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WATERLOO - by Sergei Bondarchuk (Import)

104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Russia released, NTSC (USA and Canada), ALL REGION, DIGITALLY REMASTERED, Anamorphic WIDESCREEN. AUDIO OPTIONS: Dolby Digital 5.1 ENGLISH (movie is completely in English) and Dolby Digital 5.1 RUSSIAN (voice-over). Original Russian artwork.............................................................. SYNOPSIS: After defeating France and imprisoning Napoleon on Elba, ending two decades of war, Europe is shocked to find Napoleon has escaped and has caused the French Army to defect from the King back to him. The best of the British generals, Arthur Welsley was victorious in Spain, but has never faced Napoleon. Welsley stands between Napoleon with a mixed army of Prussians, Mercenaries, Brits and Belgians. Napoleon's victory will plunge Europe back into a long term war. The two meet at Waterloo where the fate of Europe will be decided.

Product Details

  • Actors: Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer, Orson Welles Jack Hawkins, Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer, Orson Welles, Jack Hawkins
  • Directors: Sergei Bondarchuk
  • Format: NTSC, Widescreen, Import, Limited Collector's Edition, Color
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Atrium Art
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E1E2N6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,139 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

121 of 122 people found the following review helpful By otro lector mas on June 1, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Let's first clarify that the quality of the Russian DVD is impeccable.

This movie is an absolute historical jewel. I try to read up on history and everything I know about the battle fits this movie perfectly. I am not specfically a Napoleonic history buff, however, so I didn't quite catch the mistakes other reviewers claim, but I would regard those errors as unimportant. If I were to fault the movie for something it would be that it doesn't really give an idea about the significance of the engagements at Hougoumont and Haye Sainte.

But the real treat of this movie is the visual spectacle. This is the closest thing to actually having been at the battle that anyone can come up with. Computer-generated images may some day reproduce the view of thousands upon thousands of men marching through gunpowder smoke and kicked-up dust and distorted by rising hot air. But they still can't. The aerial view of the blue wave of French cavalry spilling around the red British squares is one of the most breathtaking scenes you will ever see on film. The development of the characters from Napoleon's hubris to Wellington's quirky stuffiness was absorbing. Finally, the movie's parting message that there is no joy in the battlefield, even in victory, was poignant and indelible.

I saw this movie as a kid with my father, and I now showed it to him and to my own son. My father was nearly in tears and my son (who has grown up exclusively with CGI's) was spellbound from start to finish. In other words, this is an enduring classic indeed.
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Mark Rufo on September 23, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this movie when it first came out. I was in high school. I have always remembered it as one of the best historical films about a battle ever made. Years later I bought it on video, but when DVD came out I couldn't understand why it seemed unavailable. Don't be put off by the Russian title here. The film plays in English exactly as it appeared in theatres. There are no technical glitches to be afraid of. This is a magnificent film, visually stunning in wide screen, wonderful musical score and fine performances all around. Bondarchuk is a great director and Steiger should have gotten best actor award. He convinces you in this film that he is Napoleon. This is an epic production in every sense and shows you what movie-making can achieve when all the planets are in alignment.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Dave K on April 9, 2007
Format: DVD
This Russian DVD is the best Region 1 presentation of the 1970 epic WATERLOO. It previously was only available as a Region 2 import, which would not play on Region 1 players. This anamorphically enhanced version with Dolby Digital sound is the best I have seen the film look. And, yes, in spite of what some reviewers here say, it is a Russian DVD. The DVD was made in Russia, as was the film. The director, Sergei Bondarchuk had previously directed the acclaimed and equally spectacular Russian version of WAR AND PEACE a few years previous to this.

As far as historical epics go, I would say it is more accurate than most. I'm a Napoleonic nut, and can spot the innacuaracies in the film, but they are not that severe, and usually serve to move the story along. All the great moments of the story are here: Napoleon's farewell to the Old Guard; the 5th Regiment joining Napoleon upon his return from Elba; Wellington @ the Duchess of Richmond's ball; the assaults on Hougoumont & La Haye Sainte; the deperate French cavalry charges on the British squares; the final doomed assault of the Old Guard as the Prussians take the field.

The battle sceees are spectacular, with thousands of men and horses thundering across the screen. Many scenes replicate famous paintings, such as Lady Butler's "Scotland forever!". The main cast members are outstanding. Steiger is monumental as Napoleon; Plummer aloof and brilliant as Wellington, Dan O'Herlihy brusque and forceful as Marshall Ney, Virginia MacKenna elegant as the Duchess of Richmond. There are other fine cameos sprinkled thoughout (including Orson Welles as Louix XVIII). Some of the minor characters are obviously speaking Russian and are dubbed, but this is no great distraction.

The only caveat: the opening scene is quite poor.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By William B. Bogy on October 24, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this on the big screen when I was maybe 11 and was awed. I didn't see it again until I bought it on, but never forgot it, which says something. A rare Cold War collaboration between western moviemakers and the Red Army, this movie is a must have for any Napoleonic War era student or fan.

Christopher Plummer is the quintessential British aristocratic general the Duke of Wellington, and pulls off the role splendidly. My girlfriend, a huge fan of the Sound of Music, loved the costumes(especially his). Rod Steiger is superb as Napoleon, and the scene where he comes back from Elba and confronts his former troops commanded by Marshal Ney on behalf of the fat king Louis XVIII(wonderfully portrayed by a very large Orson Wells) shows the courage that Napoleon really did possess. He also sympathetically portrays a Napoleon feeling his mortality five years before his death.

The battle scenes at Waterloo are impressively recreated by the Red Army actors in accurate formations and uniforms, as are the decisions by Wellington and Napoleon that led up to the battle. Napoleon's later assertions of Marshal Grouchy's failure to march to the sound of the guns which doomed him to defeat is also well done, even if there is historical dispute on that score(after all, it was Napoleon who ordered his army to divide, not Grouchy). The charge of the Old Guard, Wellington's realization that he might have lost, and the Prussian rescue of the allied cause at the last possible minute is superbly done.

The little antiwar insertions may or may not have happened, except for Wellington's comment of a battle won being the next worst thing to a battle lost, but the film was shot in 1970.
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What is the longest version of "Waterloo" available?
There may be an extended version released next year for the 200th anniversary (2014), but it is just hearsay in the United States.
Jul 3, 2013 by Paul M. Grumelli |  See all 10 posts
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