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War and Peace
Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda




Overview -
Set against the backdrop of Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia, King Vidor's adaptation of the Tolstoy sprawling classic stars Henry Fonda as Pierre Bezhukov. Despite the vast scope of the author's detailed portrait of the classes, regions, and characters of Russian society, he was able to draw on his own experience as a soldier in this campaign, capturing the chaos and confusion of battle in its terrible immediacy. Both the immensely wealthy Pierre and his friend Prince Andrei Bolkonsky (Mel Ferrer), members of an aristocracy of warriors, become disenchanted with the unheroic truth of war. As he says, "The habits of the military class are the absence of freedom, that is discipline, idleness, ignorance, cruelty, debauchery, and darkness." The reflective, unhappily married Pierre is a seeker after truth, wracked with doubt about himself, about the purpose of the war, and about the destiny of the human race. It is only in his love for the enchanting Natasha (Audrey Hepburn) that the ruminative protagaonist can find the meaning that he sought for so long. The film suffers from a leaden script and the 54-year-old Fonda is seriously miscast, but it is worth watching for the excellence of the panoramic battle scenes alone, directed by Mario Soldati.

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More About War and Peace

 
 
 

Overview

Set against the backdrop of Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia, King Vidor's adaptation of the Tolstoy sprawling classic stars Henry Fonda as Pierre Bezhukov. Despite the vast scope of the author's detailed portrait of the classes, regions, and characters of Russian society, he was able to draw on his own experience as a soldier in this campaign, capturing the chaos and confusion of battle in its terrible immediacy. Both the immensely wealthy Pierre and his friend Prince Andrei Bolkonsky (Mel Ferrer), members of an aristocracy of warriors, become disenchanted with the unheroic truth of war. As he says, "The habits of the military class are the absence of freedom, that is discipline, idleness, ignorance, cruelty, debauchery, and darkness." The reflective, unhappily married Pierre is a seeker after truth, wracked with doubt about himself, about the purpose of the war, and about the destiny of the human race. It is only in his love for the enchanting Natasha (Audrey Hepburn) that the ruminative protagaonist can find the meaning that he sought for so long. The film suffers from a leaden script and the 54-year-old Fonda is seriously miscast, but it is worth watching for the excellence of the panoramic battle scenes alone, directed by Mario Soldati.

Main Cast & Crew

King Vidor - Director
Audrey Hepburn
Henry Fonda
Mel Ferrer
Vittorio Gassman
John Mills
Herbert Lom
Oscar Homolka
Anita Ekberg
Helmut Dantine
Barry Jones

 

Details

DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 208
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 883929304509
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: PG (MPAA)
  • Release Date: December 2002

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Big Battles
War
History
Epic
Recommended
Period Piece
Theatrical Release

 

Movie Reviews

More Details

Synopsis:
King Vidor's film is an all-star version of Leo Tolstoy's literary masterpiece. This epic tale takes place during Napoleon's invasion of Russia in the years 1805-20. While these calamitous historical events unfold, a variety of characters from various classes and cultures tries to deal with their own personal dramas. Whether peasant or prince, soldier or gentlewoman, each person undergoes a search for happiness and self-knowledge...and each one ultimately finds a different answer.

Notes:
Theatrical release: August 2, 1956. Filmed in Lazio and Rome, Italy. Estimated budget: more than $6 million. Count Leo Tolstoy published WAR AND PEACE in 1869 after taking six years to write it. The film was theatrically released in the Soviet Union two years after its completion, in 1958.

 

BAM Customer Reviews