Eight-hour epic based on the book of the same name by Lev 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
Eugene Fraga and Steve Shelokhonov
This film is in the Official Top 250 Narrative Feature Films on Letterboxd. See more »
Towards the end of the Battle of Borodino sequence (Part III - 1812), there are a few seconds where the shadow of the camera can be seen clearly. This is when the camera is moving along a trench, and a cannon falls nearby it. See more »
And not for this day and hour alone were the mind and conscience of this man darkened, on whom the burden of events weighed more heavily than on all the others who took part in it. Never, to the end of his life, had he the least comprehension of goodness, of beauty or of truth, or of the significance of his actions, which were too contrary to goodness and truth, too remote from everything human for him ever to understand their meaning. He could not disavow his deeds, lauded as they were by half...
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The 35 mm print from Seagull Films is the version shown in American theaters. Running time: Part 1a=110min. Part 1b=37min. Part2=86min. Part3=83min. Part4=98min. Total running time for the 35mm film is 414min (intermissions not included) See more »
I remember seeing this film without a break back in the 1970s in Greenwich Village. It's a grand work of art. The movie started around 9pm and ended 5:00 am. It was snowing outside. I felt we had all lived through the War with Napoleon, seeing Natasha grow (the movie took so long to make that the young actress visibly grew before our eyes), and confronting the issues of war and peace.
It was in Russian with English subtitles. That was better than the TV version some years later that was overdubbed. The feeling of the actors didn't come through in that broadcast.
The music was extraordinary. There was a certain waltz that intrigued me. Saw the other War and Peace with Audrey Hepburn that just could not compare to it. It was too lame.
Nothing in film today can compare to those battle scenes. Nowadays, such scenes are too computerized.
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