War and Peace 1965 Russian film adaptation

Lyudmila Savelyeva as Natasha Rostova, Vyacheslav Tikhonov as Prince Bolkonsky
Lyudmila Savelyeva as Natasha Rostova, Vyacheslav Tikhonov as Prince Bolkonsky

War and Peace 1965 Russian film adaptation

War and Peace 1965 film is not just a film, but the symbol of our country, and, of course, a reflection of the Russian mentality. Thus, “War and Peace” provides a comprehensive insight into the life of all sectors of society: the nobility, peasants, intellectuals, officers and ordinary soldiers.

Leo Tolstoy depicted a variety of Russian characters. He showed to the world view of high society of the Russian Empire in the grand historical events in the transformation and reforms undertaken in the country, covering at the same time a huge amount of time. The director of the film Sergei Bondarchuk skillfully moved it all to the screen, trying not to miss a single important detail. Unfortunately, this can not be said about the creators of modern film adaptations, mistaken even with the appearance of the main characters. The difference of the Soviet film adaptation from the others is the battle scene, as the creators did not stint on the men and horses, natural look explosions and fires in Moscow.

Stills from the film War and Peace
Stills from the film War and Peace

Sergei Bondarchuk has done a great job. However, while filming, his heart stopped a few times, but he continued his work. Indeed, only a genius could work like him. And Bondarchuk can be easily compared to Michelangelo. Prayer before the Battle of Borodino – according to critics, this is the best scene of all time cinema. The director showed us the unity of the Russian people even better than Leo Tolstoy described this moment. Of course, it was risky in Soviet times, as the government could not miss this passage. But the scene, where all soldiers, officers, and Commander in Chief kneel before the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was absolutely necessary. How else could be conveyed the general spirit of patriotism and unity?

Alas, one of the most emotional moments in the book was not shown in the film, when Princess Mary said to herself, “It is I, the daughter of Nikolai Andreyevich Bolkonsky, the daughter of a Russian general, I have to stay and obey the French? This will not happen ever.” Despite the fact that the stay was safe, she left her home, this meek and cowardly before Princess Mary ..

In general, this is a real masterpiece, which should see everyone and not only Russian. For example, Leo Tolstoy calls Georgian Russian Pyotr Bagration, who gave his life for the salvation of our homeland. This proves to us that the Russian – a state of mind rather than nationality. Some aristocrats of the time were less Russian than had in their heart German Barclay de Tolly and Bagration.

War and Peace 1965 Russian film adaptation interesting facts:

Work on the Soviet screen version began in 1961, direct work started in 1963. The last part of the film was released only in 1968. Thus, the production of the film took about 7 years, of which 3 years were spent on the set of “1812”.

In the US the movie was “shortened” for 1 hour.

Initially, the production of the film was offered to director Ivan Pyryev.
Many museums of the USSR offered their artifacts for filming.
War and Peace 1965 film has become the second Soviet film to receive “Oscar” (1969).
In a crowd scene of the Battle of Borodino participated about 120 thousand people (recorded in the Guinness Book of Records).

Work on the film began seriously. Unable to withstand the powerful character of Bondarchuk, the second director, some actors and operators had left him. Sergei Fedorovich himself nearly died – in 1965, he had a few minutes of cardiac arrest.
Officially announced budget of “War and Peace” was 18 million. Recalculation for 2008 – about $ 185 million.

Vasily Lanovoi, who played Anatoly, dreamed about the role of Prince Andrey Bolkonsky.

Etiquette consultant who worked on the filming was Anna Knipper-Timiryova, common-law wife of Admiral Kolchak.

The premiere of “War and Peace” on a foreign television screen took place in March 1981, on the Mexican channels «I» and «II». The film entered the Guinness Book of Records as the longest film shown on TV.
To create the costumes were used collection of tin soldiers of Leningrad collector.

Can one take this film as a kind of separate, independent work of cinema? Of course not. There’s no point to watch this movie without being familiar with the book, since this creation of Bondarchuk should rather be taken as an illustration of the novel.

War and Peace 1965 film. Genre: war, drama, historical, romance. Big screen. Gigantic motion epic film directed by famous Soviet film director Sergei Bondarchuk on the novel by Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”, with the participation of all the stars of Soviet cinema. The film won the award “Oscar” in 1968 as “Best Foreign Language Film.”

Stills from the film