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Saturday Night at the American Digest Drive In: Have you got all night? You’ll need it.

“All thoughts that have huge consequences are always simple. My whole idea is that if vicious people are interconnected and make up strength, then honest people need to do the same,” – with these words of Leo Tolstoy epic picture “War and Peace” begins. Film tells about the life of Russian society at the beginning of the 19th century. Against the backdrop of the tragic and dramatic events associated with the war with Napoleon, the psychological searches of Andrei Bolkonsky, Natasha Rostova, Pierre Bezukhov and other heroes of the famous novel are vividly presented.

Parts Three and Four should be along from Mosfilms over the next two weeks. If we have a next two weeks.

As I mentioned last March in Noted in Passing: The Russians were behind the biggest movie ever made:

I first saw this extravaganza in a single night at a San Francisco movie theater in the early 70s. It was, for a time, shown every year as a kind of sop to all the San Fransicko lib and progs. The movie would start at 11:00 PM after an hour or so warming up and getting in the mood in the lobby with vodka bottles encased in blocks of ice, shashlik, and caviar. We then sat through 3 segments of 2 hours for the first two and three for the last. All with 30-minute intermissions for MORE vodka bottles encased in blocks of ice, shashlik, and caviar.. WE STAGGERED (literally) out into a raw San Francisco dawn with massive hangovers and ears still ringing from the Battle of Borodino. Lesson learned for today? Russia has massive armies and uses them and doesn’t care about high casualties at all.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • ThisIsNotNutella June 18, 2022, 9:38 PM

    Watched the whole thing and re-read it last year.

    So many wonderful set piece scenes and not just the battles. But the one that is most apt right now is Naive Pierre Bezukhov wandering in an uncomprehending daze in his civilian white suit through the ongoing carnage of Borodino. At least he always Meant Well. Nowadays we have stupid vicious geriatric children leading us toward disasters they they cannot begin to imagine.

  • ghostsniper June 19, 2022, 4:17 AM

    Ab-so-lootly nuthing!

  • John the River June 19, 2022, 5:21 AM

    Saw it at the old Orson Wells Cinema in Cambridge, several Russian style meals were served in the OW restaurant during intermissions. No vodka I’m sorry to say (or maybe not).
    I sent my DVD set of the movie to a friend in Georgia last winter, after he had a serious injury on the trial, and was going to be laid up for months.
    I haven’t seen it in years, is Mosfilms doing just a restoration or anything else? Is this the same movie I saw in the seventies?

  • johnhenry June 19, 2022, 7:48 AM

    There is an even better, perhaps more elaborate bbc version.

    20 45 minute episodes. Anthony Hopkins as Pierre. I’ve seen it 3-4 times so far

    Ep1 here https://youtu.be/ShEE8CC2Oq0

    I just noticed that there is also a 2016 bbc miniseries on YouTube. I know nothing about it but these bbc productions are usually worth watching

  • Jack June 19, 2022, 8:37 AM

    Although he’s a perv I enjoy Woody Allen’s Love and Death much more. But, then again I have this tendency to laugh at serious shit because there are few things more comical than the messes that humanity can create for itself.

  • Callmelennie June 19, 2022, 8:45 AM

    I saw bits of this movie once. The one thing I remember is that the film version of The Battle of Borodino lasted longer than the actual battle did

  • KCK June 19, 2022, 10:34 AM

    I think I bulled my way through this epic film once, a long time ago. Of course, I read the book. I recommend the mini series from 2016 – you can engage with it and it goes places. Catherine’s Palace is featured (robin’s egg blue Baroque structure) and it was there that I had a life changing experience. myself.

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