The Bottom Line
I cant say "War and Peace" (1956) is an example of great filmmaking, but I do think it's worth watching.
- Visual sense of film is lushly beautiful
- Captures sweep of history
- Slowly builds emotional power
- Much of dialogue does not work
- First two hours not always engaging
- Only bonus materials on DVD are trailers
- DVD containing 1956 English-language adaptation of Tolstoy novel "War and Peace"
- Film stars Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and Mel Ferrer
- Movie is 3 1/2 hours long
- Picture quality is excellent
- Sound quality is reasonably good
Guide Review - "War and Peace" DVD
"War and Peace" (1956) focuses on the intertwined stories of three Russian aristocrats set against the backdrop of Napoleons 1812 invasion of Russia. I like the sets, costumes, and battle sequences in the film, and there's excellent color cinematography by Jack Cardiff. There are some memorable lines, but much of the dialogue is typical of old-fashioned costume drama. Also, I have to admit the movie doesnt have a compelling narrative drive, but I still enjoyed it as historical spectacle. I believe if you can watch this film in the same mindset required by silent movies or grand opera, youll probably find it a rewarding experience.