Maryjane Cates

Written by Maryjane Cates

Modified & Updated: 19 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


War and Peace is a classic novel written by Leo Tolstoy that has captivated readers for generations. However, did you know that this epic tale of love, war, and destiny has also been adapted into a movie? Released in 1956, the film version of War and Peace is an epic in its own right, spanning over three hours in length and boasting a star-studded cast. In this article, we will delve into 32 fascinating facts about the movie War and Peace, from behind-the-scenes anecdotes to trivia about the production. Whether you are a fan of the novel, the film, or simply interested in the history of cinema, these facts are sure to entertain and educate. So, grab some popcorn, sit back, and let’s dive into the world of War and Peace on the big screen!

Key Takeaways:

  • War and Peace” is a 1956 epic historical drama film with a star-studded cast and stunning visuals, showcasing the impact of the Napoleonic Wars on Russian aristocratic families.
  • The movie, known for its grand scale and attention to historical accuracy, remains a classic example of epic filmmaking, inspiring filmmakers and captivating audiences worldwide.
Table of Contents

War and Peace is a epic historical drama film released in 1956.

Directed by King Vidor, the film is based on Leo Tolstoy’s renowned novel of the same name.

The movie has a star-studded cast including Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, and Mel Ferrer.

These talented actors brought the characters of Natasha Rostova, Pierre Bezukhov, and Prince Andrei Bolkonsky to life.

War and Peace is known for its grand scale and elaborate battle scenes.

The production budget of the movie was a record-breaking $6 million at the time, making it one of the most expensive films ever made.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

The stunning visuals and intricately designed costumes contributed to the film’s success and authenticity.

War and Peace was originally intended to be a four-part miniseries.

However, due to its length, it was condensed into a single film spanning over three hours.

The movie was primarily shot on location in the Soviet Union.

The breathtaking landscapes of Russia served as a backdrop for the epic story.

The battle scenes in the film were meticulously choreographed and executed.

Over 12,000 soldiers of the Soviet Army were involved in the re-enactments, giving the movie an unprecedented level of realism.

War and Peace holds the record for the longest screenplay ever written.

Screenwriter Bridget Boland adapted Tolstoy’s novel, resulting in a script that was over 1,500 pages long.

The movie premiered in the United States in 1956 and was a critical and commercial success.

It received positive reviews for its production values, performances, and faithfulness to the source material.

War and Peace was also released in a shorter version for international markets.

This version, approximately two hours in length, aimed to appeal to audiences with limited attention spans.

The movie showcases the impact of the Napoleonic Wars on the lives of various Russian aristocratic families.

It explores themes of love, war, and destiny in a deeply moving and thought-provoking manner.

The film’s score was composed by renowned composer Nino Rota.

Rota’s music perfectly captures the emotional depth and intensity of the story.

War and Peace was re-released in a restored version in 2003.

The restoration process involved digital remastering and enhancing the image and sound quality of the film.

The movie was praised for its attention to historical accuracy.

The costumes, sets, and details were meticulously researched to recreate the early 19th century Russia accurately.

War and Peace was not the first adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel.

Several film adaptations and television series were made before and after the 1956 version.

The film was initially released with a runtime of 208 minutes.

However, the original version had a runtime of over 7 hours before it was edited down for cinematic release.

War and Peace was a collaboration between Hollywood and the Soviet Union.

The film marked an important milestone in cultural exchanges between the two nations during the Cold War era.

The movie was shot in both English and Russian languages simultaneously.

This allowed for the film to be released in multiple countries without the need for excessive dubbing or subtitling.

War and Peace received three Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.

Although it did not win in this category, it solidified its place as one of the greatest epic films of all time.

The film’s release was delayed for several months due to censorship concerns.

There were fears that certain scenes displaying the aftermath of battle would be too graphic for audiences.

War and Peace was highly influential in shaping future historical dramas.

Its success paved the way for other grand-scale films inspired by historical events and literary classics.

The movie was praised for its portrayal of strong female characters.

Actress Audrey Hepburn’s performance as Natasha Rostova was particularly lauded for its depth and complexity.

War and Peace explores the moral dilemmas faced by its characters in a time of war.

Tolstoy’s novel and the film adaptation delve into the ethical questions surrounding patriotism, duty, and personal responsibility.

The film’s director, King Vidor, was known for his ability to capture the essence of literary works on screen.

His other notable films include “The Big Parade” and “The Crowd.”

The movie’s screenplay underwent numerous revisions to condense Tolstoy’s extensive narrative.

Screenwriter Bridget Boland collaborated with other writers to streamline the story without compromising its essence.

War and Peace was a box office success grossing over $8 million worldwide.

It remains one of the highest-grossing historical epics ever made.

The film’s production spanned several years, with principal photography taking place from 1953 to 1955.

The extensive preparations and attention to detail contributed to the film’s overall quality.

The movie received mixed reviews from Russian critics upon its release.

Some praised its visual spectacle, while others criticized it for deviating from the original novel.

War and Peace has been hailed as a classic example of epic filmmaking.

Its scale, performances, and exploration of human nature make it a remarkable cinematic experience.

The film’s release helped to popularize Leo Tolstoy’s novel even further.

It introduced the story to a wider audience and sparked renewed interest in Tolstoy’s work.

War and Peace has been digitally remastered and restored multiple times over the years.

These efforts ensure that future generations can enjoy the film in its full glory.

The legacy of War and Peace lives on, inspiring filmmakers and captivating audiences worldwide.

Its enduring impact solidifies its position as a masterpiece in the realm of historical cinema.


In conclusion, “War and Peace” is an iconic movie that has captivated audiences for decades. With its epic scope, powerful performances, and profound themes, it remains a timeless masterpiece in the world of cinema. The film showcases the struggles and triumphs of its characters against the backdrop of war, love, and societal changes.Through this article, we have explored 32 fascinating facts about “War and Peace” that shed light on the making of the movie, the cast and crew, and its impact on the film industry. From the meticulous attention to historical accuracy to the impressive battle scenes, every aspect of the film contributes to its status as a cinematic gem.Whether you are a fan of the movie or have yet to discover it, “War and Peace” is a must-watch for any film lover. Its grandeur, emotional depth, and timeless storytelling continue to resonate with audiences around the world. So grab some popcorn, dim the lights, and immerse yourself in the unforgettable journey of “War and Peace.”


Q: Who directed the movie “War and Peace”?
A: The movie was directed by Sergey Bondarchuk, a renowned Soviet film director.Q: When was “War and Peace” released?
A: The movie was released in four parts between 1966 and 1967.Q: What is the duration of the movie?
A: “War and Peace” has a total duration of around 7 hours and 20 minutes.Q: Is the movie in color or black and white?
A: The movie was filmed in color, which was a groundbreaking achievement for its time.Q: Who are the main cast members of “War and Peace”?
A: The movie stars Sergey Bondarchuk, Lyudmila Savelyeva, and Vyacheslav Tikhonov in the lead roles.Q: Is “War and Peace” based on a book?
A: Yes, the movie is an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel of the same name.Q: Did “War and Peace” win any awards?
A: Yes, the movie won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1969.Q: How was the battle scenes created in the movie?
A: The battle scenes in “War and Peace” were meticulously choreographed and involved thousands of extras and meticulously recreated sets.Q: Is “War and Peace” available for streaming?
A: Yes, the movie can be streamed on various platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

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