, James Dean, Clint Eastwood, Sharon Gless, Rex Harrison, Sterling Hayden, Jennifer Jones, Gene Kelly, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Patricia Neal, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Jack Palance, Gregory Peck, Mala Powers, Tyrone Power, Anthony Quinn, Robert Taylor, Robert Stack, Beatrice Straight, Robert Walker and many others.
As renowned film critic and biographer, Richard Schickel, says, “Dirty Harry has his roots in the Moscow Art Theatre … It’s completely true …. It’s completely unrecognizable … but there it is.”
Color / Approx. running time: 105 Min. 2002- English -Chekhov Documentary