Saturday, December 19, 2015

Saturday Matinee: War and Peace (1956)


The BBC has been busy creating a brand new version of War and Peace Leo Tolstoy 's epic family saga set against the backdrop of Napolean's invasion of Russia. The new version will be a mini-series—perhaps my favorite format for a book-to-movie iteration; there's so much more time to delve into the details—and stars Lily James, James Norton and Paul Dano in the roles Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda and Mel Ferrer made famous around the globe in the 1950's. The film weighed in at 3 and a half hours but still wasn't long enough to do justice to Tolstoy's masterpiece.

While I'm drawn to the illustrative technique often used on film posters during the period, these examples of War and Peace posters cry out for a little quality control. Audrey Hepburn was so beautiful, she deserves a portrait by a photo-realist; the last graphic, in bold red and black, at least does justice to that fabulous face.  But what is that her face is coming out of? It looks like some sort of Rorschach test.


The vintage trailer, done almost completely with voice over, is a bit of a hoot to modern sensibilities but if it strikes your curiosity —it does mine—and you have the time—not unlike a Saturday afternoon of binging your favorite television show—you may want to watch it on Google-Play, Amazon or Vudu. The BBC iteration is set to hit both American and British telly in 2016. Look for it in the states on Lifetime, A&E and the History Channel making its debut on January 18th. The trailer for the new series follows at the bottom of the post.









2 comments:

  1. Hi! It seems that you have watched this version! It's time to find the other ones too!
    Fyi the 'Roscharch-like image' are two eagles which are part of the Imperial Russia symbol.

    -Astrid

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for clarifying that crazy looking image!

      Delete

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