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Waterloo 1970

Amazon Video

(253) IMDb 7.3/10

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.

Jack Hawkins,Virginia Mckenna
2 hours, 8 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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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
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 85 people found the following review helpful By David Read on 26 May 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By rbmusicman/and/movie-fan' 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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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth M. Pizzi on 29 July 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The CinemaScope Cat on 13 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After being banished to Elba, Napoleon Bonaparte (Rod Steiger) returns in triumph to Paris to reclaim his Emperor's throne while King Louis XVIII (a mountainous Orson Welles) flees the city. But his glory is short lived as he meets the armies of Wellington (Christopher Plummer) at the battle of Waterloo. This handsome epic, directed by Sergei Bondarchuk (1967's WAR AND PEACE), is a mixed bag. With the exception of a well done ball sequence, the dramatic portions tend to be stagnant. But the battle scenes, which occupy the second half of the film, are pretty awesome. More so because it's not CGI the way it would be today. Filmed in the Soviet Union, the Russians not only helped fund the film but provided some 16,000 soldiers to act as background in the battle scenes. When you see some of the incredible aerial shots or the charging armies, you know it's real people on the screen, not computer generated images. Steiger, while an odd choice for Napoleon, is effective in his restrained scenes while his eye popping acting is distracting in others. The Nino Rota score is a dud but Armando Nannuzzi gives the film a nice sheen whether the rich looking interiors or the vast exteriors. With Jack Hawkins, Virginia McKenna, Dan O'Herlihy, Michael Wilding and Philippe Forquet.

The Sony DVD via Great Britain is a nicely rendered anamorphic wide screen (2.35) transfer.
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