BIG breath: "War And Peace" (1968, Russain) 507 minute version on DVD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gordon McMurphy, Sep 25, 2002.

  1. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    A few years ago, I was told thru the grapevine that Sergei Bondarchuk's truly, truly colossul four part epic filmed version of Tolstoy's monumental tome, War And Peace was about to be restored by The Russian Film Institute to it's (apparently) 507 mintute director's cut! Bondarchuk sadly died in 1994, so he wouldn't have been part of the reconstruction/refurbrishment/restoration etc.
    It was shot in 65mm. I'm not sure what filmstock was used - possibly Sovcolor or some less-than-great stock. I'm not sure what condition the elements are in - does anyone here know? Anyone got VHS edtions? Was there ever a Laserdisc?
    DVD was made for films like this. But how would you put a worthy DVD package of this film together?
    Disc 1
    Vojna I Mir I: Andrei Bolkonsky (1965)
    New 2.21:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer from restored elements
    Dolby Digital 5.1 (Russian and French in certain scenes)
    DTS 5.1 Surround Sound (Russian and French in certain scenes)
    Dubbed English 2.0 stereo
    English subtitles
    Audio commentary by various cast, crew and film scholars

    Disc 2
    Vojna I Mir II: Natasha Rostova (1966)
    New 2.21:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer from restored elements
    Dolby Digital 5.1 (Russian and French in certain scenes)
    DTS 5.1 Surround Sound (Russian and French in certain scenes)
    Dubbed English 2.0 stereo
    Audio commentary by various cast, crew and film scholars

    Disc 3
    Vojna I Mir III: 1812 God (1967)
    New 2.21:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer from restored elements
    Dolby Digital 5.1 (Russian and French in certain scenes)
    DTS 5.1 Surround Sound (Russian and French in certain scenes)
    Dubbed English 2.0 stereo
    Audio commentary by various cast, crew and film scholars

    Disc 4
    Vojna I Mir IV: Pierre Bezukhov (1967)
    New 2.21:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer from restored elements
    Dolby Digital 5.1 (Russian and French in certain scenes)
    DTS 5.1 Surround Sound (Russian and French in certain scenes)
    Dubbed English 2.0 stereo
    Audio commentary by various cast, crew and film scholars

    Disc 5
    Brand new retrospective documentary with archive footage etc
    Historical material on Napolean's invasion of Russia
    The legacy of Tolstoy's novel
    Restoration demontration
    Photo gallery
    Trailers
    More...?

    Anyone got any ideas? It's one helluva long film, but it is so great - a true epic and deserves a lavish DVD release. But only Criterion would have the guts to release something like what I proposed above! [​IMG]
    Thanks for reading,
    G.C Morrice
     
  2. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    It's on the way! Check out www.ruscico.com. Running time seems to be 431 minutes. I agree it's a great film. I saw it twice in theatres which meant going 4 times as it was shown in 2 parts. Not sure of the total theatrical running time but it must have been heavily cut.
     
  3. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Great work, Doug! [​IMG]
    http://www.ruscico.com./detail_eng.php?link=22
    It's apparently out later this year. Cost: $55.00/£35.19
    Is it a 3 or 4 disc set though? The DVD cover example has a "4" on it, but it lists only three running times:
    147 (Part 1 was/is 147 minutes) then 200 minutes? (3 & 4 on one disc - NO! Seperate!)
    And 84 (Part 4 was/is 84 minutes) These all total, as you say, 431 minutes!
    Phew! Golly! And other words to that effect.
    Widescreen? Surely! 2.21:1 though?
    Dolby 5.1? I think so.
    Son Of God I ask thee to speed those there shiny discs to thy abode! [​IMG]
    Magical news, Doug! Fab! [​IMG]
    Gordy (Not a fan of Michael Bay movies! [​IMG])
     
  4. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I'd love to have this on DVD, but there's no way I'm buying it if it is Ruscico that is releasing it.

    I have only bought one title from them in the past and there were so many problems with the DVD presentation that I vowed never to buy one of their discs again.
     
  5. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    I believe the 1956 Paramount/King Vidor/Audrey Hepburn/Vistavision version is due out in December.
     
  6. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

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    The Paramount/Vidor version of this story is a laugh-riot. Of course maybe my mistake was watching it after watching the Russian version.
     
  7. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    I rented this one once (I think the tapes ran about 6 hours) but the dubbing was so awful I gave up after an hour or so.
     
  8. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    IF it's OSL, and the discs are decent I'll bite
     
  9. Randall Dorr

    Randall Dorr Second Unit

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    The Digital Bits had this:
     
  10. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I’ve only seen this in the theatre (once). But I still remember the ‘Battle of Borodino’. What a treat. But I’ll be guided by Rain and wait for some technical reviews to appear before a put down any cash.
     
  11. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    In reply to Randall Dorr:
    Great stuff! I'll try and find more info on the DVDs. The Kultar website does not list the DVD though, just the VHS! D'oh! Get a move-on, folks! [​IMG]
    Great news.
    Gord
     
  12. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    I have a friend who is crazy about Bondarchuk's War and Peace and has the whole thing on tape, his copy is the 6 hour version, I remember him showing me some of the battles, I was gobsmacked, spectacular stuff!
    I think he'll want to upgrade to the dvd version when I tell him.[​IMG]
     
  13. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    Am I missing something? Where do you buy the DVD's for 39.95?
     
  14. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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  15. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I hope that the DVDs have superb transfers. Kultar are hardly Criterion, are they? [​IMG] I hope I have to eat my words...:b
    Gordy
     
  16. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    So, are the Kultur and the Ruscico releases one and the same?
     
  17. Randall Dorr

    Randall Dorr Second Unit

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  18. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I'm sure this film needs a real restoration. It was shot on less-than-great 65mm and processed in less-than-great Sovcolor. The neg(s) are over 35 years old. Maybe I'll be proven dramatically wrong, but I think that the DVDs of War And Peace will be at best, adequete. But I want to be proved wrong! [​IMG]
    Bring 'em on! [​IMG]
    Gordy
     
  19. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    here is some more news from today's http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents
    with the news that Image Entertainment has announced the release of a DVD version of Sergei Bondarchuk's 1968 version of War and Peace (another version is due from Kultur on 11/26). But Image's 4-disc version - due on 12/3 (SRP $69.99) - is much more loaded. Expect anamorphic widescreen video (2.35:1 aspect ratio), Dolby Digital 5.1 audio in Russian, English and French and 14 sets of subtitles on the 3 movie discs. The 4th disc contains all the extras, such as a "behind the scenes" featurette, cast and crew filmographies, an art direction and set design studies gallery, a documentary on Leo Tolstoy and interviews with the actors, cinematographer, composer and Mosfilms Studios president Karen Shakhnazarov. The film is also the longer, 431-minute version.
    this is indeed great news
     
  20. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    Sounds like the Ruscico version. Doesn't Image destribute them or was it Kino?
     

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