While working on the soundtrack for Doctor Zhivago, Maurice Jarre was asked by director David Lean to come up with a theme for the character of Lara, played by Julie Christie. Initially Lean had desired to use a well-known Russian song but could not locate the rights to it, and delegated responsibility to Jarre. After several unsuccessful attempts at writing it, Lean suggested to Jarre that he go to the mountains with his girlfriend and write a piece of music for her. Jarre says that the resultant piece was “Lara’s Theme”, and Lean liked it well enough to use it in numerous tracks for the film.
“Lara’s Theme” remains to this day one of the most recognizable movie themes ever written.
Movie: Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Directed by David Lean
Produced by Carlo Ponti
Starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie
Music by Maurice Jarre
Production company: Sostar S.A.
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer