Napoleon's tumultuous relations with Russia, including his disastrous 1812 invasion, serve as the backdrop for the tangled personal lives of two aristocratic families.

Director:

King Vidor

Writers:

Lev Tolstoy (based on the novel by) (as Leo Tolstoy), Bridget Boland (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:
Audrey Hepburn ... Natasha Rostova
Henry Fonda ... Pierre Bezukhov
Mel Ferrer ... Prince Andrei Bolkonsky
Vittorio Gassman ... Anatol Kuragin
Herbert Lom ... Napoleon
Oskar Homolka ... Field Marshal Kutuzov (as Oscar Homolka)
Anita Ekberg ... Helene Kuragina
Helmut Dantine ... Dolokhov
Tullio Carminati ... Prince Vasili Kuragin
Barry Jones ... Prince Mikhail Andreevich Rostov
Milly Vitale ... Lisa Bolkonskaya
Lea Seidl Lea Seidl ... Countess Rostov
Anna Maria Ferrero ... Maria Bolkonskaya
Wilfrid Lawson ... Prince Bolkonsky (as Wilfred Lawson)
May Britt ... Sonia Rostova
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Storyline

By 1812, Napoleon's (Herbert Lom's) forces controlled much of Europe. Russia, one of the few countries still unconquered, prepares to face Napoleon's troops together with Austria. Amongst the Russian soldiers, are Count Nikolai Rostov (Jeremy Brett) and Prince Andrei Bolkonsky (Mel Ferrer). Count Pierre Bezukhov (Henry Fonda), 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 (Audrey Hepburn), Nikolai's sister, but she is too young, so he gives in to baser desires and marries the shallow, manipulative Princess Helene (Anita Ekberg). 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. A few months later, Pierre and Andrei meet again. Andrei sees Natasha and falls in love, but his father will only permit the marriage if ... Written by alfiehitchie

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Taglines:

NOW! The Motion Picture of the Century! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeremy Brett was chosen to play Nikolai in part because it was felt he resembled his on-screen sibling, Audrey Hepburn. See more »

Goofs

In the first battle, Prince Andrei dismounts to take the flag of the shot soldier who is holding it. Then the wounded soldier kneels twice. See more »

Quotes

Platon Karatsev: [about the camp followers of Napoleon's retreating army] Russian women!
Pierre Bezukhov: They're the lice that live on the conquerors. They have to leave or die.
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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 »

Alternate Versions

Two different versions of the main titles exists. Both of them in English. In the one, the credits are set against a neutral background, in the other against details of a painting of Napoleon in front of his troops. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ainda Não Acabámos: Como Se Fosse Uma Carta (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Les roses de Novgorod
(uncredited)
Music by Nino Rota
Lyrics by Nadine Laik
Sung by Eva
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User Reviews

 
Vidor's unjustly over-looked version of Tolstoy's novel
9 April 2008 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

Perhaps the best you can say for Vidor's long, (200 minutes), but surprisingly compact version of Tolstoy's novel is that it is no disgrace despite being 'internationalized' for mass consumption. (It's got an Italian producer, was filmed in Italy, an American director and a large cast from all over the place, leading in some cases to some very unconvincing dubbing). But it's also largely intelligent, well enough acted, particularly by Audrey Hepburn who is an enchanting Natasha, and visually splendid. No less than eight writers worked on the script which fails conspicuously to translate Tolstoy's 'grand ideas' into anything other than Readers-Digest form but then even Bondarchuk's even longer Russian version didn't quite manage the leap from page to screen. You may be forgiven, then, for thinking you are watching nothing more than a grandiose soap-opera even if it's a cut above run-of-the-mill historical 'soap-operas'. But in an age when three-hour-plus epics were ten-a-penny it didn't catch on and come Oscar time it was largely over-looked. (The even bigger but vastly inferior "Around the World in 80 Days" took Best Picture while "War and Peace" failed to snag a nomination in that category). But it is worth seeing if only for Hepburn's under-rated performance and for Henry Fonda, too old and miscast as Pierre, but bringing his liberal gravitas to the part, all the same.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English | Italian | Russian

Release Date:

21 August 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

War and Peace See more »

Filming Locations:

Sardinia, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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