Rod Steiger (Napoleon in Waterloo) Turned Down the Role of Patton

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,196
Kansas
I certainly won't contradict you that vast numbers of extras appear in "Gettysburg". ;)
I recently saw a documentary that talked about the extras. Some groups turned up with fully function civil war cannons lol. The producer went on to say he felt the extras helped keep the production honest. If the film had strayed to far from events being portrayed, they would have just packed up and left.
 
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May 2018
928
Michigan
Isn't it ironic that a film which celebrates a victory for the capitalist British Empire (led by a man who expanded that Empire's holdings in India greatly) was realistic because a Soviet director used conscript Communist troops as his extras.
 
Jan 2017
795
UK
Sergei Bondarchuk gained a lot of experience orchestrating giant battle scenes, thanks to his time directing the 6 hour version of War & Peace (iirc the Red Army was used in that film too).

 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,037
Iowa USA
Isn't it ironic that a film which celebrates a victory for the capitalist British Empire (led by a man who expanded that Empire's holdings in India greatly) was realistic because a Soviet director used conscript Communist troops as his extras.
I didn't want to make the point so bluntly ( you young guys haha!), but the irony is certainly there.

(I don't think of capitalism when I think of Revolutionary era Prussia, but as far as the cult around Wellesley, yeah.)
 
Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
Steiger's performance of Napoleon is pitch-perfect, and I simply can't imagine any other actor portraying him so authentically. Even as a pretty ardent admirer of Napoleon as a historical figure, when I think of the man in his later years the picture that comes to mind is of Steiger's performance. He portrays so well the volatile temper, the over-dramatic flourishes and the occasional humour and charisma that the Emperor possessed. Steiger captures the spirit of Napoleon so effectively that the only other performance of a historical figure that I would say is comparable in brilliance and authenticity is the late Bruno Ganz's masterful performance of Hitler in Downfall.
 
Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
Isn't it ironic that a film which celebrates a victory for the capitalist British Empire (led by a man who expanded that Empire's holdings in India greatly) was realistic because a Soviet director used conscript Communist troops as his extras.
Eh, that's a bit of a stretch. Britain's involvement in the war against Napoleon wasn't intended for purely capitalistic motives, but out of a genuine fear of French dominance on the continent and the looming threat of invasion; unlike Britain's involvement in the Seven Year's War which was inarguably purely mercantile in attitude.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
5,037
Iowa USA
Steiger's performance of Napoleon is pitch-perfect, and I simply can't imagine any other actor portraying him so authentically. Even as a pretty ardent admirer of Napoleon as a historical figure, when I think of the man in his later years the picture that comes to mind is of Steiger's performance. He portrays so well the volatile temper, the over-dramatic flourishes and the occasional humour and charisma that the Emperor possessed. Steiger captures the spirit of Napoleon so effectively that the only other performance of a historical figure that I would say is comparable in brilliance and authenticity is the late Bruno Ganz's masterful performance of Hitler in Downfall.
Steiger, the off screen personality, probably shared a lot of Napoleon's temperament. Perfect casting!
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,510
Waterloo wasn't totally a Soviet movie. It was originally Italian and many of the actors were British, US, or Canadian. The Soviets provided the location and the extras. The Russians played a big role in defeating Napoleon with the Russian Army occupying Paris, so that might be part of the interest. All powers than were capitalist and most were monarchies.There are some parallels between the Soviet Union and Napoleonic post-revolutionary France though.
 
May 2018
928
Michigan
Eh, that's a bit of a stretch. Britain's involvement in the war against Napoleon wasn't intended for purely capitalistic motives, but out of a genuine fear of French dominance on the continent and the looming threat of invasion; unlike Britain's involvement in the Seven Year's War which was inarguably purely mercantile in attitude.
In no way did I intend to imply that Britain's struggle against Napoleon was based (or mostly based) on mercantile objectives. Certainly they were a factor (The Continental System), but fear of invasion and moral revulsion at the Revolution' war crimes we're probably the majority factors.

A Spanish writer wrote a good paper (can't find the link) which successfully argues that the British public supported the Peninsular War because they felt they would have a liberalizing effect on the Spanish monarchy.

I only wish Gilbert and Sullivan(somewhat analogous to Trey Parker and Matt Stone) had done a play called "British Empire: World Police" with the lyrics "Rule Britannia! Bloody hell yes!"
 
May 2017
1,195
France
I think the artist prestation of Steiger in "Waterloo" is exceptional;better than Blanchard,Pellegrin,Mondy and the others……..