Waterloo 1970

Amazon Instant Video

(139) IMDb 7.3/10
Available in HD

After his abdication Napoleon Bonaparte is exiled to the island of Elba. However, he escapes to be reunited with his generals and troops, and mounts a last desperate bid for power at the what is now known as the Battle of Waterloo. He has, however, reckoned without the British forces led by Arthur Welsley, the Duke of Wellington, who had just returned from a successful campaign in Spain.

Starring:
Jack Hawkins, Virginia Mckenna
Runtime:
2 hours 8 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

Waterloo

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Action & Adventure, Historical
Director Sergei Bondarchuk
Starring Jack Hawkins, Virginia Mckenna
Supporting actors Ian Ogilvy, Orson Welles, Christopher Plummer, Rod Steiger, Michael Wilding, Rupert Davies, Dan O'Herlihy
Studio Sony Pictures International
BBFC rating Universal, suitable for all
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth M. Pizzi on 29 July 2008
Format: DVD
In the tradition of the cinematic epics like Kubrick's "Spartacus" and Mann's "Fall of the Roman Empire," Bondarchuk's "Waterloo" succeeds in depicting Napoleon's desperate and final bid for power and glory. Steiger, no stranger to roles that have consistently challenged his acting ability, is quite good as the deposed French emperor who narrowly lost his final battle. Orson Welles' appearance as Louis XVIII, is far too brief but most welcome, and Plummer as Lord Wellington is a casting director's dream. Dino de Laurentiis has produced some questionable if not laughable films in the past "King Kong" (1976) and "Flash Gordon" (1980); however, "Waterloo" must be seen as one of his better efforts.

Many critics here at Amazon will applaud the many and well-orchestrated battle scenes--a case-in-point are the great aerial shots of the British "squares" organized against Marshall Ney (Dan O' Herlihy) and the French cavalry--and one can easily understand the film's strong visual appeal, but this opus succeeds in other ways too.

The non-battle scenes, for instance, like the ball before the battle which introduces us to Napoleon's nemesis, Wellington, and the scenes of Napoleon dictating letters to his secretaries, are thoughtful touches that broaden the scope of this highly entertaining film and successfully depict an aristocratically genteel milieu shattered by the cataclysm that is nineteenth-century warfare. On the surface, an era characterized by the gentility of the landed gentry and sportsmanlike conduct on the battlefield, later destroyed by the real brutalities and devastation of war.
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful By David C. Read on 26 May 2004
Format: DVD
This is a truly astonishing film. I doubt it could even be attempted today. The number of uniformed extras is astonishing considering the cost of the uniforms involved, especially the beautiful French cavalry and infantry uniforms. The charge of the Scots Grays Cavalry is magnificently filmed, clearly inspired by a famous painting.
The battle is somewhat accurately depicted, insofar as the order of engagements, charges, and skirmishes. Toward the end, however, it becomes confusing, and has obviously been severely edited for time. Other reviewers have stated that the film was originally four hours long. This version is only a little over two hours. I would not have complained had it been a full hour longer, so long as that hour was devoted to accurately depicting the battle, and showing off some of the amazing uniforms, especially of the French cavalry. Frankly, the battle itself seems to have been somewhat shortchanged in this shorter version.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By TJP on 12 Oct 2003
Format: DVD
This film has probably the greatest battle scene ever shown, the detail and comparison to the original battlefield is excellent. The film however, in this form, suffers from poor cuts and editing. When will a release of the original 4 hour epic take place? this has over 2 hours dedicated to the battle. Still a great film withgreat performances, and a must for either the historical or war fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rbmusicman TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Oct 2014
Format: DVD
In April of 1814 'Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte' (Rod Steiger) has suffered his first defeat during the
Russian capaign.
Now four countries have committed their Army's to confront him on French soil, he is forced to accept
exile on the small Island of Elba in the Mediterranean Sea along with a relatively small force of 1000
soldiers, the following year he leaves the Island with his small force to invade his homeland.
King Louis XVIII orders one of Napoleon's former Generals to intercept and capture the former Emperor,
however instead of stopping him the force that was sent to stop him embraces his return.
'Napoleon' almost immediately considers the prospect of facing 'The Duke of Wellington' (Christopher
Plummer) who had been a thorn in his side before being exiled.
'Napoleon' plans to quickly defeat and drive back 'General Blucher's' Prussian army and the face a much
weakened 'Wellington' in battle.
A battle that neither side could afford to lose (Through History Generals have made fundamental errors
that have changed the coarse of History)
The story is told from both sides of the divide....
It is a truly glorious and brutal spectacle with the battle scenes shown in depth with well staged and brilliantly
filmed action.......The Battle of Waterloo' 18th June 1815
This surely one of 'Rod Steiger's' finest roles as the French Emperor' alongside the superbly performed role
as The Duke of Wellington' by 'Christopher Plummer'
Have watched this several times down the years, always time well spent in my view.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 3 Dec 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The perfect gift for all Historical movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
I've always thought, as a film enthusiast, that it's an asset to have as little knowledge of history as possible. On many occasions, history buffs become so swept up in spotting inaccuracies that they forget to appreciate the quality of the film-making itself, the director's breathtaking vision, the unrivalled spectacle. Who was Napoleon? Once we've eliminated the possibility of his being a particularly nasty and tyrannical farmyard pig, all I can offer you is that he ruled France for a time during the early nineteenth century, and met his downfall at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Armed with this basic knowledge, I positioned myself before the biggest screen I could provide and began to watch 'Waterloo (1970),' directed by Sergei Bondarchuk. Just three years earlier, the Soviet filmmaker had released 'War and Peace (1967),' his epic eight-hour adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's celebrated novel and, drawing on his experience in filming battle sequences, concentrated all his efforts on an extravagant and awe-inspiring recreation of the Battle of Waterloo.

American actor Rod Steiger was cast in the role of Napoleon Bonaparte, a seemingly-unusual choice to portray a Frenchman, but Steiger brings a wonderful intensity to the character. Throughout the battle, Napoleon is depicted as a courageous and level-headed leader, who, due to the constant harassment of illness, was hampered in his decision-making and ultimately defeated, an outcome he accepts rationally, though not without much sorrow.
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