A fine, sensitive filming of a fine stage production of Chekhov's masterpiece THE THREE SISTERS. A few of the actors are a bit too broad and stagey (especially the oldest sister, the schoolteacher), reflecting inexperience acting for the camera, but that's a minor flaw.<br/><br/>What's up with the sound? I rented the DVD and the sound track is terrible for a film from this period. It's hard to make out some of the dialogue, especially when a character turns away from the camera. I hate having to strain to hear dialogue, especially dialogue by Chekhov! It seems to be a recording problem. The film was shot on what seem to be massive stage sets. This family's provincial home looks roughly the size of the Winter Palace. I'm guessing the cavernous sets swallowed up and muffled the dialogue, resulting in the poor sound quality.<br/><br/>Aside from the deficiencies of the sound (and there's no excuse for such a problem in a production from 1970 -- fire that sound engineer!) it's a great production of a gently funny and bittersweet classic play.
Olga, Masha and Irina Prozoroff (Louise Purnell) lead lonely and purposeless lives following the death of their father who had commanded the local army post. Olga attempts to find satisfaction in teaching, but secretly longs for a home and family. Masha, unhappy with her marriage to a timid schoolmaster, falls hopelessly in love with married Colonel Vershinin. Irina works in the local telegraph office, but longs for gaiety. Their sense of futility is increased by their brother's marriage to Natasha, a coarse peasant girl. She gradually encroaches on the family home until even the private refuge of the sisters is destroyed. They dream of starting a new life in Moscow, but are saddled with the practicalities of their quiet existence. Despite their failures, they resolve to seek some purpose and hope when the army post is withdrawn from the town.
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