The Russian campaign, from the Russian side. Sergei Bondarchuk was determined to make his big-screen adaptation of Tolstoy's epic saga as faithful as possible to the novel. So, as Napoleon leads his troops into battle, Bondarchuk's War and Peace tells the story of two aristocratic families, their crises and struggles. The first film focuses on the character of Andrei Bolkonsky, a disillusioned prince tired of the futility of high society, who decides to enlist in the army. He is seriously injured during the Battle of Austerlitz, while his wife dies in childbirth.
War and Peace, the most expensive movie in history. After inflation, the final budget is in excess of $700 million. No less was required to shoot the seven hours of film, with some scenes lasting almost an hour. With its epic battles, sumptuous balls and period costumes, War and Peace made sure it had the means to achieve the ostentation and realism required to tell this epic tale.
Bondarchuk, "People's Artist of the USSR". An actor before becoming a director - in fact, he starred in War and Peace - Sergei Bondarchuk has received multiple awards not only for his filmmaking, but also for his work training actors. In 1951, he received the USSR State Prize which honoured both artists and scientists.