In the nineties, André Gregory mounted a series of spare, private performances of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya in a crumbling Manhattan playhouse. These treasures of pure theater would have been lost to time had they not been captured on film, with subtle cinematic brilliance, by Louis Malle. In Vanya on 42nd Street, a stellar cast of actors-including Wallace Shawn, Julianne Moore, Brooke Smith, and George Gaynes-embark on a full read-through of Uncle Vanya (adapted into English by David Mamet); the result is as memorable and emotional a screen version of Chekhov's masterpiece as one could ever hope to see. This film, which turned out to be Malle's last, is a tribute to the playwright's devastating work as well as to the creative process itself.
New documentary featuring interviews with André Gregory, the play's director; actors Lynn Cohen, George Gaynes, Julianne Moore, Larry Pine, Wallace Shawn, and Brooke Smith; and producer Fred Berner