War and Peace is a commendable attempt to boil down Tolstoy's long, difficult novel into 208 minutes' screen time. In recreating the the social and personal upheavals attending Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia, $6 million was shelled out by coproducers Carlo Ponti, Dino de Laurentiis and Paramount Pictures. Some of the panoramic battle sequences are so expertly handled by second-unit director Mario Soldati that they appear to be Technicolor-and-Vistavision newsreel footage of the actual events. Still, the film falters dramatically, principally because of a lumpy script and King Vidor's surprisingly lustreless direction. In addition, the casting is wildly consistent: for example, while Audrey Hepburn is flawless as Natasha, Henry Fonda is far too "Yankeefied" as the introspective Pierre. Proving too long and unwieldy for most audiences, War and Peace died at the box office; far more successful was the epic, scrupulously faithful 1968 version, filmed in the Soviet Union.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
115 Ratings

115 Ratings

43% TOMATOMETER

Critics Consensus:

Information

Studio
Paramount Pictures
Released
Copyright

Languages

Primary
English (Stereo)
Additional

Arabic (Subtitles), Bulgarian (Subtitles), Cantonese (Subtitles), Czech (Subtitles), Danish (Subtitles), Dutch (Subtitles), Finnish (Subtitles), French (Subtitles, Stereo), German (Subtitles), Greek (Subtitles), Hebrew (Subtitles), Hindi (Subtitles), Hungarian (Subtitles), Malay (Subtitles), Norwegian (Subtitles), Portuguese (Subtitles), Slovak (Subtitles), Spanish (Subtitles, Stereo), Spanish (Spain) (Subtitles), Swedish (Subtitles), Thai (Subtitles), Traditional Chinese (Subtitles), Turkish (Subtitles)

Accessibility

CC
Closed captions (CC) refer to subtitles in the available language with the addition of relevant non-dialogue information.

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