Dr. Zhivago and Richard Burton question
April 14, 2004 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Need help with a RIDICULOUSLY TRIVIAL but frustrating OBSESSION concerning the movie Dr. Zhivago and Richard Burton, the actor. (m.i.)

There's a scene where Lara (Julie Christie) is confessing to a priest. I'm CERTAIN that the priest is played by Richard Burton.

I know I'm not the only one who thinks this. (here and here).

I checked IMDB credits. While they have a credit listed for "Jose Nieto ...Priest (uncredited)", I'm sure that this is the priest at the funeral of Zhivago's mother at the very beginning of the movie, and not Lara's priest.

I tried e-mailing IMDB several years ago about this and nothing happened.

My question is "How can I prove this one way or the other -AND- get IMDB to update the credits?"

I suppose Julie Christie would know, but how would I go about contacting her? Contact Any Celebrity sounds criminally overpriced to me.) Is there a snowball's chance I'd get a response? If so, how would I get IMDB to accept the evidence?

Or at least does anyone else remember Julie Christie confessing to Richard Burton? Please, my sanity is at stake!
posted by marsha56 to Media & Arts (15 answers total)
Response by poster: Sorry about the unmatched ")". I'm a long time lurker, and this is my first post. Please be merciful.
posted by marsha56 at 7:31 PM on April 14, 2004

I don't think you can get IMDB to update the credits. Those are simply a matter of record. If it didn't show up in the movie credits, it doesn't get listed. Only thing you could persuade them to do, is add to the trivia section, if you can prove it.
posted by Gyan at 7:32 PM on April 14, 2004

Maybe it's in a published bio about him? If he went uncredited for whatever reason, you can't really prove it was him...i'd trust that it was--other people say so, after all. or write to liz or his former agents?
posted by amberglow at 7:45 PM on April 14, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks Gyan. I always assumed that since so many of IMDB's credits show "uncredited" credits, that they were updatable, and not just the official end-of-movie credits. Anyone had experience working with IMDB or know someone who has?
posted by marsha56 at 8:30 PM on April 14, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks amberglow. I'll try to check out some bios.
posted by marsha56 at 8:32 PM on April 14, 2004

Roger Ebert's got a "Movie Answer Man" column at his website. This is just the kind of thing he usually tackles. You could e-mail him and maybe have him track it down for you. (I love me some Eeb.)
posted by web-goddess at 8:52 PM on April 14, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks web-goddess! I love Ebert. That's a great idea.
posted by marsha56 at 9:06 PM on April 14, 2004

Response by poster: ....errrr. Maybe not. I'm afraid this might violate the Answer Man rules and get me blocked from Ebert's future assistance.
posted by marsha56 at 9:18 PM on April 14, 2004

I've tried a couple of times to update IMDb...they have a method by which you can submit corrections.

I always get confirmation of my submissions, but the corrections have never materialized.
posted by Vidiot at 10:07 PM on April 14, 2004

Huh. I've seen Ebert answer questions like that before. Maybe people have been abusing it. It's not like you're asking an easily Googleable cast question. If the worst he can do is ban your e-mail address, just create a junk Yahoo account and send it from there. Worth a shot, anyway.

Another possibility - are there any prominent Burton fan sites on the 'Net? I run a Roald Dahl site and people e-mail me obscure trivia questions about him all the time.
posted by web-goddess at 10:59 PM on April 14, 2004

Well, it's definitely Richard Burton, according to this page, but there isn't much more info than that.
posted by taz at 11:00 PM on April 14, 2004

Premier Magazine also has an ask the expert feature. Email askglenn@hfmus.com.

However, I think you'll be disappointed. I watched this movie about 8 months ago and don't recall seeing Dicky Burton in it. Jose Nieto definitely plays a priest in it, though.
posted by dobbs at 11:41 PM on April 14, 2004

If you want to ask the Answer Man, you might phrase it as a more general question, including the Richard Burton / Dr Zhivago thing as an example. For example: "Why do some big name cameo roles go uncredited? For example, it appears Richard Burton pops up in Dr Zhivago playing a priest, but the role is uncredited so I can't confirm it."
posted by jacquilynne at 4:28 AM on April 15, 2004

I have successfully updated credits in IMDB at least once. I also got them to change a plot summary. I have no evidence to back this up, but I wonder if it matters how long you've been signed up with them, and whether you already have a history of providing information that never turns out to be bogus.

Trying to get in touch with Julie Christie is probably not worth it. But remember that there were a lot of other people involved in that production, and most of them are much more likely to respond to you than one of the starring actors might be. Why not scour the behind-the-scenes credits and try to contact the casting director, or the makeup artist, or one of the associate producers? Tell them you're writing an article or a book and make it sound like you're going to quote them.

You could also try contacting Melvyn Bragg, who wrote a biography of Burton. Just send the letter care of his publisher.
posted by bingo at 3:32 PM on April 15, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks everybody for the great suggestions. I'll let you know if I have any luck.
posted by marsha56 at 12:04 AM on April 16, 2004

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