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War and Peace (1966)
"Voyna i mir" (original title)

 -  Drama | History | Romance  -  28 April 1968 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,136 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 22 critic

Eight-hour epic based on the book of the same name by Leo Tolstoy. Two main story-lines are complex and intertwined. One is the love story of young Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre... See full summary »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sergey Bondarchuk ...
Lyudmila Saveleva ...
Vyacheslav Tikhonov ...
Boris Zakhava ...
Anatoli Ktorov ...
Anastasiya Vertinskaya ...
Antonina Shuranova ...
Oleg Tabakov ...
Viktor Stanitsyn ...
Irina Skobtseva ...
Boris Smirnov ...
Vasiliy Lanovoy ...
Kira Golovko ...
Irina Gubanova ...
Aleksandr Borisov ...
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Storyline

Eight-hour epic based on the book of the same name by Leo Tolstoy. Two main story-lines are complex and intertwined. One is the love story of young Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre Bezukhov, who is unhappy in his marriage. Another is the "Great Patriotic War" of 1812 against the invading Napoleon's Armies. The people of Russia from all classes of society stand up united against the enemy. The 500,000 strong Napoleon's army moves through Russia and causes much destruction culminating in the battle of Borodino. The Russian army has to retreat. Moscow is occupied, looted and burned down, but soon Napoleon loses control and has to flee. Both sides suffer tremendous losses in the war, and Russian society is left irrevocably changed. Written by Steve Shelokhonov

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

28 April 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

War and Peace  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video) | (4 parts) | (2 parts) | (4 parts) | (Québec)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (RCA Sound System) (35 mm prints)| (Restored version)

Color:

(Sovcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Sergey Bondarchuk had two heart attacks during the years of production. He suffered his first heart attack while filming part 3, the battle of Borodino. He suffered his second heart attack while filming part 4, the Fire of Moscow. Then the director was in-and-out of hospital during post-production. See more »

Goofs

When some of the characters are attending the opera, "L'incoronazione di Poppea" by Claudio Monteverdi is being performed. It premiered in Venice in 1642, but by the time that the story takes place (ca. 1807), it had been lost and all but forgotten. A score wasn't rediscovered until 1888, and the first modern performance was given in 1905. The anachronism is probably intentional since Monteverdi's tale of the destructiveness of erotic desire foreshadows the events immediately after that scene. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: I want only to say that it is always the simplest ideas which lead to the greatest consequences. My idea, in its entirety, is that if vile people unite and constitute a force, then decent people are obliged to do likewise; just that.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Love and Death (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Prologue
(uncredited)
from "L'Incoronazione di Poppea"
Composed by Claudio Monteverdi
Written by Giovanni Francesco Busenello
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The epic accomplishment of this film will crush your skull.
27 January 2001 | by (Lake Elsinore, CA) – See all my reviews

If you can find it, watch it.

Admittedly, the 7 hour plus running time is pretty daunting, but consider the source material. This film deservedly won the best foreign picture Oscar when it was finally released in the U.S. The fact that a Soviet film was able to garner such an award during the height of the Cold War is a testament to its greatness.

There are 3 intermissions to this, the Pangaea of all epic films, and each section draws the viewer in more than the last. The spectacle will blow your mind in a way that digital effects never will be able to do. To actually see the Red Army (and what looks like all of it) marching in costume over the expanse of miles into the distance will change any prior notions of spectacle you held. Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, whatever awed you before is chicken feed compared to the brutal grandeur of Bondarchuk's recreation of The War of 1812.

There are beautiful interludes of excellent acting amidst extremely costly sets--it's a shame I don't know Russian because those subtitles chew up a lot of exquisite scenery. The characters are fully developed, the direction is inspired (no run-of-the-mill static camera work in any of this).

They showed this in 70mm at The Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood last year. Before that it was 10 years without a screening in the U.S. We can't afford to let this shimmering prize of film history lapse. In a theatre, or if it is ever issued on DVD, this movie will deeply reward all those who watch it. There was nothing as grand as War & Peace before; there will be nothing on its scale ever again. Treasure this masterpiece...if you can find it.


78 of 81 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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