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Waterloo (1970)

Facing the decline of everything he has worked to obtain, conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte and his army confront the British at the Battle of Waterloo.

Director:

Sergey Bondarchuk (as Sergei Bondarchuk)

Writers:

H.A.L. Craig (story and screenplay), Sergey Bondarchuk (screenplay collaboration) (as Sergei Bondarchuk) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rod Steiger ... Napoleon Bonaparte
Christopher Plummer ... Arthur Wellesley - Duke of Wellington
Orson Welles ... Louis XVIII
Jack Hawkins ... Gen. Sir Thomas Picton
Virginia McKenna ... Duchess of Richmond
Dan O'Herlihy ... Marshal Michel Ney
Rupert Davies ... Gordon
Philippe Forquet ... La Bedoyere
Gianni Garko ... Drouot
Ivo Garrani Ivo Garrani ... Soult
Ian Ogilvy ... De Lancey
Michael Wilding ... Ponsonby
Sergo Zakariadze Sergo Zakariadze ... Blucher (as Serghej Zakhariadze)
Terence Alexander ... Uxbridge
Andrea Checchi ... Sauret
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Storyline

After defeating France and imprisoning Napoleon on Elba, ending two decades of war, Europe is shocked to find Napoleon has escaped and has caused the French Army to defect from the King back to him. The best of the British generals, the Duke of Wellington, beat Napolean's best generals in Spain and Portugal, but has never faced Napoleon. Wellington stands between Napoleon with a makeshift Anglo-Allied army and the Prussians. A Napoleon victory will plunge Europe back into a long term war. An allied victory could bring long term peace to Europe. The two meet at Waterloo where the fate of Europe will be decided. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Waterloo. The battle that changed the face of the world. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | Soviet Union

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1970 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Waterloo: The Last Hundred Days of Napoleon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Dino De Laurentiis was pursuing John Huston to direct his Napoleonic epic, he had intended for Richard Burton to play Napoleon, and for Peter O'Toole to star as Wellington. See more »

Goofs

As the camera pulls back and then upwards towards the right, in the first establishing shot of the British army after the sun has risen on June 18 (the day of the battle, with Hougoumont in the background), the shadow of the camera crew can be briefly seen on the cannon that it pans over. See more »

Quotes

Gen. August Gneisenau: [to Blucher on Wellington's request to move in the direction of Waterloo] If Wellington runs to the coast, none of us will make it home to Berlin. I do not trust the English, nonetheless because I have served you before, sir...
Field Marshal Gebhard von Blucher: [Disgusted with Gneisenau] I am seventy-two and a proud soldier. This sword is steel! I am too old to break it.
Gen. August Gneisenau: Very well, I have ordered the retreat to Wavre. You may still co-operate with the Wellington, but God help us if he does not stand.
See more »

Alternate Versions

According to an article written by the film's editor and associate producer Richard C. Meyer, the longest version is the 132 minute version. This has been confirmed by Vladimir Dorsal, the film's First Assistant and later the head of Mosfilm in Moscow. He says that they only have the 132m version in their vaults and no longer 4 hours version ever existed. The myth may derive from an earlier part of Meyer's article when he states that the rough cut was 4 hours long - not unusual for a film of this scope and scale. But after much discussion the present length was agreed on. He also says he stupidly didn't make a dupe of this rough cut, a usual process in post production. So this 'cut' will never see the light of day. It is clear from the cast list that many characters were cut. The film was planned as a Road Show release but by 1970 the practice had lost favor with the studios. Columbia Pictures also shortened CROMWELL for the same reason. Richard Heffer who play a major featured role in the film says the script as filmed was much longer than the film that came out that many of the cast had huge chunks of their roles deleted. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Absorbing and accurate
27 October 2001 | by Hessian499See all my reviews

The film version of Waterloo is almost totally historically accurate to the actual events of 1815; the events of that year make for a great story to tell, and it is translated extremely well to film. Even with some dramatization and poetic license thrown in we see what these men were really like and we get to understand what motivated Napoleon to take the course of action that he did. The costumes and sets are very well done, and you almost think you stepped out of a time machine when you see them. The film is a little longer than most, and being familiar with the actual events leading up to the battle helps to understand the film, so this movie may not appeal to everyone. Still, Waterloo is a great film, and while hard to find on video you should watch it if you ever get the chance.


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