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War and Peace [DVD]

Liudmila Savalieva , Vyacheslav Tikhonov , Sergei Bondarchuk    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
Price: £29.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Liudmila Savalieva, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Anastasiya Vertinskaya, Sergei Bondarchuk
  • Directors: Sergei Bondarchuk
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Russian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Nov 2011
  • Run Time: 401 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005EXCG3M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,907 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Eight-hour epic based on the eponymous book by Leo Tolstoy. Two main story-lines are complex and intertwined. One is the love story of young Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre Bezukhov, who is unhappy in his marriage. Another is the "Great Patriotic War" of 1812 against the invading Napoleon's Armies. The people of Russia from all classes of society stand up united against the enemy. The 500,000 strong Napoleon's army moves through Russia and causes much destruction culminating in the battle of Borodino. The Russian army has to retreat. Moscow is occupied, looted and burned down, but soon Napoleon loses control and has to flee. Both sides suffer tremendous losses in the war, and Russian society is left irrevocably changed.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
170 of 172 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this film in 1969 on general release when I was a young University student. I loved it then for the way it captured the spirit of Tolstoy's novel. I have always wanted an opportunity to see it again. I was astounded when a chance Amazon search revealed the film had been restored and was being re-released in a Collector's Edition the following week. After 38 years, the make up and hair firmly place it as 1960s vintage but that aside the scale and authenticity of the scenes, the attention to detail remain unsurpassed and it does not disappoint. The casting of Natasha, and Bondarchuk himself as Bezukhov are sublime. Natasha's first Ball, the Battle of Borodino and the Moscow Fire are just a few of many wonderful scenes. The courage and confidence of the Director to organise scenes on this scale is breathtaking.

The Collector's Edition is in Russian with English subtitles and some optional dubbing in English. I found the American accents of the dubbing irritating and next time will watch it with subtitles only - the richness of the Russian language is far kinder to the ear. I have wondered whether the standard edition released now in English has better dubbing. The sound has been remastered but on occasion the quality of sound falters. One of the joys of the Collector's Edition is a large amount of wonderful archive footage about how the film was made, Tolstoy, and interviews with people who made the film. These contribute a great deal to understanding the film's place in Film History. This edition will make a great present for any lover of films of the great classics of literature, for unreformed romantics like myself or anyone with an interest in Film History. I shall always treasure my copy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent War and Peace epic 22 Mar 2010
In my opinion dramatisations ought, if possible, to be watched in the author's mother tongue. The wonderful thing about Amazon is it offers this opportunity. As a Tolstoy fan it was so exciting to come across this DVD of a Russian film adaptation.

The film is mezmorising, lavish, elegant, magnificenty acted and of prime importance, faithful to the novel...watching is akin to reading the tome page by page. Watching Pierre, Natalya, Mary, Elizabeth, Boris, Sonya et al. come to life on the screen and the whole vista of the lost world of aristocratic Imperial Russia - the private palaces, the balls, the White Nights over the Neva as the last candles dim in the windows of the Winter Palace, the grandeur and dignity of the Church headed by an Orthodox Tsar, emblazoned landaux gracefully driving on the Boulevards and 'Prospyekti' of 'MOCKBA' and Petersburg, pastel coloured country houses in the central steppes, romantic walks in dappled sunshine beneath the silver birches - gives a tingle down your spine, especially, for Russophones, given that the drama is played out for us in the languid, poetc tones of the beautiful Russian tongue.

This ephemeral world is sharply contrasted against the background of Napoleon's invasion of the Russian Motherland - the horror, the necessity and conversely the futility, the suffering, anguish , heartache - all redolant of our own age..... - are played to Tolstoy's score, perfectly.

I cannot rate this more highly - whether you be a Tolstoyan, a student of Russian, a sociologist, historian or just a fan of costume dramas - then this is for you - a melange of Jane Austen, Mrs.Gaskell, Mesdames Bronte, Ibsen and Chekhov!

No, quite simply - LeO Tolstoy at his bardic best in what has to be the quintessential screen adaptation of 'War and Peace'.
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63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece 16 Mar 2004
This Russian version of Tolstoys War and peace is more faithful to the novel than the 1956 Hollywood version. More than this it is also the most expensive movie ever made and every rubel shows on screen! With more than 10 000 extras and 300 speaking parts director Sergei Bondarchuk recreates every aspect of Tolstoys classic. Most noticeable are the scenes of Natashas first ball, the battle of Borodino and the burning of Moscow. Bondarchuk rendition is on such a grand scale that you actually believe that the scenes takes place before your eyes in reality. The photography is stunning -we get to follow the action through the camera which moves is such ways that you feel as you are part of the whole thing. Bondarchuks experimenting is evident throughout the picture and is by most parts a success. Some subliminal messages are distracting, but the cutting and movements of the camera is mostly fascinating. Bondarchuks influence from Abel Gance's fantastic silent "Napoléon" (1927) is evident.
War and peace is by far the greatest movie ever made, it has all the elements of a great story and is staged in such a grand scale that you are swept away. The acting are superb, ecpecially the part of Natasha Rostova and Pierre bezukhov. The latter played by Bondarchuk himself. The battlescenes are no less than magnificent, the closest any movie comes near War and Peace in this respect is "Saving private Ryan"- so you know what to expect.
I cannot stress hard enough how great this movie is, all I can say is that this is the greatest movie I have ever seen.
RUSCICO has released War and peace (distributed by Image) as a five disc box-set. The complete version is at last avaliable! Some information claims that there is another original version that is longer than this RUSCICO release.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful,yet so slow......
I remember ,as a youngster,the entousiastic reviews and comments about this movie when it was first released. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lazaros K.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This is by far the best film version of War and Peace.
Published 2 months ago by Gustav Andersson
5.0 out of 5 stars PAL version is better
Because pictures and descriptions here on amazon regularily change, make sure you buy the version marked as: Product details: Format: PAL (WHICH MAY NOT BE THIS ONE)
The... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tristan Christann
4.0 out of 5 stars War & peace
I was very pleased to get this but I rather doubt if it is the original version (as described in the review) which I seem to remember ran for 13 hours or so. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars War and Master Peace
I bought this to replace a VHS set I had been given some years ago. The VHS set was in 3:4 aspect ratio (for old-style television) and the third tape had become damaged. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dom Vlad Malic
5.0 out of 5 stars Sergei Bondarchuk's War and Peace 5 DVD Set [NTSC, English subtitles]
Haven't managed to watch it in its entirety, but, it sarts with focusing on one character, then another, after that don't know. Read more
Published 8 months ago by V. Paynter
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpeice!
After half a century of cinema since the making of this film it is on the top list of excellency, beauty, perfection of interpretation, understanding of the work of Tolstoi. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Draz Mohammad Waguih
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy indeed!
I am very pleased with both the product and the service provided in getting this purchase to me on time for the Christmas holidays to add to my personal collection of historical... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Harry Donaghy
3.0 out of 5 stars difficult to follow
the film is good, however, it keeps changing from English to Russian then French then subtitles so it is extremely difficult to follow.
Published 12 months ago by Tony Dubowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Gladioli
Came from USA very quickly, watched parts, it is 6 hours long! and quality is superperior. I have the VHS copy and this is much clearer. Very pleased
Published 16 months ago by gladioli
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