War and Peace Movie (1968) – Best Epic Movies

War and Peace movie is undoubtedly one of the best epic movies and among the best war movies ever made. It is considered the definitive version of the epic War and Peace book.

The grandest Soviet film, War and Peace movie is unprecedented in scope and scale. It took almost 7 years and thousands of participants to bring the epic to life.

One of the best classic war movies, it includes the largest war scenes ever filmed.

The epic received much critical acclaim, best movie Oscar and a Golden Globe for best foreign language film in 1968.

War and Peace Movie 1968 - Best Epic Movies

War and Peace Movie – Plot Teaser

In the early 19th century Russia, members of aristocracy deal with love, death and betrayal in the context of Napoleonic wars. 

War and Peace 1968 Film – Movie Review

Movie Ratings


Rotten Tomatoes


Love it!

100% by critics

86% by viewers


Roger Ebert, top movie critic, calls the War and Peace film series “the definitive epic of all time”.

In 1956, an American/Italian version of the War and Peace movie came out with Hollywood big names Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda. The movie was a hit world-wide, including Soviet Russia. This was an embarrassment to Soviet regime that had not yet produced a version of War and Peace - Tolstoy masterpiece and Russia’s great literary pride. The gloves were off.

The government spared no expense. Factories stopped their regular productions and concentrated on making clothes and ammunition for some 12,000 extras that would participate in one of the best epic movies. Thousands of horses were engaged in battle scenes. Production assistants scanned country’s museums and pawn shops for authentic furniture and accessories of the period. The set design had to look real, feel real, be real.

American press printed information that the epic Soviet movie was the most expensive film ever made with the budget of $500 million USD (converted to present times). However, it is more realistic that the budget of one of the best war films ever made was equivalent to today’s $67 million USD. Nevertheless, the movie was the most expensive Soviet film ever made and the most epic in scale.

War and Peace Movie - Best Epic Movies - The Ball
War and Peace Movie - Best Epic Movies - The Battle

It might have been just a big pompous epic war extravaganza if it wasn't for the vision of a young director – Sergei Bondarchuk. A World War II veteran and an avid fan of Leo Tolstoy’s work, Sergei Bondarchuk had drive, talent and the organization skills. During the production of the epic war movie he was under constant pressure from the government, to the extent that the movie almost cost him his life – his heart stopped twice during filming.

Roger Ebert writes about War and Peace movie director, Sergei Bondarchuk:

“What is extraordinary about "War and Peace" is that Bondarchuk was able to take the enormous bulk of Leo Tolstoy's novel and somehow transform it into this great chunk of film without losing control along the way.”

40 years after the release of the film it is still one of the best epic movies. It currently has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on critics’ reviews.

War and Peace, Tolstoy - Movie Recommendation

Let’s just say that this great epic film is not a quick movie after dinner. The original Russian version of War and Peace is epic in its grandeur and its length - 4 episodes, over 8 hours long in total. Don’t be discouraged by the length. It could be a quick alternative to reading War and Peace book, which is over 1,000 pages long.

Watch War and Peace online for free

The movie is available for viewing on the Mosfilm channel, with English subtitles:

Mosfilm - War and Peace movie (1968)

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