Waterloo (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

Waterloo (1970)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This historical drama, follows the exile of Napoleon Bonaparte (Rod Steiger) and his struggle to regain the French throne, culminating in his defeat at Waterloo in 1815.


Rod Steiger
as Napoleon
Orson Welles
as Louis XVIII
Virginia McKenna
as Duchess of Richmond
Jack Hawkins
as Gen. Thomas Picton
Terence Alexander
as Lord Uxbridge
Rupert Davies
as Lord Gordon
Ivo Garrani
as Marshal Soult
Gianni Garko
as Gen. Drouot
Eugene Samoilov
as Vicomte Pierre Cambronne
Ian Ogilvy
as William De Lancey
Sergei Zakariadze
as Marshal Gebhard Blucher
Philippe Forquet
as Le Bedoyere
John Savident
as Gen. Muffling
Peter Davies
as Lord Richard Hay
Oleg Vidov
as Tomlinson
Charles Millot
as Marquis Grouchy
Yevgeny Samoylov
as Vicomte Pierre Cambronne
Andre Esterhazy
as Duke of Richmond
Jeffrey Wickham
as Sir John Colborne
Willoughby Gray
as Capt. Ramsay
Adrian Brine
as Capt. Normyle
Karl Liepinsc
as Gen. August Gneisenau
Richard Heffer
as Capt. Mercer
Colin Watson
as McKevitt
Charles Borromel
as Mulholland
Franco Fantasia
as Delessart
Giorgio Sciolette
as Marshal Berthier
Jean Louis
as Oudinot
Veronica De Laurentiis
as Madeleine Hall
Rodolfo Lodi
as Joseph Fouche
Filippo Perego
as Saint-Cyr
Jeffry Wickham
as Sir John Colborne
Boris Molchanov
as Gen. Bertrand
Andre Eszterhazy
as Duke of Richmond
Aldo Cecconi
as Charles X
Valentino Skulme
as Tamburo Maggione
Camillo A. Rota
as De Vitrolles
Fred Jackson, Jr.
as Prince of Brunswick
Lev Poliakov
as Kellerman
Guglielmo Ambrosi
as 1st Sergeant
William Slater
as 2nd Sergeant
Alan Elledge
as 3rd Sergeant
Alexander Paromenko
as Wounded Officer
Valerij Gurjev
as Fainting Soldier
Paul Butkevich
as Officer with Wellington
Igor Yasulovich
as Officer of the 13th Square
Isabella Albonico
as Lady Webster
Andrea Dosne
as Lady of the Court
Ivan Milanov
as Soldier with Ney
Vladimir Butenko
as Lancer with Napoleonic Hat
Rino Bellini
as Coulincourt
View All

Critic Reviews for Waterloo

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

Bondarchuk is so overwhelmed by the thousands of Russian cavalry troops he's been given to play with, and by his $25 million budget, and by-his obsession for aerial photography, that his leading characters turn out scarcely more human than his extras.

July 9, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

As for the golden history and legend, they lie buried beneath this delayed replay of a primer on strategy.

February 7, 2018 | Full Review…

Visually impressive, but a rather silly attempt to explain Napoleon.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

The sense of the film itself is another matter, and the particular dullness of Bondarchuk's attempt to translate history into cinema makes Waterloo a very bad movie.

May 9, 2005 | Full Review…

Waterloo is a spectacle which constantly pays off its panoramas in close-ups... But it gives us only a surface personality of the key military strategists, bits of clever dialogue.

January 10, 2020 | Full Review…

... in Waterloo the style is pedantic, the information dubious.

October 21, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Waterloo

What's good about this work? Steiger as Napoleon and Plummer as Wellington. And a glorious project that's as sumptuous as imagination could make it, lavish in numbers of people and in costumes and sets. But the story's too big. They couldn't get it all in. So you get crowds of well dressed folks simply standing around in some scenes. And if one is unfamiliar with the story forget about understanding the huge battle scenes. There's a better chronicle on this epic, historic battle somewhere, there must be.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

At first, King Louis XVIII(Orson Welles) is none too worried when Napoleon(Rod Steiger) begins his comeback tour from Elba with a thousand men. When that number becomes substantially much, much larger, the king figures it might be a good time for an extended vacation. That's okay because the Duke of Wellington(Christopher Plummer) is waiting patiently in Belgium for the emperor to make his move. In the meantime, he attends a gala or two. "Waterloo" is a splendidly produced extravagansa, centered around the famed battle and turning point in history. While it is clearly apparent the huge amount of research that went into the making of this movie, it sadly never truly comes alive. Part of this comes down to the narrow focus on Wellington and Napoleon, especially about how different they may have been. In fact, the first half hour comes perilously close to becoming a one man show which is not entirely bad since Rod Steiger makes a surprisingly effective Napoleon. That's also at the detriment of almost everybody else which partially short circuits the movie's otherwise profound final statement.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Massive battle scenes and a superb cast. The script often sounds a bit strangled as it leans heavily on attributed quotes. The film was a joint Soviet/Italian collaboration made in 1970 and it seems no coincidence that political and socialogical differences between Napoleon and his adversaries are highlighted - the dictator Bonaparte is shown as very much a man of his people whereas his aristocratic opponents exhibit an air of superiority to and distain for their working class rank and file. All in all it's not a perfect film but it truly is an epic spectacle.

The  Shrewlord
The Shrewlord

Super Reviewer

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