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Désirée (1954)

The rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
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Julie - Désirée's Sister
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Mme. Bonaparte
Evelyn Varden ...
Marie
Isobel Elsom ...
Mme. Clary - Désirée's Mother
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Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Stewart ...
Minor Role
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Storyline

In Marseilles, France in 1794, Desiree Clary, a young millinery clerk, becomes infatuated with Napoleon Bonaparte, but winds up wedding Genaral Jean-Baptiste Berandotte, an aid to Napoleon who later joins the forces that bring about the Emperor's downfall. Josephine Beauharnais, a worldly courtesan marries Napoleon and becomes Empress of France, but is then cast aside by her spouse when she proves unable to produce an heir to the throne. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The life...the women...the conquests of Napoleon!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 February 1955 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Desirée  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marlon Brando's nose is faked (make-up). See more »

Quotes

Count Brahe: You will enjoy life in Sweden, madame. Stockholm is called the Venice of the north.
Desiree Clary: [Shivering] I prefer the Venice of the south!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Munsters: Munster Masquerade (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Desiree & Napoleon (PlaIsir D'Amour)
Composed By Giovanni Martini
Orchestrated By Alexander Courage
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
At least a point of departure for a study of a great French leader...

Henry Koster directed many films with considerable charm and flair... His attempts at drama were for the most part less successful but always visually pleasant... He was nominated for an Academy Award for directing "The Bishop's Wife" in 1947... His reputation as a skilled artist led to his assignment as director of the first film in CinemaScope, "The Robe."

Koster does manage to keep the dynamism of "Désirée" and is excellent on both the technical level as on the screen acting... The film won Oscar Nominations for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color & Best Costume Design...

His high moment of the film was 'The Coronation Ceremony' where after the blessing of the crowns Napoleon seizes the crown from the Pope Pius VII and crowns first himself, then Josephine (Merle Oberon), Napoleon's first wife... (This petite brunette looked particularly ravishing as the empress).

Marlon Brando proved his versatility playing the great French soldier-statesman, a man insatiably ambitious, exceptionally intelligent, prompt to make decisions... Brando's performance is cool, calculating, compulsive, using a calm, measured English accent, providing the role its wise temperature of the most celebrated personage in the history of France & Europe...

British actor Michael Rennie plays the revolutionary general Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte with a noticed antipathy for his rival... Bernadotte shifts his allegiances, forming alliances with Russia, Great Britain & Prussia, contributing in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig...

Jean Simmons - lovely as ever with her delicate beauty - gives the story fluid charm of a seventeen-year-old girl to a self-confident woman... We see her running through the streets of Marseilles, growing up in the outcome of the French Revolution, recording her daily written account of events, witnessing Napoleon's arrest...

Rescued from the threat of a jump into the Seine, Désirée rejects Napoleon's advances, and marries Count Bernadotte, now a Marshall of France...

Désirée was a romantic figure involved with two opposite characters: one as Emperor of France with an eternal search for wars and glory, and a king, uncertain sometimes about his capacities, with the necessity of a beloved queen besides him...

If not viewed as a history lesson, this fictionalized biopic is good entertainment and at least a point of departure for a study of a great French leader...


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