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Encyclopedia > Vanya on 42nd Street

Vanya on 42nd Street was a 1994 film by Louis Malle and Andre Gregory, based on the play Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov. It starred Wallace Shawn in the title role.


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‘Vanya on 42nd StreetÂ’ (PG) (669 words)
At the beginning of Louis Malle's "Vanya on 42nd Street," members of a theatrical cast struggle through the noisy bustle of Times Square on their way to a rehearsal of Anton Chekhov's play "Uncle Vanya." Even before the run-through begins, the performers complain that they are burned out, overworked, too tired to carry on.
Vanya (Wallace Shawn), for example, has sacrificed his own chance for intellectual distinction by devoting himself tirelessly to the labors of his father-in-law, Serybryakov (George Gaynes), a scholar whose career never took off in the way his family had hoped.
Vanya is a defeated figure with nothing to live for, and at times Shawn's portrayal of the character's anger is so savage that it verges on the insane.
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