From Russia To Hollywood: The 100-Year Odyssey Of Chekhov And Shdanoff
From Czarist Russia's Moscow Art Theatre to Hollywood's Dirty Harry, narrator Gregory Peck joins an A-list of Hollywood stars to take us through the odyssey of two Russian-born men. Academy Award-nominated Michael Chekov and noted director/actor George Shdanoff brought a unique technique of acting to Hollywood. Filmed on location in Russia, Switzerland, Germany, France, England and the United States, this documentary examines the journey of Chekhov and Shdanoff that led to their creation of this revolutionary acting system.
Chekhov, the Moscow Art Theater's most brilliant star, escaped Russia following a controversial portrayal of Hamlet. In 1928, Chekhov met George Shdanoff in Berlin which was the beginning of a lifelong collaboration.
Their system 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, directors Martin Ritt and Arthur Penn, and many others.
As a renowned film critic and biographer Richard Schnickel says: "Dirty Harry has his roots in the Moscow Art Theatre....It's completely true....It's completely unrecognizable...but there it is."