Waterloo (1970 film)

British DVD cover
Directed bySergei Bondarchuk
Screenplay by
Story byH. A. L. Craig
Produced byDino De Laurentiis
CinematographyArmando Nannuzzi
Edited byRichard C. Meyer
Music by
Distributed by
Release date
  • 26 October 1970 (1970-10-26)
Running time
134 / 123 min
  • Italy
  • Soviet Union

Waterloo (Russian: Ватерлоо) is a 1970 epic period war film directed by Sergei Bondarchuk and produced by Dino De Laurentiis.[3][4] It depicts the story of the preliminary events and the Battle of Waterloo and is famous for its lavish battle scenes.[5] It was a co-production between the Soviet Union and Italy, and was filmed in Ukraine.[6]

It stars Rod Steiger as Napoleon Bonaparte and Christopher Plummer as the Duke of Wellington with a cameo by Orson Welles as Louis XVIII of France.[7] Other stars include Jack Hawkins as General Thomas Picton, Virginia McKenna as the Duchess of Richmond and Dan O'Herlihy as Marshal Ney.

Steiger and Plummer often narrate sections in voice-over, presenting thoughts of Napoleon and Wellington.[8] The film takes a largely neutral stance and portrays many individual leaders and soldiers on each side, rather than simply focusing on Wellington and Napoleon. It creates a mostly-accurate chronology of the events of the battle, the extreme heroism on each side, and the tragic loss of life suffered by all the armies which took part.

The impact of the 15,000 authentically dressed extras, recreating the battle sections with true numbers and without special effects, is unsurpassed, and remains the highest number of costumed extras in any film.[9] The film received mixed reviews from critics.

  1. ^ "Obituary: Mario Soldati". The Independent. 1999-06-22. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  2. ^ AlloCine. "Mario Soldati". AlloCiné. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  3. ^ Waterloo (1970), retrieved 2018-01-26
  4. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Waterloo Movie Review & Film Summary (1971) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  5. ^ Plunkett, Luke. "Screw CGI, This War Movie Used 15,000 Real Soldiers". Kotaku. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  6. ^ Pitogo, Heziel (2015-06-18). "Waterloo: The Movie That Used 15,000 Real Soldiers as Extras". WAR HISTORY ONLINE. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  7. ^ "A Battle Fought Strictly for the Camera:Bondarchuk Directs Craig's 'Waterloo' Rod Steiger Portrays Ill-Fated Napoleon". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  8. ^ "WATERLOO (1971)". AFI CATALOG OF FEATURE FILMS. Retrieved 2021-07-31.
  9. ^ Pitogo, Heziel (2015-06-18). "Waterloo: The Movie That Used 15,000 Real Soldiers as Extras". WAR HISTORY ONLINE. Retrieved 2021-06-18.

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