War and Peace

Watch War and Peace

"The Greatest Novel Ever Written ... Now Magnificently Alive On The Screen!"
  • PG
  • 1956
  • 3 hr 28 min
  • 6.7  (10,743)

Set against the backdrop of Napoleon's invasion of Russia in the early 19th century, War and Peace is an epic historical drama film directed by King Vidor, released in 1956. The movie is based on Leo Tolstoy's classic novel of the same name, which tells the intertwined stories of five aristocratic families in Russia during the Napoleonic Wars.

The film features an all-star cast, led by Audrey Hepburn as Natasha Rostova, a youthful and lively girl who falls in love with the charming but reckless soldier, Count Anatole Kuragin, played by Vittorio Gassman. Meanwhile, Henry Fonda portrays the earnest, kind-hearted Pierre Bezukhov, who inherits a vast fortune and soon finds himself in the thick of the war as a soldier. Mel Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn's husband at the time, plays Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, a soldier who is disillusioned with the war and finds himself steadily drawn to Natasha.

At over three and a half hours long, War and Peace is an ambitious adaptation of Tolstoy's epic novel, and the film does not disappoint in its grandeur and scope. The cinematography and score are both noteworthy, with stunning shots of the Russian countryside and battle scenes that are thrilling and intense. The film's opening sequence is a sweeping, panoramic shot of a grand ball that sets the stage for the story to come.

One of the most compelling aspects of War and Peace is the way it captures the subtleties of human emotion amidst the grandeur of war. Several of the characters undergo significant transformations throughout the course of the film, as they are forced to confront the realities of the war and the deeper questions of love, duty, and destiny. The romance between Natasha and Anatole is one of the film's central plotlines, but it is far from the only one. The friendship and eventual conflict between Pierre and Andrei, as well as their individual journeys of self-discovery, are just as important to the story.

Another standout feature of War and Peace is the costume and set design. The film is a visual feast, with lavish costumes and intricate sets that transport the viewer to the heart of the Russian aristocracy. The scenes set in the grand ballrooms of St. Petersburg are especially impressive, with dancers clad in elaborate dresses and the camera panning over the glittering chandeliers and marble floors.

Overall, War and Peace is a sweeping and unforgettable historical epic. The performances are strong across the board, with Hepburn, Fonda, and Ferrer delivering some of their best work. The film may be long, but it is worth every moment for those who appreciate a grand and timeless epic tale of love, war, and human frailty.

War and Peace is a 1956 drama with a runtime of 3 hours and 28 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

War and Peace
Where to Watch War and Peace
War and Peace is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent War and Peace for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    3 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (10,743)