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War and Peace

War and Peace (1956)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 7,649

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Movie Info

War and Peace is a commendable attempt to boil down Tolstoy's long, difficult novel into 208 minutes' screen time. In recreating the the social and personal upheavals attending Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia, $6 million was shelled out by coproducers Carlo Ponti, Dino de Laurentiis and Paramount Pictures. Some of the panoramic battle sequences are so expertly handled by second-unit director Mario Soldati that they appear to be Technicolor-and-Vistavision newsreel footage of the actual

Dec 3, 2002

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All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (4) | DVD (8)

Alas, the human stories that Tolstoy told so significantly in the book are sketchy and inconsequential, despite the time devoted to them.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A stilted and ponderous epic about Napoleon's failed Russian invasion of 1812.

February 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Spectacle galore starring Hepburn and Fonda.

June 1, 2005

Audience Reviews for War and Peace

The gentle Pierre and the warlike Andrei experience Napoleon's invasion of Russia.
This is not a film but a monument, a tribute, a love letter of Cliff's Notes to Tolstoy's novel. Though I must confess that I have yet to read the book, I can see lurking beneath the melodrama of the film Tolstoy's sharp characters and moral dilemmas. Tolstoy is so sharp a writer and such a master of inner monologue that no film could get inside the heads of these characters like his prose, and there lies the film's weakness. But despite its medium and the film's flaws, what lies beneath unfolds in fits and starts. And what fits and starts they are. The need for war but the reasonable repulsion of it, the dalliance of youth and the practiced certitude of adulthood, and the question of what makes militaries and states great are all themes that emerge if only in abstractions in King Vidor's epic film.
Overall, this is an ambitious project that fails because it cannot capture all the goals its source material sets, but it succeeds sublimely sometimes.
April 5, 2013
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn are a reason to watch, even if it is CRAZY long and boring for long stints.
February 29, 2012
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

Lumbering, stagnant version of an epic novel that could not possibly be covered in 3 1/2 hours. Miscasting is another major downfall of this production, Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda were great stars and very fine actors but they were the wrong ones for this film. Fine production design and beautiful photography do not an entertaining film make. A trial to sit through.
June 29, 2011
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

What a very long epic film classic. Really interested drama story of international conflict, spectacular adventure, gripping intrigue and tragic romance set against the sweeping backdrop of Napoleon's invasion of Russia. It's also a bit familiar to 1939's Gone with the Wind. I found out this took five years to make at enormous cost; it is a cinematic treasure.
January 23, 2010
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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  • War and Peace (1956) (UK)
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