Sergei Bondarchuk (1970)

U Certificate


Our Score
Rod Steiger gives a magnificent performance as Napoleon - all hot rages and cool calculation - as he heads for his destiny in Belgium in this epic history lesson from Ukrainian director Sergei Bondarchuk. Steiger even manages to upstage the thousands of Soviet soldiers recruited as extras for the battle scenes, yet he's nearly outshone by Christopher Plummer as the Duke of Wellington, whose arrogance shows his contempt for lower-class cannon-fodder. Bondarchuk filmed in Italy and the Ukraine, and the result is a mightily credible reconstruction of events that changed the course of history. It's the two major performances, though, that lift it out of the textbooks and give it humanity.


Napoleon returns from exile on Elba and regains control of the French army in a bid to reclaim his empire and depose the king. Meanwhile, the Duke of Wellington marshals the allied forces for the fateful battle to come and the day that will change the course of history. Drama, with Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer, Orson Welles, Jack Hawkins, Dan O'Herlihy, Michael Wilding and Virginia McKenna.

Cast & Crew

Napoleon Bonaparte Rod Steiger
Duke of Wellington Christopher Plummer
Louis XVIII Orson Welles
Marshal Michel Ney Dan O'Herlihy
Duchess of Richmond Virginia McKenna
Gen Thomas Picton Jack Hawkins
Sir William Ponsonby Michael Wilding
Pte O'Connor Donal Donnelly
Director Sergei Bondarchuk
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourAvailable on: video and DVD