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War & Peace (1956) (Ws Sub) [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Audrey Hepburn , Henry Fonda , King Vidor    DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.


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War & Peace [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] War & Peace [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] 4.0 out of 5 stars (14)
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Product details

  • Actors: Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Mel Ferrer, Vittorio Gassman, Herbert Lom
  • Directors: King Vidor
  • Writers: King Vidor, Bridget Boland, Ennio De Concini, Gian Gaspare Napolitano, Ivo Perilli
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Dec 2002
  • Run Time: 208 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JU7S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,037 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film 9 Aug 2002
Format:VHS Tape
As with all film adaptations they do tend to pale in comparison to their book conterparts and this is exactly what happens with King Vidors version of war and peace. A brave adaptation in that it does address the major points of the novel, however you can't help but think that the film was squeezed into the three hour timeslot. Saying that the movie is probably the closest one film could ever come to achieving the brilliance of Tolstoy. In short a good film but one that holds nothing to the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Beautiful to watch, and covering the main plot points of the book, this is not a bad preparation before watching the epic 1968 Bondarchuk version. Some nice acting and of course music freely nicked from Brahms!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Always Classic! 9 Aug 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this product to those who want to have ALL TIME CLASSIC FILMS,at home and enjoy them,any time.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic 1 Jan 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film is, without doubt, the finest ever directed by King Vidor. The atmosphere of the period is captured wonderfully and one can almost believe oneself living through the events portrayed on the screen. In particular, the scenes between Pierre (Henry Fonda) and peasant (John Mills) during the Retreat From Moscow strike a note of true compassion.

One also observes the character transformation undergone by Natasha (Audrey Hepburn) from a rather gauche young girl, yielding to temptation into an illicit love affair with Prince Anatol (Vittorio Gassman) finishing as a mature young lady able to take charge when disaster strikes the household. This film is so well constructed, that one can easily believe in the existence of the Rostov family; the actors play their roles with such conviction. The performances of Mel Ferrer and Wilfred Lawson are also worthy of note. The battle scenes, too, are handled well. With regard to the DVD, it must be said that the synchronisation leaves something to be desired. Apart from that, an excellent production.

John Harman
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Feel the Width, not the Length... 11 July 2012
By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER
I refer to the oft running joke about the time it (apparently) takes to read the full Tolstoy novel. The width refers to the slight flabbiness of its storytelling and obvious cuts and constricts to allow for its stellar Anglo/American cast.

My DVD was a Korean release, which you need to go into the menu to turn off their subtitles and set it to 'none'. It does seem strange that such a famous and widely respected and loved epic, in probably its most popular 'Hollywood' format just doesn't seem to be more widely available.

I'm also probably the only person to have seen, in its five disc entirety, the 1967 Russian Oscar Winner, directed by Sergei Bondarchuk before this far more accessible one. I'm no literary expert but this one here is easier to follow (the subtitles on the Russian one are impossible at times and some of the dialogue is in French but not subtitled!) and the narrative jumps about confusingly.

It's always great to see our favourite actors - when we are not sure or enjoying the story less, we can savour and immerse ourselves in their familiarity and in this case, Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda are two of mine and many others' all-time favourites.

Whilst the legendary Jack Cardiff takes the reigns with the cameras here and his Technicolor is deep, sumptuous and rich, for once, even he is vastly overshadowed by the Russian epic, which has three chief cinematographers! and has some of the most beautiful, majestic and uplifting images ever recorded, including the legendary hiring of the actual Red Army as extras for the awe-inspiring battle scenes.

Back to this King Vidor adaptation - for my fairly ignorant eyes and palate, it is more measured and the dialogue less 'free', almost monosyllabic and starchy.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hepburn is always wonderful 12 Nov 2007
By Bentley
I guess I am a purist when it comes to the classics. I like the movie script to follow the original work which I am sorry to say this movie does not. From the first scene in the movie, it is almost like they took extracts from all of the book's events and rearranged the entire timeline. Some of the scenes never happened, others did not happen as they were portrayed, there are many lines in the movie which never were uttered by any of Tolstoy's characters and to me the choices of actors for some of the roles were very misguided. Who in their right mind would choose Henry Fonda as Pierre. Pierre was described all through Tolstoy's epic as being fat, slovenly, very large, etc., wide of girth. Though Henry Fonda was a very fine actor, they seemed to have missed their mark. There were many such misses.

Of course, the scenery and the action shots are also very dated. But if the script had followed Tolstoy's work, I would have been happy; but it did not.

The only saving grace was of course Audrey Hepburn who to me was a perfect Natasha. I wish that they had had a younger actress playing the younger Natasha who plays with dolls but they only used Miss Hepburn for the entire sequence of events.

Ms. Hepburn was wonderful in this role, beautiful and so full of life. I think that she and Mel Ferrer were the two (2) saving graces of this film.

I think as a true depiction and adaptation of Tolstoy's masterpiece this movie production failed. But as an entertaining and whimsical portrayal of extracts of this fine book and as pure entertainment with some very fine actors even if it was sadly a broad detour from the book itself, I would give it three stars for the efforts of Ferrer and Hepburn alone.

Be forewarned if you are counting on an accurate depiction of the book.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Buy
I enjoyed war and peace very much I thought it was going to be boring but it wasn't It was very interesting
The packaging was good and it arrived when I was told it would be.
Published 18 days ago by Rosie
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleased to get hold of this at last
I've been wanting to rent this for some time but haven't been able to get hold of it. In the end I decided to buy a copy and I'm pleased I did. An excellent film!
Published 5 months ago by Ruthita
4.0 out of 5 stars War & Peace
Believe it be fine, but this was ordered on behalf of another person, who doesn't have internet access and couldn't buy it on-line themselves.
Published 15 months ago by Alna
5.0 out of 5 stars DREAMTOWN VIEW
Published on 10 Jan 2012 by DREAM TOWN
2.0 out of 5 stars Frankly, Natasha, I Don't Give A...
Apparently, when this would-be epic came out in the mid-1950s, the Russian authorities had to check Tolstoy's grave to see how many times he had turned over. Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2010 by Cowboy Buddha
5.0 out of 5 stars War and Peace Film
This is a good mid nineteen fifties colour epic. I was especially impressed with the reconstruction in the film of the battle of Borodino.
Published on 18 Mar 2009 by Mr. David Earl
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Touch with a Barge Pole!
One star is one star too many.
The quality of the video I was sent was so appalling I threw it away. Read more
Published on 24 July 2004 by T. MacFarlane
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