War And Peace

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Brian La, Nov 2, 2002.

  1. Brian La

    Brian La Auditioning

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    One of my favorite films, or cinema experiences if you will, is the Russian version of WAR AND PEACE, 1967-68. It has had an odd home video release first appearing in the absurdly dubbed and cut English version in a big box VHS. 1980s. The Russian version appeared on VHS finally from KULTUR but still not in widescreen with nolaser version. This was one of those films I was obssessed with and wanted a good home video version of and a major reason I purchased a zone free DVD player hopefully to obtain the DVD of this from SAZUMA.When I read KULTUR was to release a DVD I hoped for the best but assumed it would be merely a retread of the VHS version with quite variable color and sound. I ordered it over night from KULTUR. I really hate to slam a smaller company such as KULTUR but this release is pretty bad. The pan and scan remains the travesty it is on the tape. Progressive scan makes many scenes shimmer and distort. If IMAGE was not releasing an LBX version 12/03 I could live with this. But this KULTUR version is NOT the way to see this quite remarkable film. Anyone seen a preview of the IMAGE release. Thank you.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Welcome to HTF, Brian. The Software area is the appropriate place to post this query. And it seems as if it's a no-brainer to wait for Image Entertainment's OAR release.
     
  3. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Thanks Brian for warning us about the Kultur release! I had been thinking of getting this but will now wait for the Image-Rustico release.
     
  4. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    same here. thanks Brian I will go for the Iamge one as well
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Bill McCamy

    Bill McCamy Second Unit

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    With a new coupon for a $10 discount, the Russico version can be obtained from Amazon.ca for less than $45. The dvd is a Canadian product, but the cover appears the same as the Image version. Does anyone know how different this Canadian version will be from the Image U.S. version?
     
  6. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I love this film. An insanely epic version of Tolstoy's immortal masterpiece. Get the Image release - I pray it has a great anamorphic transfer and great 5.1 and the extras sound great too.
    Bring it on. Bring it on! [​IMG]
    Gordy
     
  7. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    There really is no such thing as an Image version. Image is just importing Ruscico's version and putting an Image logo on it.

    Jeff
     
  8. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    I finally got the Image 5 disc set and very impressive it is too. There is one thing that I've been wondering about though. Watching the documentary on the making of the film I was struck by how small the cameras were (in fact one camera which travels on a wire above people's heads looks more like a 16mm camera). Was this film really filmed in 70mm as all the reference material states or was it blown up from 35mm? Most pictures of 70mm cameras that I've seen from the mid-sixties were very bulky, not at all like the cameras used for War & Peace. If it blown up to 70mm that might account as to why the theatrical version (I saw it twice in the sixties) did not look particulary sharp compared to other 70mm films of the time.
     
  9. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I'm pretty sure that the entire production was shot in 65mm. Those cameras may just have been stripped-down. I'm not even sure if the Russians had 35-to-65mm blow-up opticals by the mid-Sixties, but they may have. As a footnote, the Russian colour film negatives in the Sixties were not as good as American film negatives and the printing filmstocks were also of a lesser quality. The 65mm cameras were not Todd-AO replicas. I'm not sure who built them, but it's pretty obvious that US technology was not directly invloved!
    I too have the War and Peace set and I love it. Colossul filmmmaking, great story, filled with emotion - great score, too.
    Now that you have seen War and Peace, Douglas, you may wish to check out Waterloo, which was Bondarchuk's follow-up to War and Peace, with Rod Steiger as Napoleon sans French language or accent.
    There's also a great 4-hour PBS documentary on Napoleon
    And hopefully, it won't be long before we see a high-quality SE of the 330-minute restoration of Abel Gance's, Napoleon.
     
  10. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the info Gordon. I agree that the score is also great - I have the soundtrack LP which sadly hasn't (to my knowledge) made it to CD yet. I also have the DVD of Waterloo which, although dramatically disappointing, is certainly very well worth seeing for Bondarchuk's amazing battle scenes.
     
  11. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    No, the soundtrack is unfortunately not on CD, which is a crying shame as Ovchinnikov's score is truly wonderful, especially in the ballroom scene, the swirling strings are overwhelming.
    I'm glad you have Waterloo. It has it's deficiances, but overall, I think it's a hugely entertaining epic. The Emperor's Last Stand.
    Did you see the BBC documentary mini-series, A Complete History Of Britain? I must have missed it when it was broadcast, but I ordered the DVD boxed set yesterday from Play, where it is on sale for a bargain £39.99: http://www.play.com/play247.asp?page=search&adudisc=y
    From what I have read, it is an amazing piece of work.
     
  12. Bill:N

    Bill:N Stunt Coordinator

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    Just noticed that Kino will be releasing this in 2008. Lets hope that this will be a big improvement on the various inferior releases over the past several years.
     
  13. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Supporting Actor

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    A 35mm restoration has been touring the country this fall and I would guess this is what the Kino release will use. The Russico version is somewhat variable in image quality, but the sound was great (Russian track)... some of the best use of surround sound I have ever heard.


    I was lucky enough to see a 70mm print of the full length Russian version a couple of years ago at AFI in Silver Spring. Apparently the print had been sitting in a warehouse in San Francisco since the 70's when it was shipped from Russia for a film festival. The Russian film company did not want to pay to have the print shipped back.... which given that this was an 8 hour 70mm print, is not too hard to understand. Image quality and color varied throughout the show, though again, the sound was incredible.

    Let's hope KINO does it justice.... maybe in HD?
     
  14. Greg Hoffman

    Greg Hoffman Auditioning

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    Incidentally, The 15 Hour 1972 BBC version of “War & Peace” with a young Anthony Hopkins as Pierre is finally available on R1 disc! Even though this was made for TV [1.33:1, not as spectacular battle scenes, etc.] The acting is superb. Many think this is the superior version around today. I surely do!

    I realize that this is technically TV, not Film, but thought to pass the word to War and Peace fans.
     
  15. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    cheers for all updates
     
  16. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    Going by Kino's track record as one of the laziest dvd production houses on earth, don't hold your breath.
     
  17. Sumnernor

    Sumnernor Supporting Actor

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    Where can one purchase the "Image" version? Is that the 5 DVD version on Amazon-UK??? Does someone have a link for it?
     
  18. Sumnernor

    Sumnernor Supporting Actor

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    My above post has been answered. The Image Entertainment version can no longer be bought except at inflated seller prices. It appears that there is a version in the UK that is produced by Artificial Eye. Someone told me that in England scenes with animals being killed etc was not allowed. One person on Amazon-UK states "one of the reasons this has taken so long to come on region 2 dvd is because the BBFC didnt like the treatment of horses in this film." Is anyone familiar with this version and has it been cut due to the treatment or horses? I would think that when this was filmed that the UK restrictions were not in force.

    Also I have read that someone in Australia has seen a 505 minute version. Has this ever been released on DVD somewhere?
     
  19. John CW

    John CW Supporting Actor

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    Hi! I know a little about this release because I did the sleeve for it!
    I don't know anything about it being edited, although the BBFC seems to indicate it was cut in 1991 but not 1998. But there's some discrepancy in running times. When it was released in 1968 it appears to have a run time of 511 mins!
    WAR AND PEACE PARTS 1 & 2 rated A by the BBFC
    Very strange. Could this be attributed to PAL speed up over a huge amount of time, I wonder?
    I can tell you that there's a disc of extras on the UK release, but of their quality I know not. The box is quite nice though! [​IMG]
    Amazon.co.uk: War And Peace [1968]: DVD: Sergei Bondarchuk,Ludmilla Savalieva,Vyacheslav Tikhonov,Anastasiya Vertinskaya,Irina Skobsteva,Vassily Lanovoy,Oleg Efremov
     

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