Eight-hour epic based on the book of the same name by Leo Tolstoy. Two main story-lines are complex and intertwined. One is the love story of young Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre...
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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 ... See full summary »
In July 1942, in the Second World War, the rearguard of the Red army protects the bridgehead of the Don River against the German army while the retreating soviet troops cross the bridge. ... See full summary »
A 1973 Soviet twelve-part television series, directed by Tatyana Lioznova and based on the novel of the same title by Yulian Semyonov. The series portrays the exploits of Maxim Isaev, a ... See full summary »
King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly ... See full summary »
Eight-hour epic based on the book of the same name by Leo 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
Her role as Natasha was the first performance for former ballerina Lyudmila Saveleva. More than 40 years later she would return to Tolstoy with a performance in a television mini-series adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina (2009). See more »
During the battle of Borodino sequence, as the camera pans down the lines of Russian troops sitting in reserve, a soldier can be clearly seen wearing a modern wristwatch. See more »
The film was produced by Mosfilm. Their current website lists running times of 255 minutes for parts one and two combined; 104 minutes for part 3; and 125 minutes for part 4; a total of 484 minutes. They also say that it was "restored" in 1988, which may mean (they don't explain) that in that year it was trimmed of perhaps some ideological additions which were demanded of the director when he originally filmed it. The DVD put out by the Russian Cinema Council (RusCiCo) is 403 minutes, and is currently the longest version out there, and the only one in the correct aspect ratio. See more »
War and Peace, to many, is synonymous with a colossus of a book. The ultimate door-stopper. It is among the most complex and epic works of literature ever written. In 19th century Moscow and St-Petersburg, youths grow, make their mistakes hearts are bound and then broken and then the great war against Napoleon tears all these lives apart. Leo Tolstoy created intimate portrayals, compelling characters and epic action, telling the story of an entire country and an entire era effortlessly and elegantly. So if books are often difficult to adapt, this one should be completely impossible (witness the shallow King Vidor adaptation).
This film is the stuff of legends. Reportedly one of the most expensive productions ever created, Sergei Bondarchuk's "War and Peace" benefited from the Red Army's involvement and the Soviet Government's financing, and clocks in at about 7 hours. It is as faithful to its source as could be imaginable. In fact, it almost transcends its source.
Admirably cast (the angelic Liudmila Savelieva is ideal as Natasha Rostova and the director was unbelievably wise in casting himself as Pierre Besukhov), elegantly transcribed into a witty screenplay and enacted with class and conviction by its immense cast, "War and Peace" is not just a good adaptation. Its merits as a film are colossal. The cinematography defies any other film, particularly during the battle scenes: rejecting the painterly staticism of Barry Lyndon and the simple charging and distant shots of older films, the violence in Sergei Bondarchuk's epic mirrors that of Kingdom of Heaven (2005!!!), as the camera flies over a never-ending battlefield at full speed, glides aver frantic canons and divisions, crashes into mêlées and follows haunting stampedes of riderless horsemen (a potent metaphor for how the great leaders of the time lost all control over the conflict's proportions). All this without a pixel of CGI in sight (and all the better for it as it presents shots that the eye would simply refuse to believe if generated by a computer) The epic battle of before the sack of Moscow is so colossal and devastating, that even Napoleon looks confused at how to feel before the ocean of corpses sprawled before him. This is the greatest display of cinematic warfare ever committed to the screen. That the calmer scenes manage to sustain that level of excellence is a testament to how grandiose an effort this film is. The display of repressed emotions and overt tenderness are heart-breaking and many episodic scenes stand out magnificently, such as the wolf hunt, the opening balls (easily rivaling anything in "Il Gattopardo") and the duel. This is a film to which the fantastic "Dr Zhivago" feels like a small appetizer Bondarchuk's "War and Peace" reaches beyond the book and in doing so successfully is one of the greatest motion pictures of all time. It is cinematic poetry and entertainment of the highest order. And to sum things up in an overused but never more appropriate than here they'll never make'em like this again.
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