Waterloo: Directed by Sergey Bondarchuk. With Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer, Orson Welles, Jack Hawkins. Facing the decline of everything he has worked to obtain, conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte and his army confront the British at the Battle of Waterloo.
I’ve never been one to care about the political histories of other countries, though Napoleon is one of those political characters that nearly everyone’s heard of, even if he’s the butt of a “short guy” joke. This movie picks up right as Napoleon is defeated for the first time and the opposing factions thought they’d be able to just throw him on an island and let him live the rest of his days in relative seclusions. Hindsight suggests that this was an impossibly bad idea, because the people of France still wanted him to rule, so just a few short years of imprisonment on his island and he was back at it, fighting everyone he could fight on his way back to running the country.
As to “why did this movie even get watched”, a random comment on a Reddit thread suggested that this film had the most extras ever used in any film. While I didn’t hand count them all, the final battles in the movie had thousands upon thousands of them, so surely it’s right up there as being the most on screen at one time.
It’s a good film, and arguably one of the most historically accurate, so if you’re into early 1800 military stuff with French and British armies, this is the movie to check out.