A dramatized account of Napoleon's love life and his many women; from first-love, marriage, and betrayal with Josephine, liaisons with actresses, his love for the beautiful patriotic Marie ...
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The year is 1816, and NAPOLEON, held prisoner by the British on the island of St. Helena, is telling the young English girl BETSY his life story. His meteoric rise to military prominence ... See full summary »
During Napoleon's exile on St. Helena, some loyalists hire a look-alike to swap places with the deposed emperor: while the impostor lives in luxury on the island, the real Napoleon returns to Paris in order to retake the throne.
A dramatized account of Napoleon's love life and his many women; from first-love, marriage, and betrayal with Josephine, liaisons with actresses, his love for the beautiful patriotic Marie Walewska, and his second marriage to the Austrian Marie-Louise, all the time seeking an heir and building an empire. 9x50min episodes. Written by
I saw this on PBS here in the U.S. around 1976, and was blown away by the sheer brilliance and subtlety of Ian Holm's performance as Napoleon. Probably the best performance I've ever seen, and I don't say that lightly. At the very least, it ranks in the top five I've seen from any actor, male or female. Billie Whitelaw is superb as Josephine, as well.
The entire production is magnificent, without being overdone - the script, direction, art direction, costuming, all done with wonderful intelligence, restraint, subtlety, grace. Just wonderful!
It's such a shame that this (and many other British made for TV productions from the 70s - see my review of "Hedda Gabler" with Janet Suzman (another performance in my top five of all time)) is not available on DVD. If anyone connected with the production is reading this, and has any influence in the matter, please release it on DVD. It is a production, and especially, a performance, that deserves to be seen by all!!
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