Released by MGM on the 26th of February 1957, The Brothers Karamazov is a North American drama film based on the novel of the same name by Fyador Dostoevsky. The film has received positive reviews since it’s release, and was entered into the 1958 Cannes Film Festival. The film was produced and distributed by Metro Goldwyn Meyer, and is approximately 145 minutes in length. The Brothers Karamazov was released in English, Russian, and Polish across the world. Filming of The Brothers Karamazov was done in London, The United Kingdom, and Paris, France.

The story of The Brothers Karamazov follows Fyador, the patriarch of the titular Karamazov family and the tensions that arise in the family as Fyador has to choose an heir among his sons. The film includes family fighting that ultimately escalates to murder.

The Brothers Karamazov Cast and Crew

Lee J. Cobb plays the patriarch, Fyador Karamazov. His four eldest sons, Ivan, Alexi, Dmitri, and Smerdyakove are roles are portrayed by Yul Brynner, Albert Salmi, Richard Basehart, and William Shatner. This was William Shatner’s first film debut before he went on to find fame in the beloved Star Trek series that started in 1979, playing the starship Enterprise’s captain, James T. Kirk. Dmitri’s betrothed. Katya, is portrayed by Claire Bloom.

Although The Brothers Karamazov was based off the work of Fyador Dostoevsky, the screenplay for the film was written by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Richard brooks. Richard brooks also directed the film.

The Brothers Karamazov Plot

Set in Ryevsk, Russia, during the 1870s, The Brothers Karamazov is about four brothers fighting to become heir to their father’s fortune. The father, Fyador Karamazov, is a libertine who does not part with his wealth easily, and must decide who is to become the next heir to the house of Karamazov. The eldest brother, Dmitri, is seen as the most likely to become heir, as he is a distinguished officer, although he gambles much of his money away, and does not see eye to eye with his father. Things become tense as it’s revealed that Dmitri has fallen in love with one of his father’s mistresses.

The other Karamazov brothers, in turn, see their elder brother’s jealousy of their father as a chance to inherit the title of patriarch for themselves, and an acts of deceit, violence, and murder soon arise. Out of all this however, are acts of love, honour, forgiveness, redemption, and conscious, and the brothers slowly come to reconcile over time.

The Brothers Karamazov Reception

The Brothers Karamazov was met with a warm reception, which was reflected in the box office earnings. The film made a profit of $2.3 million in the United States, and $3 million globally, making a profit of over $400000.

The film was also nominated for best supporting actor for the performance of Lee J. Cobb, who played Fyador Karamazov in the film.

The Brothers Karamazov Verdict

Based on a classic novel, The Brothers Karamazov is a story of love, loss, deception, and ultimate redemption that still holds its own today.