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 1960 to the present day

  •  WATERLOO, by Sergei Bondarchuk - 1970

Soldiers of the Grande Armée marching into battle
© Alfonso Arincola / BIFI

Napoleon (Rod Steiger) before the farewell at Fontainebleau
© Alfonso Arincola / BIFI

 Country : URSS

 Medium : Colour

 Duration : 155'

 Video : Columbia Tristar Home Video - 1992

 Production : Dino de Laurentiis / Mostfilm

 Scenario : Sergei Bondarchuk and H. Craig

 Screenplay : Vittorio Bonicelli

 Music : Nino Rota

 Director of photography : Armando Nannuzzi

 Plot : The allies enter Paris and Napoleon (in Fontainbleau) is obliged to abdicate. After heartfelt farewells to his army he is led off to exile on Elba. But after only a few months he manages to elude his captors and return to power at the Tuileries. France once again has to prepare itself to confront the allied armies. And it is Waterloo which is finally chosen as the theatre of operations.

 Cast : Rod Steiger (Napoleon) ; Christopher Plummer (Wellington) ; Orson Welles (Louis XVIII) ; Ivi Garrani (Soult) ; Sergeï Zakariadze (Blücher) ; Charles Millot (Grouchy) ; Evgeni Samoilov (Cambronne)

 Extract : « Napoleon. - La Bédoyère, do you have any children ?
La Bédoyère. - Yes, my Lord, I have a little boy. He's not much taller than the top of your boot.
Napoleon. - Today, would you like to have him at your side ?
La Bédoyère. - Yes.
Napoleon. - Why is that ?
La Bédoyère. - So he could see you, my Lord.
Napoleon. - Indeed ? I have a son too. I would give anything to have the joy of seeing him, I would give my heart, my life, but ·I wouldn't want him here. I wouldn't want him to see the battle which is about to take place. »

 Review : Quite simply a re-enactment ! Not since Kolberg had so large a cast been put together for a Napoleonic film. This time the respect for historical accuracy is much greater. And despite the fact that Rod Steiger's Napoleon is a little over the top, Christopher Plummer's Wellingon lacks credibility and Sergei Zakariadze's Blucher is rather 'Hollywood musical', the whole has a compelling internal cohesion and logic. Such an accurate representation of this most famous of battles is a must for fans of uniforms and battles fought in squares. This is the battle of Waterloo as it will probably never be seen again.



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