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War & Peace (BBC Mini-series)

Anthony Hopkins , Morag Hood    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 87.99
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Product Description

Part History Lesson, Part Grand Romance, Part Battlefield Revisionism, And Part Philosophy Lecture, War And Peace Has Captivated Generations Of Readers With Its Gripping Narrative And Its Clear, Intelligible Understanding Of The Human Soul

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Low Star Power...High Quality March 7 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I'm quite in agreement with the reviewer who wrote that this is the best version of Tolstoy's classic--which I have, in fact, read. This is distinct from the "Fonda/Hepburn" version for that very reason: the mid-'50's version is known as the "Fonda/Hepburn" version. There were no Stars in this BBC production, just excellent actors. Mind you, anyone who watched a lot of Masterpiece theatre was able to follow Angela Down [Princess Marya Nokolaievna Bolkonskaya] into a subsequent series, "The Glittering Prizes;" or Frank Middlemass who portrayed General Kutuzov into "Poldark" as Uncle Charles. It was only later that Anthony Hopkins went Hollywood, and became recognized; although his portrayal of gay butcher Richard the Lion Hearted in "The Lion in Winter" was superb in '68.
This is the best, most faithful to the book, version of War and Peace available.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great family entertainment Nov. 6 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Very engaging and entertaining! Its great fun to watch Anthony Hopkins in an early role. This is a Masterpiece Theatre production which is filmed like a play. There are outside battle scenes however, which are quite good. I couldn't stop watching it (12 hours long). It only took a few days! My only complaint is after all those hours of watching, the ending is confusing! It has to be re-watched. I recommend this, it has no objectionable material and would be great for older children.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Adaptation Aug. 6 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is an incredibly detailed account by the BBC. The costumes and scenery are very realistic. Anthony Hopkins was fabulous. I highly recommend this movie, but be prepared for the length!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best full version Jan. 8 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The best & most complete version of Tolstoy's epic available to non-Russians. The Bondarchuk film was only ever released in its 8 hour format. Because of that it doesn't compare to the 13 or so hours the BBC version can devote to the whole of Tolstoy's tale. I did see the Soviet film in its full 13 hour version & on that basis it compares very well. But quite a lot of it is the slog of battle to which Bondarchuk devotes too much attention. But it's the lead characters that do so well in the BBC version. Hopkins is wonderful as Pierre (not as stout as he is portrayed in the book); Dobie as Andrey, Morag Hood as Natasha are also very, very good; especially Hood in going from exuberant young girl to wiser & damaged mature woman. But it is the story of Nikolai & Sonya that are done so well that is a treat with this version, as well as the portrayals of Kutuzov & Napoleon. In most treatments they are almost forgotten because most producers think their audience only wants & expects a love story (which is also true of how Anna Karenina is done), and that is probably true since most people won't have read the book. So many other characters to love as well: Count Rostov, Petya, Platon Karatayev, Denisov, Alexander I.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Flew on the Treadmill March 6 2001
Format:VHS Tape
When a friend allowed me to borrow a copy of this 1968 BBC series recently, there was no way I was just going to sit on my can and view 12 hours of production. I watched this first tape while walking on a treadmill and was hooked--not only that I had walked for over two hours and had covered five miles! Almost needless to say I poured through the entire series shortly thereafter. Hopkins is great (he was about 30 at the time). If you want a good case study of human nature and the human condition in which it is encased then check this thing out. I should mention that I have not as of yet read the novel itself, but I suspect it shall be even better as is almost always the case when comparing novels and filmed versions.
I see a previous reviewer is complaining about lack of scenery and music. Don't worry about it, the sparseness helps you concentrate on the very human scenes and the dialogue. I never missed the visuals. Don't get me wrong, there are still very ornate interiors, but if you concentrate on the story everything will become timeless anyway. A sure sign of my being moved is that I went out and purchased the Norton Critical Edition of the novel. I can't wait to begin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great portrait of humanity. Dec 26 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This version of War and Peace is undoubtedly the best. Although Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda are great in the mid 50's version, the stars in this miniseries are excellent. I have seen the one made in the 50's, the Russian version, and this one, and this one is by far superior to the others.
It is very long, but is very faithful to the book. It includes all the characters' thoughts and philosophies, and includes the many human relationships intertwined in the film.
It is true, however, that it lacks music and scenery, although the inside shots of the houses are splendid. But this is very well, because it makes it much more realistic. The acting is superb, the sets are real and lovely, and I would highly recommend this epic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A relatively accurate film Nov. 3 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I thought this BBC version of "War and Peace" was done well. It follows the book pretty well--making it very long. While it follows the book's story line better than most movies about books, I was a bit disapointed in the lack of scenery in the film. For instance, you are rarely shown an overview shot of the houses, just inside shots of rooms, and during battle scenes you are shown just an open meadow. The movie is also lacking music. The story is great, but there is no background music usual for a movie. That is good and bad, however, because it gives you the feel that it is more realistic. Anthony Hopkins gives a very good performance as "Pierre." I was really happy with the way the story followed that which was in the book. It takes some liberties, but considering time constraints, most are understandable. I think I detected a little anti-communist twist in the British film of the early '70's when Pierre looks out the window at the end of the movie and says, "I wonder what kind of world it will be like in 100 years," (he supposedly said this in 1820)after just talking about his willingness to support a revolution. The book obviously does not have this type of direct foreshadowing to the Bolshevik [sic] revolution of c. 1917. I thought the actors did well, though most were not what I pictured from the book. Overall, I think it was a very good movie. I am glad I purchased it. I would like to see the Russian version too, however.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 29 days ago by ANTHONY MAPP
5.0 out of 5 stars War and Peace BBC mini series
The book war and peace was to me a daunting task to read but watching the series by BBC was addictive and it exceeded my expectations. Read more
Published 13 months ago by paul
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST BBC SERIES
Published 19 months ago by graham spicer
3.0 out of 5 stars BBC disappointed in it somewhat.
This BBC production has several major glitches in it from the sound to certain scenes that you can actually tell where they have spliced it or whatever they do. Read more
Published on June 15 2011 by sweetlady
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst War & Peace ever!!
Could not believe how bad this "War & Peace" is!!
Mostly dialogs in a very tight English, and the whole thing is way..way too long, could be reduced to 40% running time!! Read more
Published on April 8 2010 by Chiquitito
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Version todate of War and Peace
Had the original in Beta format unfortunatly, and have tried unsuccessfully to obtain the VHS version to ad to my collection of the best BBC television productions. Read more
Published on April 22 2006 by Marilyn Markle
2.0 out of 5 stars go to the Russian version
Only Russian could really interpret "War and Peace" correctly. Go to see the film made by Soviet Union at 1967.
Published on Nov. 19 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Spetacular
This War and Peace was just wonderful. I saw it many years ago when it was serialized on PBS and just loved it. Read more
Published on May 15 2002 by Lily Moy
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull
How anyone can say that this is the equal of, or even better than, the 1950s Russian version beats me. Read more
Published on April 16 2002
2.0 out of 5 stars What's that I hear?
This version of War & Peace was looking good, but the sound was so bad that I had to return the tape. With no full refund, I won't risk being burned again with another copy.
Published on April 10 2002
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