A Russian Prince experiences battle against Napoleon and a troubled relationship with his father and wife. Finds acceptance of her death and eventually his chance of true love. A spoiled, ... See full summary »
By 1812, Napoleon's (Herbert Lom's) forces controlled much of Europe. Russia, one of the few countries still unconquered, prepares to face Napoleon's troops together with Austria. Amongst the Russian soldiers, are Count Nikolai Rostov (Jeremy Brett) and Prince Andrei Bolkonsky (Mel Ferrer). Count Pierre Bezukhov (Henry Fonda), a friend of Andrei's, and self-styled intellectual, who is not interested in fighting. Pierre's life changes when his father dies, leaving him a vast inheritance. He is attracted to Natasha Rostov (Audrey Hepburn), Nikolai's sister, but she is too young, so he gives in to baser desires and marries the shallow, manipulative Princess Helene (Anita Ekberg). The marriage ends when Pierre discovers his wife's true nature. Andrei is captured and later released by the French, and returns home only to watch his wife die in childbirth. A few months later, Pierre and Andrei meet again. Andrei sees Natasha and falls in love, but his father will only permit the marriage if ...Written by
In real-life, in a roundabout coincidence, Audrey Hepburn's partner at the time of her death became the partner of Henry Fonda's widow. See more »
When Sonya enters Natasha's bedroom where Natasha has retired after meeting Anatole at the opera, she appears to turn on an electric lamp! In 1812, candles and fireplaces were the only source of lighting. Kerosene lamps did not appear until mid 19th century. See more »
Time and patience. Patience and time. The Grand Army is wounded, but is it mortally wounded? An apple should not be plucked while it's green. Patience and time.
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Closing credits epilogue: The most difficult thing - but an essential one - is to love Life, to love it even while one suffers, because Life is all. Life is God, and to love Life means to love God. Tolstoy "WAR and PEACE" See more »
Two different versions of the main titles exists. Both of them in English. In the one, the credits are set against a neutral background, in the other against details of a painting of Napoleon in front of his troops. See more »
Beautiful movie to look at (Cinematography Oscar nom was well earned). Fine epic movie score. Good direction and editing. Some of the best costume work ever put on film. No one even today could do a finer job of costuming.
Mel Ferrer is nowhere near the same league as Omar Sharif was in "Zhivago". Sharif was great, Ferrer just average. Ferrer is a major drawback. In contrast, Fonda displays tremendous acting ability (not having read the book I can concentrate on his performance rather than whether he looks the part). Hepburn is perfection and she delivers a great acting performance.
Yes it is a 1950's style movie, which of course has some dated aspects. However, in the case of costume, cinematography and some of the acting you couldn't see better in a film of any era. This is an impressive effort all-around.
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