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WATERLOO - by Sergei Bondarchuk (Import) (1970)

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

Price: $54.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E1E2N6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,614 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CGI's still can't beat the real thing! June 1, 2007
Format:DVD
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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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film history at its best September 23, 2006
Format:DVD
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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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They don't make spectacles like this anymore! April 9, 2007
By Dave K
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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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD release is horrible March 3, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I hadn't realized this earlier, but now having put it in the DVD, I've seen the results of this Russian import.

Russia does not use PAL encoding in their DVDs. They use NTSC just like North America. And yet the framerate is badly and blatantly off.

To clarify one bit, you notice the difference in how video looks when it's presented in movies and fiction TV shows compared to News broadcasts or reality shows? That's a difference in framerate---the News shows and reality shows and the like use a faster framerate. This movie was filmed to be in the framerate of a movie, and yet it looks as though it was sped up or somehow adjusted to move like a television show. As such, it looks less like a movie and more like a BBC television show or the like.

Maybe this contributes to this, but the biggest and most severe issue with this release that utterly ruins it is the audio and video is NOT SYNCHRONIZED!

Even a sneaking suspicion should be enough to confirm this, but it becomes hugely evident in scenes where the actors' mouth words clearly. This completely ruins von Blücher's grand introduction at the battle, where he shouts "Raise high the black flags, my children. No prisoners. No pity. I will shoot any man I see with pity in him." It's so unbelievably obvious, you'd think he was speaking another language and having it overdubbed in English. But no, he IS speaking English, and yet the audio is so badly out of sync with the video, it becomes a massive detriment to the movie as a whole, and rips one out of the immersion entirely.

The picture quality is nowhere near as clean and sharp as I expected, considering the version I first saw was not even in DVD quality.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Know which edition you're buying
There are two versions of this movie: the Import factory sealed version and an apparently horrible Korean pirated version. Know which one the seller is actually selling. Read more
Published 16 days ago by J. B. Ashley
1.0 out of 5 stars A tedious story
A tedious story with bloated, over dramatized roles and insubstantial character actors, marred by terrible camera work (notice blurs and out of focus shots, dirty lenses, etc) and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bartok Kinski
5.0 out of 5 stars Waterloo the way it was meant to be seen!i
It was a long time coming but the wide screen makes Waterloo the film experience it was meant to be!
Published 2 months ago by William M Connolly
3.0 out of 5 stars Do not click on English Subtitles for this DVD.
I leave it to others to verify the accuracy of the action. From what I remember of my history course on this period, the portrayal of the order of battle seems to be accurate. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Brian T. O'Brien
4.0 out of 5 stars My review of Waterloo.
I liked a lot of things about this DVD.Chief among them is the fact that you can request english subtitles.Also there is the fact that the cinematography is excellent!
Published 3 months ago by Larry Tomlinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Waterloo
A must by for the military napoleonic history buff, fantastic film with great battle scenes.
Definetly add this one to your archives.
Published 4 months ago by Jim
3.0 out of 5 stars Confused about the totally different reviews?
First let me say that I love the movie. I watched it in the theater when it came out and was quite excited when I saw that it was in DVD. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sandra
5.0 out of 5 stars Great war movie
Even though this DVD is made in Russia, and the box in which the DVD is packaged has all its writing in Cyrillic, the DVD has its dialog in English! Read more
Published 5 months ago by David B Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie but the DVD is a mess
The movie is very good, including actors and how they did the large scale battles.

However, the DVD is a mess. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Martin C.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best historical war movies
Rod Steiger was a great Napoleon, and Christopher Plummer was the perfect Wellington. The battle scenes are so well done that they become more than uncomfortable. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Chris Elzi
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Topic From this Discussion
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 7 posts
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