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War and Peace, Part III: The Year 1812 (1967)

Voyna i mir III: 1812 god (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | 19 May 1967 (France)
Giant film epic created on the of the same name novel of the great Russian writer Lev Tolstoy.

Director:

Sergey Bondarchuk

Writers:

Leo Tolstoy (novel), Sergey Bondarchuk (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sergey Bondarchuk ... Pierre Bezukhov
Vyacheslav Tikhonov ... Prince Andrei Bolkonsky
Lyudmila Saveleva ... Natasha Rostova
Boris Zakhava ... Field Marshal Kutuzov
Viktor Stanitsyn ... Ilya Andreyevich Rostov
Kira Golovko ... Countess Rostova
Sergei Yermilov ... Petya Rostov (as S. Yermilov)
Irina Gubanova ... Sonya
Anatoli Ktorov ... Prince Nikolai Andreyevich Bolkonsky (as A. Ktorov)
Antonina Shuranova ... Princess Mariya Bolkonsky
Boris Smirnov ... Prince Vasili Kuragin
Giuli Chokhonelidze Giuli Chokhonelidze ... Gen. Bagration
Viktor Murganov Viktor Murganov ... Tsar Aleksander I.
Vladislav Strzhelchik ... Napoleon
Herberts Zommers ... Bennigsen (as G. Zommer)
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Storyline

Giant film epic created on the of the same name novel of the great Russian writer Lev Tolstoy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

19 May 1967 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

War and Peace, Part III: The Year 1812 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mosfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

More than 120 thousand walking soldiers-gentlemen were taken off in the mass stages. See more »

Alternate Versions

There are three different versions: The American release, a 360 minute film in two parts (dubbed in English) (see also War and Peace (1968/I)). The Russian release, a series of four films totaling 403 minutes (see also Vojna i mir I: Andrei Bolkonsky (1965), Vojna i mir II: Natasha Rostova (1966) and Vojna i mir IV: Pierre Bezukhov (1967)). Most reviews (including Leonard Maltin's) list this film's running time as 507 minutes, suggesting an unreleased Director's Cut. See more »

Connections

Followed by War and Peace, Part IV: Pierre Bezukhov (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"An event took place that was contrary to all human reason and human nature"
14 July 2008 | by ackstasisSee all my reviews

Part Two of Sergei Bondarchuk's 'War and Peace' was a rather quiet and contemplative affair, an exploration of a young woman's romantic development amid conflicting emotions and temptations. By the conclusion of Part Three, there has been very little character development of this sort, and Natasha Rostova (Lyudmila Savelyeva) makes only a solitary appearance in an early sequence that highlights the uneasy intimacy of her relationship with Pierre Bezukhov (Sergei Bondarchuk). The director seems to have decided that personal affairs are no longer important – this episode is about war! With a brief running time of 84 minutes, 'War and Peace III: 1812 (1967)' nonetheless contains among the most awe-inspiring depictions of conflict ever committed to film, surpassing even the grandeur of the Bondarchuk's work in Part One and later in 'Waterloo (1970).' Over the course of his film's production, the director sustained no less than two heart attacks – as one might expect, one of these came about during his recreation of the Battle of Borodino. I really can't blame him.

This battle, which lasts the bulk of the film's running time, is a genuine battering of the senses, film-making of such overwhelming excessiveness that it just about places the viewer amidst the blasts of smoke and the shudder of cannon-fire. After somehow securing the support of the Soviet Government, Bondarchuk employed full use of their resources, and conscripted 120,000 men to help recreate the Russian Army's mighty encounter with Napoleon Bonaparte's forces. Unlike the great battle in Part One, which seemed somewhat detached and impersonal, the Battle of Borodino focuses closely on the perspective of Prince Andrei (Vyacheslav Tikhonov), who has accepted that he may be dead by the day's end, and Pierre Bezukhov, whose clean civilian attire contrasts harshly with the dirty and ragged clothing of the weary soldiers. Of course, Bondarchuk can't resist regular use of his trademark sweeping overhead shots, but every detail is so meticulously orchestrated that one can only stare in fascination. What Part Three lacks in emotional depth, it more than makes up for in pure, uninhibited chaos – the chaos engineered to perfection.

Like most extravagant war films, 'War and Peace (1967)' boasts a curiously-duplicitous attitude towards combat. We are reminded frequently of the inanity of war, and yet Bondarchuk simultaneously celebrates its necessity; no director can expend so much effort on a battle without glorifying it to no small extent. The narrator's final words, perhaps sourced from Tolstoy's original novel, are shamelessly patriotic and no doubt designed to elicit nationalistic cheers from the Russian audience – "a moral victory which compels the enemy to recognize the moral superiority of his opponent and his own impotence was won by the Russians at Borodino." Even though the Battle of Borodino ended in a bloody stalemate, the French troops were afflicted with sufficient losses to withdraw their offensive. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (Vladislav Strzhelchik) is unsympathetically portrayed as a cold, remorseless strategist ("Never, to the end of his life, had he the least comprehension of goodness, of beauty or of truth, or of the significance of his actions…"), a far cry from Rod Steiger's interpretation just three years later.


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