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War and Peace (1956)

PG | | Drama, Romance, War | 21 August 1956 (USA)
Napoleon's tumultuous relations with Russia including his disastrous 1812 invasion serve as the backdrop for the tangled personal lives of two aristocratic families.

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Writers:

(based on the novel by), (adaptation) | 5 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Field Marshal Kutuzov (as Oscar Homolka)
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Prince Vasili Kuragin
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Lisa Bolkonskaya
Lea Seidl ...
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Maria Bolkonskaya
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Prince Bolkonsky (as Wilfred Lawson)
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Storyline

By 1812, Napoleon's forces controlled much of Europe. Russia, one of the few countries still unconquered, prepares to face Napoleon's troops together with Austria. Among the Russian soldiers are Count Nicholas Rostov and Prince Andrei Bolkonsky. Count Pierre Bezukhov, a friend of Andrei's and self-styled intellectual who is not interested in fighting. Pierre's life changes when his father dies, leaving him a vast inheritance. He is attracted to Natasha Rostov, Nicholas's sister, but she is too young, so he gives in to baser desires and marries the shallow, manipulative Princess Helene. The marriage ends when Pierre discovers his wife's true nature. Andrei is captured and later released by the French, and returns home only to watch his wife die in childbirth. Months later, Pierre and Andrei meet again. Andrei sees Natasha and falls in love, but his father will only permit the marriage if they postpone it for one year until Natasha turns 17. While Andrei is away on a military mission, ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Conflicts, Loves, Passions, Drama, You Live Through a Supreme Experience as "War and Peace" Comes Alive On The Screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

21 August 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La guerra y la paz  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$12,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)| (as Perspecta Stereophonic Sound ® by Suonitalia Studio - Rome -)

Color:

(Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Italian post-synchronized version of the film, the following dubbers lent their voice to the English-speaking cast: Maria Pia Di Meo (Audrey Hepburn), Emilio Cigoli (Henry Fonda), Stefano Sibaldi (Mel Ferrer), Arnoldo Foà (Herbert Lom), Mario Besesti (Oskar Homolka), Lydia Simoneschi (Anita Ekberg), Gualtiero De Angelis (Helmut Dantine), Amilcare Pettinelli (Barry Jones), Fiorella Betti (Milly Vitale), Rosetta Calavetta (May Britt) and Carlo Romano (John Mills). Vittorio Gassman dubbed himself. See more »

Goofs

When Sonya enters Natasha's bedroom where Natasha has retired after meeting Anatole at the opera, she appears to turn on an electric lamp! In 1812, candles and fireplaces were the only source of lighting. Kerosene lamps did not appear until mid 19th century. See more »

Quotes

Dolokhov: [about French prisoners] Take them away! You know what to do with them!
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Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: The most difficult thing - but an essential one - is to love Life, to love it even while one suffers, because Life is all. Life is God, and to love Life means to love God. Tolstoy "WAR and PEACE" See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Phil Silvers Show: Platoon in the Movies (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Rose von Nowgorod
(uncredited)
Music by Nino Rota
Lyrics by Wolfgang Schrauth and S.Krapp
Sung by Zarah Leander
See more »

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User Reviews

 
WAR AND PEACE On DVD At Last!
29 November 2002 | by (Salt Lake City) – See all my reviews

King Vidor's version of Leo Tolstoy's WAR AND PEACE has finally been released in the U.S. by Paramount and is a welcome addition to my DVD collection. I have been tempted many times to purchase a Hong Kong pressing of this title -- but I'm glad that I refrained. While this DVD does not contain much in the way of "Extras", it does contain a nice wide screen transfer that captures to look of its original release. Paramount, rather then following in the footsteps of the other major studios, did not use the CinemaScope wide-screen process developed by 20th Century-Fox and introduced in 1953 with their Lloyd C. Douglas adaptation of THE ROBE. Rather, Paramount developed their own wide- screen process and called it VistaVision. The VistaVision system moved 35mm film through the camera side-ways, resulting in a picture negative that was close to 70mm in size. The film was then reduced to a wide-screen image (usally around 1.85:1 instead of CinemaScope's 2.65:1 ratio). Coupled with genuine Technicolor (before it became teamed with Eastman Color) photography, VistaVision was capable of stunning images. WAR AND PEACE was photographed by JACK CARDIFF, one of finest cinematographers ever to grace film (THE RED SHOES is one of his works), resulting in one of the most beautifully photographed films of all-time! Alas, stereophonic sound was not generally employed by Paramount and so WAR AND PEACE has only a mono track -- nice, but not as nice a stereophonic track would have been. As to the film itself, I can only express that I have loved it from the first seeing in 1956 -- and continue to find it a great and involving film experience. The film is truly spectactular (even when compared to the 6-hour Russian version of 1968), but it works for me because of the human story. AUDREY HEPBURN as Natasha is perfection itself. She grows from the delightful innocence of childhood to the wisdom (and beauty) of adulthood. HENRY FONDA, often criticized as being wrong for the role of Pierre, is very effective as a man searching for and finding the true meaning of life and events. The film ends with this marvelous quotation from Tolstoy: "The most difficult thing -- but an essential one -- is to love Life, to love it even while one suffers, because Life is all, Life is God, and to love Life means to love God". And that is what this film captures -- and this is what sets it apart from other great epics. Nino Rota's score is also a great asset to this films effectiveness. As to the DVD itself -- Paramount, while not restoring it in the manner done for their recent releases of ROMAN HOLIDAY and SUNSET BOULEVARD, have still provided us with a fine DVD! There is no commentary track (most of the principals have passed away) -- but it would have been nice to have heard from Jack Cardiff. Both the B&W Behind-the-Scenes Trailer (showing location shooting of a key charge scene and a few words from director, King Vidor) and the re-release theatrical trailer, are interesting. How does the film compare to the book? I'm currently reading the book -- and can honestly say that I'm glad that I've seen the movie first. It helps greatly in keeping track of the numerous characters and plot developments. The book is one of the enduring masterpieces of literature -- but this film stands on its own as a great motion picture! Thanks Paramount for the DVD release!!


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