- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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War and Peace
Tolstoy's epic novel is horribly reduced on screen. Hepburn's is the only solid performance in the film, Fonda is wildly miscast as Pierre. Too long, dull and the screenplay isn't as good as the source material. At times when it's not dull, action sequences make up for it. I give it a 2.5/5.
Henry Fonda's texas drawl totally ruined what should have been a deep & sensitive production.
War and Peace (1956)
- Linda J.
The perfect ending to this movie would have been to see the little gray dog walking alongside Fonda's and Hepburn's characters in the very last scene! I thought surely that would happen.
Huge attempt at translating Tolstoy's masterpiece
- Jarrod McDonald
Sometimes I have a difficult time with Audrey Hepburn's performances, because I feel she is more a personality than a solid actress. But she was very acceptable in this role, and her on-screen chemistry with then real-life husband Mel Ferrer really helps bring this story to life. Henry Fonda is not bad either, as the third part of this love triangle. Director King Vidor and his writers have left out some important details of Tolstoy's epic. For instance, Pierre's wife dies of a botched abortion in the book, thus freeing him to marry Natasha. But in the film, Pierre and his first wife merely separate and not much more is said, leaving us to wonder if he's still married to her when he unites with Natasha at the end. Also, we see Andrei injured in the film, but not Anatol, who simply disappears after Pierre thwarts Anatol's attempt to seduce Natasha. Finally, there are some epilogues written by Tolstoy that are not included, which indicate what happened to the Rostovs after the marriage of Pierre and Natasha, including a hint that Andrei's orphaned son will become a revolutionary in the Decembrist revolt. Yet, despite these omissions, this filmed version is quite satisfactory and will thrill Tolstoy's fans. In particular, the three lead actors are rather good in their portrayals (especially Ferrer), and Vidor (who began as a silent film director) provides some great Russian-French battle scenes.