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Waterloo (1970)

Facing the decline of everything he has worked to obtain, conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte and his army confront the British at the Battle of Waterloo.


(as Sergei Bondarchuk)


(story and screenplay), (screenplay collaboration) (as Sergei Bondarchuk) | 1 more credit »
Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ivo Garrani ...
Sergo Zakariadze ...
Blucher (as Serghej Zakhariadze)
Terence Alexander ...


After defeating France and imprisoning Napoleon on Elba, ending two decades of war, Europe is shocked to find Napoleon has escaped and has caused the French Army to defect from the King back to him. The best of the British generals, the Duke of Wellington, beat Napolean's best generals in Spain and Portugal, but has never faced Napoleon. Wellington stands between Napoleon with a makeshift Anglo-Allied army and the Prussians. A Napoleon victory will plunge Europe back into a long term war. An allied victory could bring long term peace to Europe. The two meet at Waterloo where the fate of Europe will be decided. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One incredible afternoon Napoleon met Wellington . . . at Waterloo. See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

29 October 1970 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Battle of Waterloo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The picture was a commercial failure at the theatrical box-office in 1970. Producer Dino De Laurentiis blamed the film's poor performance on the picture's lack of stars. See more »


At the opening of the campaign (just after Napoleon's "God's got nothing to do with it" comment), French troops are seen marching down the road and across the fields. Troops did not march-in-step whilst on the move across country. It was too tiring and inefficient. Route step (aka route march) was used instead, in which the troops remained in a loose formation, but did not match their steps. See more »


Michel Ney: [as elite French soldiers retreat in disorder] Are you France? Are you the Guard?
See more »


Featured in The Man Who Saw Tomorrow (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

Greatest War Movie ever made.
3 December 2009 | by See all my reviews

I only discovered Waterloo a couple of years ago and that was after buying the DVD for £4 in Asda! What a bargain buy it turned out to be, a true classic in every sense of the word.

The two main protagonists Napoleon and Wellington are portrayed superbly by Rod Steiger and Christopher Plummer respectively, as we get a really detailed insight into both men's characters. These 2 generals had a special rivalry in 19th century military history and the way real quotes are dropped in at certain points during the movie is top class. Napoleon was the man to beat in 1815 and Wellington had his eyes very much set on that prize, this is well exemplified just before the battle commences when a soldier asks Wellington to fire a cannon shot when Napoleon rides into range, to which Wellington replies somewhat aghast "Certainly not, commanders of armies have something better to do than to fire at one another". Wellington knew this would be the battle that would make or break him, and he wanted Napoleon there operating at his best.

Another quote from the movie which embodies the respect and honour associated with this period of military history; Wellington is observing the French preparations for the commencement of battle, watching over the pomp and ritual somewhat contemptuously but also in admiration, "Dramatic fellows, these French, music and banners, quite beautiful."

As far as I am aware the historical attention to detail is second to none with all the main areas included such as the lead-up to the battle at Ligny and Quatre Bras. Furthermore the battle appears to go exactly how historians would have wanted with plenty of emphasis put on every area of the battlefield. Sometimes in Britain and among Anglo-Saxons the battle is simply described as the Brits beating the French, however the movie sticks to historical facts and shows it was very much an Allied army that won at Waterloo with only something like 20%-30% of it comprising of British soldiers. The rest of the Allied force was made up of Prussians, Hessians, Hanoverians, Dutch, Belgians, Danes. This was very much a broad European coalition.

Another great thing about this film is that even though Bonaparte was essentially the 'tyrant' we get such an insight into his character and into Bonaparte 'the man' that you feel sorry that he loses the battle in the end up.

The battle scenes are truly lavish, a real epic of a film.

Top top drawer.

For me its a 10 out of 10 !

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