Tolstoy Hits the DVD Racks

A Tolstoy classic will make the transition to DVD in time for the holidays. Image Entertainment, Inc. has announced the December release of Sergei Bondarchuk’s Epic Russian Drama War and Peace which was made possible by an exclusive distribution agreement with Ruscico Films of Moscow.

Russian director Sergei Bondarchuk’s epic version of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” may well be the most expensive film ever made with production costs running in excess of $100 million in 1967. If made today, the film’s budget would be greater than $500 million. Bondarchuk’s insistence for detail and historical accuracy resulted in seven years completing the motion picture that recounts Tolstoy’s tale of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. The film contains 300 speaking parts and employed 120,000 extras. The “Battle of Borodino,” scene, filmed at the location of the actual event, is the largest battle ever staged for a movie and runs for nearly an hour. Equally astonishing are the lavishly re-created visions of the Russian aristocracy’s opulence which is presented in what has been called one of the most romantic moments in screen history: the ball at the Palace of St. Petersburg where Natasha first dances with Prince Andrei. “War and Peace” was a theatrical hit throughout the world and provided ABC television with huge ratings when an edited version ran on the network over four nights in 1972.

The seven plus hours worth of this Tolstoy based film will be covered over three DVDs with bonus materials on a fourth DVD. The fourth DVD will have a making of featurette, cast and crew filmographies, cast and crew interviews, and a documentary on Tolstoy’s life. The DVDs will have an anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks in Russian, French, and English with subtitles in 14 languages.

“War and Peace” will be available for orders on November 5th and will hit the stands December 3rd at a price of $69.99.

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