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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WORLD'S GREATEST NOVEL NOW ON THE SCREEN! (original print ad - all caps) 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

Henry Fonda later admitted he had known from the beginning that he was too old for his character, and had only made this movie for the money. 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

Version of War and Peace (2007) 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

Misses the essence of the book
26 July 2004 | by Leendert_WagenaarSee all my reviews

Quite a disappointing story about some people that get involved with each other. This makes the movie some swooning story about love (one might say it becomes some sort of Jane Austen story, which is not altogether bad, but has nothing to do with Tolstoy) It fails to capture the book's most beautiful moments: -Rostow's 'tremendous courage' when he flee-ed from advancing enemy forces after being wounded by his own horse. (Which showed the stupidity of war) -Pierre's duel (which is included, but not in very satisfying way (for instance, it misses Pierre's certainty that he would die in the duel and his flirt with death)) and the following conversion to freemasonry

What is worse, the film goes against the spirit of the book, when it emphasis's the prophesying moments. (While the book shows the exact counter case: the complete unpredictability where things would go next) Although I wouldn't name this a good effort to make a film out of 'War and Peace', I don't think it can be done in any satisfying way.


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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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