Like Tolstoy’s novel, this epic-length War and Peace is rough going, but worth the effort. Winner of the 1969 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and widely considered the most faithful adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic, Sergei Bondarchuk’s massive Soviet-Italian coproduction was seven years in the making, at a record-setting cost of $100 million.
Bondarchuk himself plays the central role of Pierre Bezukhov, buffeted by fate during Russia’s tumultuous Napoleonic Wars, serving as pawn and philosopher through some of the most astonishing set pieces ever filmed.
Bondarchuk is a problematic director: interior monologues provide awkward counterpoint to intimate dramas, weaving together the many classes and characters whose lives are permanently affected by war.
Infusions of ’60s-styled imagery clash with the film’s period detail; it’s an anomalous experiment that doesn’t really work. Undeniably, however, the epic battle scenes remain breathtakingly unique; to experience the sheer scale of this film is to realize that such cinematic extravagance will never be seen again.
• Adjusted for inflation, this film cost over $560 million to make, and is thus the most expensive film ever made.
• This film was made with the complete cooperation of the Soviet Army which is how they managed to get as many extras into the war scenes as they did.
• This film holds the record for the second most number of extras (after Attenborough’s Gandhi)
Film 1 “Andrei Bolkonsky” parts 1 & 2.
Film 2 “Natasha Rostova”.
Film 3 “1812”
Film 4 “Pierre Bezukhov”.
• Actor Vassily LANOVOY
• Actress Iringa SKOBTSEVA
• Cinematographer Anatoly PETRITSKY
• Composer Vyacheslav OVCHINNIKOV
• General Director of the Mosfilm Studios, Film Director Karen SHAKHNAZAROV
Two making of films.
Subtitles:Russian, English, Français, Japanese, Hebrew, Svenska, Chinese, Nederlands, Portugues, Deutsch, Español, Italiano, Arabic, Greek, English for the Hearing Impaired, Français for the Hearing Impaired (VobSub)