[Movie] War and Peace (1966-1967)

  • Title: Война и мир (War and Peace)
  • Directed by: Sergey Bondarchuk
  • Cast: Sergey Bondarchuk, Lyudmila Saveleva, Vyacheslav Tikhonov
  • Based on: War and Peace (186) by Leo Tolstoy

Narrator: Thoughts that have important consequences are always simple. All my thinking could be summed up with these words: Since corrupt people unite among themselves to constitute a force, honest people must do the same. It’s as simple as that.

from the movie

War and Peace, the novel by Tolstoy, has been adopted to screens many times. Some are OK, and some are bad, but nothing exceeds the 4 part mini-series by Sergey Bondarchuk (more than 7 hours, released in 1966-1967).

The scene of battles (Battle of Austerlitz in Part I and Battle of Borodino in Part III) and the scene of the blaze of Moscow (in Part IV) are just amazing. Nothing can express the spectacular journey except watching the film on a big screen by yourself. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The film expands the boundary of what a movie can achieve in the history of humanity.

Prince Andrei Bolkonsky: How can you be sure what will do harm to another man?. Personally, I know of only two real evils in life: Remorse and sickness. And happiness is the absence of those two evils.

from the movie

Moreover, the film is not just a scale of battles. Through the elaborate camerawork, the film successfully portrays the internal struggles and changes of the characters. At first, the characters seem too pretentious and void. But somehow, the first impression of characters fits the characters’ general progress.

The film has been restored a couple of times due to its damage. The most completely restored version was released in 2019 by the Criterion Collection. You won’t regret your 7-hour journey to the new experience.

1 Comment

  1. I have not seen this film, but I loved the novel “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy. It is a great piece of literature.

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