I remember seeing this when I was in high school and being mesmerized. Having watched it at home now twice, I still think this an amazing adaptation. Watching Anthony Hopkins stretch his legs in his first big role is a wonder and presages all the kudos he was to receive in ensuing decades. I also think Morag Hood was quite convincing as a 13-year-old girl through to a nearly-30 Natasha; in contrast to another viewer who was bothered by a 30-year-old woman playing the girl Natasha, I found her acting the part of a 13 year old to be convincing.
David Swift brings real complexity to Napoleon, and the family scenes of the Rostovs are a wonderful contrast to the dysfunctional Bolkonsky family. The acting is very good throughout (although Joanna David as Sonya does a bit too much weeping for my taste) and the peek into the Russia of the times is faithful to the book.
This production shows its age, especially the graininess of exterior shots compared to the interior studio film, but overall I think it a truly outstanding adaptation. I sure wish Alan Dobie was still working in film! Most of the secondary characters (Dolohov, Helene, and Katische) are quite good.
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