Skip to main content

FROM RUSSIA TO HOLLYWOOD: THE 100 YEAR ODYSSEY OF CHEKHOV AND SHDANOFF

USA, 1999 (MIFF 2000, Documentaries)

Director: Frederick Keeve

Narrated by Gregory Peck, this documentary is full of passionate testimony and behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Hollywood screen legends—including Anthony Quinn, Leslie Caron, Robert Stack—about two of the most beloved and influential acting coaches, Michael Chekhov and George Shdanoff.

Chekov, a student of Stanislavsky, was marked for death by the Communist regime in Russia and fled to Berlin in 1928. After forming a friendship with young actor Shdanoff, they outlined the next progression in the evolution of the 'Method' style of acting. An Oscar nominee for his performance in Spellbound, Chekov continued to teach and act until his death in 1955. Shdanoff and his wife, Elsa Schreiber, carried on Chekov's work, coaching some of the leading lights of the big screen, such as Ingrid Bergman, Clint Eastwood, Marilyn Monroe and Paul Newman.

"From Russia to Hollywood is a captivating look at a seldom explored Hollywood lineage. Keeve's tribute is rich in understated emotion, wit and intelligence."—Variety

See also...

THE JAUNDICED EYE

In 1989 Stephen Matthews and his father were sentenced to 35 years in prison for sexually abusing Stephen's five-year-old son. Presented with no physical evidence, the jury was swayed by a number of ... More »

HAND OF FATE

Hand of Fate is a visually ravishing film portrait of six diverse individuals from across the globe, who have been given the gift and burden of being able into see the future. Told in their own ... More »

SHADOW BOXERS

Comparable to the hit boxing documentary When We Were Kings, Shadow Boxers is an extraordinary work. As a serious study of the burgeoning female boxing scene it's a first rate movie experience ... More »

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR

The Girl Next Door is an eye-popping expose of the contemporary porn industry told through the eyes of award-winning (yes, there are Porn Oscars) actress, Stacy Valentine. With abundant pathos, irony ... More »

THE LIFESTYLE

Some middle-class, middle-aged couples like to get together on weekends for dinner parties, golf or barbecues. Others like to have group sex. Welcome to 'The Lifestyle', a 90s euphemism for what was ... More »

MR. DEATH: THE RISE AND FALL OF FRED A. LEUCHTER, JR.

"I sleep very well at night, knowing that those persons that are executed with my equipment have a better chance of a painless, more humane and dignified execution."—Fred A. Leuchter Jr ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director