Jan.29: King Vidor’s War & Peace

Saturday night, we will show one of the last great examples of Hollywood megalomania of its golden age. Co-produced and shot in Italy, King Vidor’s adaptation of War and Peace, based on Leo Tolstoy’s famous novel, is huge in every way: it staged two of the greatest starts of its time, Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn (Audrey Hepburn’s salary of three hundred fifty thousand dollars for this movie was the highest salary an actress had ever received to that date.), it is more than 3 hours (3:28 to be exact, hence the fact that we start the film earlier than our usual schedule) and between 5,000 and 6,000 Italian soldiers played extras (including sixty-five physicians, dressed as soldiers and scattered throughout the location to take care of any extras or stuntmen who might get injured during the filming of the battle scenes).

King Vidor received the last of his five Oscar nominations for the Oscar of Best Director and Jack Cardiff, its cinematographer, won Best Cinematography from the British Society of Cinematographers

Napoleon’s tumultuous relations with Russia including his disastrous 1812 invasion serve as the backdrop for the tangled personal lives of two aristocratic families.

”The film is done on an epic scale, with great sets, wonderful costumes (it received Oscar nominations for both and they were well-earned) and large battles on a grandiose scale.” Nighthawk

”The wonder of the production is that it has maintained cohesiveness and fluidity of story and also has given fullest accent to the size and sweep of Bonaparte’s armies at Austerlitz and Borodino. Life among the Russian aristocracy with its passion for good living and innate respect for the church in time of stress is brought into sharp focus.”  Variety.

Only two movies in our Classic Film Series this week,
Tickets at the door, cash only, $7, or visit Eventbrite.ca for advance tickets.


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