(This actually posted by accident earlier this morning. Sorry Ed! Comment again if you're so moved.)
Sara Jean is in Chicago. I wasn't at all sure she'd be interested in watching my 3.5 hour recording of Tolstoy's "War and Peace," so this weekend was an opportune time to watch it all by my lonesome.
It wasn't at all what I expected.
Henry Fonda, at age 50 or so was miscast as a 20-something pacifist.
Audrey Hepburn once again proved that you don't have to have "big parts" to be one of the most beautiful creatures on earth.
Well known for her big parts, Anita Ekberg has a pretty big part in the flick. I've always had a "thing" for Anita... she certainly IS eye candy.
Mel Ferrer and Herbert Lom also have starring roles.
I've always been interested in Napoleon's DISASTROUS retreat from Moscow in the Winter of 1812, and the fact that Hitler learned NOTHING from that history. I hoped the movie would devote some attention to that story, and it does. BUT, surprisingly, I was very surprised to find how much of a "Chick Flick" this also is. There are several loves stories going on in the background as battles between the French and Russians unfold.
Ferrer's character at one point has a conversation with Fonda's character which struck me:
"War is the most horrible thing in life. If it were in my power I would not take one prisoner. The French are my enemies. They destroyed my home, caused my Father's death, exiled my Sister and my child. Now they hope to destroy Moscow. Why take prisoners? That's PLAYING at war. Take no prisoners. Kill and be killed. If there were none of this playing at war, we would go to war only when it was worthwhile going to certain death as now."
Is there a way to make war so horrible that man won't consider playing the game?
I wish it was so.
But watching the Palestinians and Israelis play at it says it ain't.
The Northern Irish and British also were at one another's throats for years, and neither cried "Uncle".
(And both those conflicts have/had their basis in religion! So much for "Love thy neighbor, huh?)
The movie IS long. But if you, like me, are a fan of the actors, even at 3+ hours, it's worth your time.
I give it 4 out of five stars.