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War & Peace (1968) (1968)

Lyudmila Saveleva , Vyacheslav Tikhonov , Sergey Bondarchuk  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Lyudmila Saveleva, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Sergey Bondarchuk, Boris Zakhava, Anatoli Ktorov
  • Directors: Sergey Bondarchuk
  • Writers: Sergey Bondarchuk, Leo Tolstoy, Vasili Solovyov
  • Format: Box set, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French, German, Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Hurricane Int'l
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 427 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GL18CC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,196 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "War & Peace (1968)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Winner of Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, this classic brings all the passion and turbulence of Leo Tolstoy's epic masterpiece dramatically to the screen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
223 of 229 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Same as the widescreen (letterbox) but different! July 23, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When I purchased this film, I wasn't paying proper attention, thinking that I was buying yet another version of Tolstoy's famous work; however, it is, in fact, the 1968 Bondarchuk epic which I already owned in widescreen (letterbox) and which has now been packaged and edited by another distributor. Yet, in the end, it's quite a different film!

First of all, this version has been "panned and scanned" to better facilitate a regular screen television -- so, this product is what we generally refer to as "full-screen". Second, there are a few editing differences including some scenes that were not in the widescreen (letterbox) version and misssing a few scenes that were. This does not radically change the film but it was certainly interesting to observe.

Finally, the voiceovers and subtitles are COMPLETELY different, being superior to the original widescreen (letterbox) version. Many more conversation parts are picked up in this version and the translation is far superior. In some cases, the two translations are quite different, this one aligning more with the highly recommended Maude translation of the original book.

In the end, I'm glad to own both versions, as each has its advantages and disadvantages. In picture quality, this one cannot compare to the widescreen (letterbox) version as the clarity was somewhat compromised by the blow-up of the negatives during the "pan and scan" process. Still, it's quite watchable.

As far as the story goes, this is one of the finest war films ever produced. The Hollywood version of War and Peace starring Henry Fonda is a pathetic joke compared to this Russian masterpiece.
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107 of 107 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I was fortunate enough to obtain an advance copy of the Ruscico 5-disc box set of WAR AND PEACE recently. Image Entertainment has acquired U.S. distribution rights for it; after some delay, it is scheduled to street in June. The amount of care put into this particular version is obvious. The widescreen anamorphic transfer looks as good as can be expected, considering the condition in which the film has been preserved and the poor quality Soviet stock on which the film was originally shot. The kind of extensive clean-up and digital restoration we are used to from companies like Criterion would have been prohibitively expensive for such a long and poorly preserved film like this. If you keep that in mind while watching the DVD, you'll be satisfied indeed. The sound has also been meticulously restored. If that weren't enough, the set is full of all sorts of interesting supplemental features, including an interview with Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov, the film's composer. An appropriately massive DVD set for the most massive film of all.
On the other hand, Kultur's currently available DVD of Bondarchuk's WAR AND PEACE is a big disappointment. While it also contains the full-length, 403-minute version, it's the same old pan & scan transfer that they used for the VHS over a decade ago. Not only are the sides of the film's original widescreen image lopped off, the top and bottom of the image are slightly cropped too--as a result, the DVD displays only about 50% of the image that we are intended to see, effectively ruining the film's striking visual compositions. The 5-disc set produced by Ruscico and to be released by Image Entertainment is substantially more expensive, but it's the only way to go if you want to see this film properly.
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127 of 131 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, beautiful film, mediocre presentation November 19, 2002
Format:DVD
I had the opportunity to peruse this Kultur DVD edition of "War and Peace" enough to evaluate its presentation. Firstly, it's not letterboxed, but full-frame. The opening title sequence only is letterboxed to some extent so as not to cut off all the titles, and this looks as though the original aspect ratio is not particularly wide to begin with. So while not a great deal of picture is cut off from the sides, there is some missing. The print is a good one, and the beauty and power of the film come through, but it does not appear to have been restored to any great extent. This means that the color intensity, contrast, and brightness of the image fluctuates from scene to scene, and sometimes even within one scene (reel changes, perhaps?). The image throughout is a bit soft-focus, and it benefits greatly if you turn up the sharpness control on your monitor. There does not seem to be a great deal of blemishes, dirt, or damage, though.
The English subtitles are printed on the film itself, and therefore not removable. In the scenes where French is spoken, there is a voice superimposed on the soundtrack translating what is being said into Russian, which is of no interest to the English-speaking viewers who will be watching this DVD. In these cases, you have an actor speaking French, an additional voice speaking Russian, and an English subtitle simultaneously, which is distracting to say the least. It's hard to imagine why a print with this feature was chosen, unless it was the absolute best-looking print available.
That brings up the subject of the alternate issue of this film due at the end of December from the Russian Cinema Council (Ruscico). Judging from past Ruscico DVD releases, it may well be a restored, archive-quality print (hopefully letterboxed).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars War and Peace-What Fun.
In another life I had read this novel. I found this version to be outstanding. I especially appreciated the outline which came with the DVD and as I recall a chapter by chapter... Read more
Published 1 month ago by daniel shirley
5.0 out of 5 stars FAVORITE OF ALL TIMES
there are NO words to describe this DVD i absolutely love it. ive never seen any War and Peace film that even comes close to this.
Published 2 months ago by A. HAGGERTY
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother with VHS
My copy came as a single VHS tape. There seemed to be some print-through distortion in the early part, probably due to the thin tape. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ian M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Your Time
I wish this movie had run for another 24 hours and I would still not have had enough of it.
Published 5 months ago by moises nadal
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent interpretation of the novel. Found it better than the Hollywood film (although I enjoyed that one also.) will watch again.
Published 6 months ago by Jack Roter
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Copy of Original in Pan and Scan
I am very pleased I purchased this version of the movie. I like the fact the original Russian soundtrack was left intact. The subtitles I thought were very well done. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Tolstoy Would be Proud---I Think
With historical accuracy and convincing acting, this film alternates between (1) battles to try to stop the talented and unusually charismatic (to the French) Napoleon Bonaparte... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Richard Sibley
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it
Definitely helped me make it through the book, and allowed for me to skip some and still hold on to what was going on in the story. Read more
Published 9 months ago by kingpin
5.0 out of 5 stars Napoleon invades Russia.
A wonderful movie about life in Russia before and after Napoleon invades the country. All the War and Peace movies ever made are excellent, including this Russian one.
Published 10 months ago by Ms. Angela Elkington
5.0 out of 5 stars Sergei Bonderchuck understands Count Leo Tolstoy perfectly; I doubt...
Read the book, and see the film; there is very little difference between the two. Pardon the pun, but the film literally brought the book to life.
Published 11 months ago by Joseph C. Aiello, Jr.
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