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Russian director Sergei Bondarchuk's epic version of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace (Voyna i Mir) was the most expensive European film ever made for many years. It certainly had one of the longest gestation periods, with Bondarchuk spending seven years filming the project (the actors noticeably age from scene to scene). In relating Tolstoy's complex tale of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, Bondarchuk helmed some of the most graphic battle scenes ever seen, one of which runs nearly 45 minutes. So many horses were killed in these sequences that the film was loudly boycotted in some American cities by the ASPCA. While Bondarchuk is slavish to the source material, he does make a few Hollywood-like concessions to popular appeal; his leading lady Lyudmila Savelyeva looks exactly like Audrey Hepburn, the star of King Vidor's 1956 filmization of the Tolstoy novel. Originally clocking in at 507 minutes, War and Peace was pared down to 373 minutes for American consumption. It became a surprise theatrical hit, and a ratings bonanza when it was telecast on the ABC network in four parts from August 12 through 15, 1972. A big film, to be sure -- but few modern critics consider Bondarchuk's War and Peace a great film, citing its many deadly dull passages and its sappy, operatic finale. The dubbed American version is narrated by Norman Rose. The full Russian-language version with English subtitles is now available on video.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/16/1995
UPC: 0032031124837
Original Release: 1966
Rating: NR
Source: Kultur Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lyudmila Savelyeva Natasha Rostova
Sergei Bondarchuk Pierre Bezukhov
Vyacheslav Tikhonov Andrei Bolkonsky
Viktor Stanitsyn Count Ilya Rostov
Kira Ivanova-Golovko Countess Rostova
Oleg Tabakov Nikolai Rostov
Seryozha Yermilov Petya Rostov as a Boy
Nikoly Kodin Petya Rostov
Irina Gubanova Sonya
Anatoly Ktorov Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky
Antonina Shuranova Princess Maria
A. Stepanova Anna Scherer
Anastasia Vertinskaya Princess Liza Bolkonskaya
Irina Skobtseva Helene Kuragin
Vasiliy Lanovoy Anatole Kuragin
Boris Smirnov Prince Vasiliy Kuragin
Boris Zakhava Gen. Kutuzov
Oleg N. Yefremov Dolokhov
Yelena Tyapkina Marya Akhrosimova
Eduard Martsevich Drubetskoy
Alexander F. Borisov Uncle Mikhail
Vladislav Strzhelchik Napoleon Bonaparte
Nickolay Trofimov Tushin
Nikolai Rybnikov Denisov
Yuri Chekulaev Nesvitskiy
Nikolai Grinko Actor
Petr Kiryutkin Actor
Ervin Knausmyuller Actor
A. Lebedev Actor
Volodia Levchenko Actor
Nikita Mikhalkov (cameo)
Georgiy Millyar Morel
Nonna Mordyukova Anisya Fyodorovna
Daniil Netrebin Actor
Sergei Nikonenko Actor
Klavdiya Polovikova Princess Anna Drubetskaya
Norman Rose English Narrator
Pyotr Savin Timokhin
Georgiy Shapovalov Actor
Andrei Smirnov Staff Officer
Georgiy Svetlani Actor
N. Tolkachyov Count Bezukhov
Apollon Yachnitsky Actor

Technical Credits
Sergei Bondarchuk Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Mikhail Chikiryov Makeup
G. Koshelyov Set Decoration/Design
Gennadiy Myasnikov Art Director
Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov Score Composer
Leo Tolstoy Source Author

Customer Reviews

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War & Peace 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'll skip most of the superlatives and get to the point; this is perhaps one of the greatest (certainly most ambitious) films ever made. The heinous Kultur English-dubbed pan-and-scan version is a disgrace and an HUGE disservice to the original. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!. The Rusico version - wide-screen and with restored footage is not perfect (especially the sadly not-restored video), however one can at least appreciate the the original vision of the Director. Additionally, there are a large number of 'DVD bonus features' included - some quite interesting, some rather dull propaganda. But between the restored 7+ hour cut of the film and the extras, this set presents 5 FULL DVDs (compared to Kultur's 6 hour version, with no extras, on 3 DVDs). Perhaps the greatest differenceis the sound. It seems as though there HAS been some sound restoration accomplished; at least the sound was infinately better than on the Kultur version. Skip the English dubbed version. The translation is not very good, and the lines are read in an almost emotionless dead-pan recitation. Also, the restored scenes are virtually missing any dubbing. But in my opinion, if you feel the need to watch this dubbed, then you probably have no business buying it in the first place. If you want to experience one of the world's great films, the Rusico version will be a highlight of your collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the greatest epic ever made since Abel Gance made Napoleon in 1927. It bigger than Ben Hur and GWTW. The action scenes will never again be equaled in film history and some of the acting is brilliant. Most of all its faithful to leo Tolstoy and if u don't want to plow thru the book spend 7 hours with this film and you will be thrilled and moved for days to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago