Review: ‘Waterloo’

Directed by Russia's Sergei Bondarchuk, who made War and Peace, and filmed on location in Italy and Russia, with interiors at De Laurentiis's Rome studios, the long-nursed Dino De Laurentiis project has an international flavor. Despite the fact that the battle is the focal point, and a striking din-laden affair it is, the film is raised from being just another historical war epic by the performances of Rod Steiger as Napoleon and Christopher Plummer as Wellington.

Directed by Russia’s Sergei Bondarchuk, who made War and Peace, and filmed on location in Italy and Russia, with interiors at De Laurentiis’s Rome studios, the long-nursed Dino De Laurentiis project has an international flavor. Despite the fact that the battle is the focal point, and a striking din-laden affair it is, the film is raised from being just another historical war epic by the performances of Rod Steiger as Napoleon and Christopher Plummer as Wellington.

Story begins with Europe entirely opposed to the ambitious, flamboyant Napoleon and the French, scared of overwhelming odds, forcing him to abdicate and retire to the island of Elba. But barely has the film started than he’s back again.

Steiger gives a remarkably powerful portrayal of Napoleon. It’s a Method performance, with his sudden blazes of rage highlighting his moody introspection.

Others stand out, too. Dan O’Herlihy as Marshal Ney, devoted, loyalist to Napoleon, and Orson Welles, making much of two minor but memorable moments as Louis XVIII.

Waterloo

Italy - USSR

Production

De Laurentiis/Mosfilm. Director Sergei Bondarchuk; Producer Dino De Laurentiis; Screenplay H.A.L. Craig, Sergei Bondarchuk, Vittorio Bonicelli; Camera Armando Nannuzzi; Editor Richard C. Meyer, E.V. Michajlova; Music Nino Rota; Art Director Mario Garbuglia

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1970. Running time: 132 MIN.

With

Rod Steiger Christopher Plummer Orson Welles Jack Hawkins Virginia McKenna Dan O'Herlihy
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading