A Polish countess becomes Napoleon Bonaparte's mistress at the urging of Polish leaders, who feel she could influence him to make Poland independent.


, (uncredited)

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

While at a ski lodge, Larry Blake sees instructor Karin Borg and decides to sign up for private lessons. The next thing he knows, she is Mrs. Blake. When he announces that he is going back ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Constance Bennett
Camille (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Parisian courtesan must choose between the young man who loves her and the callous baron who wants her, even as her own health begins to fail.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore
Anna Christie I (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion
Anna Karenina (1935)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The married Anna Karenina falls in love with Count Vronsky despite her husband's refusal to grant a divorce, and both must contend with the social repercussions.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Freddie Bartholomew
Mata Hari (1931)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A semi-fictionalized account of the life of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was accused of spying for Germany during World War I.

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Greta Garbo, Ramon Novarro, Lionel Barrymore
Susan Lenox (1931)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Fleeing her cruel uncle and an arranged marriage Susan Lenox falls in love with a kind stranger but circumstances force her to become a woman of easy virtue.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Jean Hersholt
Inspiration (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Yvonne is a beautiful model who loves frequenting the Parisian bohemian life, because he loves hobnobbing with artists.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Montgomery, Lewis Stone
Anna Christie II (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Greta Garbo, Theo Shall, Hans Junkermann
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A wife neglected by her husband, a medical researcher in China, falls in love with a dashing diplomatic attaché.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Greta Garbo, Herbert Marshall, George Brent
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Queen Christina of Sweden is a popular monarch who is loyal to her country. However, when she falls in love with a Spanish envoy, she must choose between the throne and the man she loves.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith
Love Affair (1939)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

French playboy Michel Marnet and American Terry McKay fall in love aboard ship. They arrange to reunite 6 months later, after Michel has had a chance to earn a decent living.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During the Spanish Civil War, a republican courier travels to England to try and buy coal. He meets with an amount of local hostility, while his life is at risk from those on the fascist ... See full summary »

Director: Herman Shumlin
Stars: Charles Boyer, Lauren Bacall, Victor Francen


Complete credited cast:
Alan Marshal ...
Capt. d'Ornano
Count Anastas Walewski
Paul Lachinski (as Leif Erikson)
Countess Pelagia Walewska
Stephan (Marie's servant)
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Dying soldier
Grand Marshal George Duroc


After a brief informal meeting two months earlier when they were impressed with each other, Countess Marie Walewska formally meets Napoleon Bonaparte at a ball in Warsaw. When Napoleon notes her husband is three times her age, and as he is taken with her charms, he unsuccessfully tries to seduce her. She ignores his frequent letters and flowers until a few grim Polish leaders led by Senator Malachowski urge her to give into his desires as a personal sacrifice in order to save Poland. She goes to him despite the humiliation of her husband, who leaves for Rome to annul their marriage. They are extremely happy for a while; Napoleon divorces childless Empress Josephine and Marie eventually becomes pregnant. She is about to tell Napoleon about her baby when he tells her he decided to marry Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria. He explains it will be a political marriage to insure his future son could rule securely with Hapsburg blood in him. It will not affect their relationship, he says, ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Mightiest! See more »


Drama | History | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beloved  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,732,000 (estimated)


$2,141,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film received its initial television showings in Philadelphia Tuesday 5 February 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in New York City Sunday 7 July 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2) and in Los Angeles Thursday 1 August 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); in San Francisco its first telecast occurred 25 April 1959 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »


Countess Pelagia Walewska: Who are you?
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: I am Napoleon!
Countess Pelagia Walewska: Napoleon? Napoleon who?
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: Hmm? Bonaparte!
Countess Pelagia Walewska: Napoleon Bonaparte? What kind of name is that? What nationality are you?
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: Corsican by birth. French by adoption. Emperor by achievement.
Countess Pelagia Walewska: So, you are an Emperor, are you? What are you Emperor of?
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: Emperor of France, madame.
Countess Pelagia Walewska: Hee, hee, hee. So you are Emperor of France. And my very good friend, His Majesty, King Louis Sixteenth abdicated in your honor, I suppose?
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: Well, he didn't know it at the time but in a sense he did, madame.
See more »


Featured in Another Romance of Celluloid (1938) See more »


Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Opus 74, 'Pathétique' (1893)
Second movement, Allegro con grazia
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Love versus Power.
31 May 2004 | by (Cyberia) – See all my reviews

This has to be one of the most intelligent movies exploring the theme of power and its corrupting effects upon love. Napoleon (admirably played by Charles Boyer) is not shown as a complete monster or idealist, but as a man who gradually loses his humanity as he becomes consumed with dreams of universal power. Even at the end, he rejects a woman's love in order to become a legend, exiled alone in St. Helena.

Greta Garbo does a really stirring job as the woman (Countess Marie Walewska) who genuinely loves him just for being a human being, and is distressed to see him corrupted by increasing dreams of worldwide domination, founding a new dynasty, etc. It is remarkable how she manages to avoid romantic clichés and deal in direct and honest fashion. In this respect, the movie seems remarkably modern.

I really recommend this film to anyone interested in human relationships, not just French history. Garbo, as always, is as intelligent and humane as she is sexy, and has many interesting things to say. I still reckon her best performance is in Queen Christina, still this is not far short of it. You can feel the decades melting away just listening to her.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A must DVD realease marcin_kukuczka
Performances bnwfilmbuff
Discuss Conquest (1937) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: