War and Peace Part I

A lone horse and rider on a hill

So here’s the most expensive film ever made in the USSR, or a quarter of it. War and Peace Part I finally arrived in 1966 after years in the making, a rebuke to the massive 1956 US version starring Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda. Here’s how you do Tolstoy, the Soviets are saying, at five and half hours long, with a cast of thousands, no expense spared, big sets, huge battle scenes, and so on. It was released in four big chunks originally, too, and it’s best watched that way, in instalments. It’s impressive, certainly, shot on 70mm film for that widescreen epic look – though on muddy Soviet film stock – but … Read more