Vanya on 42nd Street
Vanya on 42nd Street (1995)

Emphasizing the spoken word and featuring virtuoso acting, this movie presents an austere production of Chekhov's classic stage drama Uncle Vanya filmed in an abandoned theater on New York's 42nd Street. As the play unfolds, the… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: June 1, 1995
DVD Release Date: September 24, 2002
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Critic Score: 89% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Beautiful performances and the subtle hand of master Louis Malle make this adaptation of Chekov's Uncle Vanya an eccentric presentation of an enduring classic.

Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

It's amazing it has taken Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory, and director Louis Malle more than 10 years to collaborate again. It was worth the wait, though.

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Time Out

There's more power here than in all the multi-million dollar fireworks of Hollywood.

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

The alchemy of Gregory's staging and Malle's direction turn what could have been an exercise in canned theater into something very nearly sublime.

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Todd McCarthy

The performances are precise, the language is alive and well spoken and the setting is striking, but Vanya on 42nd Street still suffers rather heavily from the limitations of filmed theater.

Janet Maslin
New York Times

The elegant understatement of this production turns it into a livelier experiment, a fluent, gripping version of one of Chekhov's more elusive plays.

Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

A deeply moving, inspirational secular-sacred experience both for its beautiful embodiment of Chekhov's story of unmoored souls and for the beauty of the greatest collaborative art form, practiced with pure joy and for love. [Blu-ray]

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Malle adeptly eases us into the play so we can't tell at what precise moment Chekhov takes over, an ambiguity that becomes the film's triumph as well as its key limitation.

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

This live-wire Vanya, freshly observed for the '90s, is fiercely funny, touching and vital.

Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online

... a record of a creative collaboration that has a life of its own, at once documentary, filmed rehearsal, play within a play, and private production restaged for a camera...

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More reviews for Vanya on 42nd Street

Flixster Audience Score: 80% Flixster User Reviews
Jim Hunter
A group of actors perform Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn combined with director Louis Malle to create one of the great talk-only… More
Anastasia Bartzoulianou
Amazing. Louis Malle makes a film about the love for the theater, and the love for the art, and the joy, the insight that it provides to life. All the cast is… More
John Ballantine
Should be seen in a theatre for the full appreciation. This is the most original telling of Uncle Vanya that I have seen. What we are seeing is a gripping… More
Anthony Valletta
Once it gets going, you forget there's no costumes or set.
Alec Barniskis
It strips Chekhov to its bare bones and its that simplicity of the production as well as the upfront acknowledgement of the artifice of this performance and the… More