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 »
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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Napoléon (4 episodes, 2002)
 Joséphine de Beauharnais (4 episodes, 2002)
 Joseph Fouché (4 episodes, 2002)
 Charles Talleyrand (4 episodes, 2002)
 Letizia Bonaparte (4 episodes, 2002)
Ennio Fantastichini ...
 Joseph Bonaparte (4 episodes, 2002)
 Caroline Bonaparte (4 episodes, 2002)
 Hortense (4 episodes, 2002)
Alain Doutey ...
 Maréchal Ney (4 episodes, 2002)
 Maréchal Joachim Murat (4 episodes, 2002)
André Oumansky ...
 Sieyes (4 episodes, 2002)
Jacques Brunet ...
 Roger-Ducos (4 episodes, 2002)
Jean-Gabriel Nordmann ...
 Roederer (4 episodes, 2002)
Sylvain Corthay ...
 Dr. Corvisard (4 episodes, 2002)
 Betzy (4 episodes, 2002)
David Francis ...
 Hudson Lowe (4 episodes, 2002)
Florence Darel ...
 Madame Récamier (4 episodes, 2002)
Alain Teulié ...
 Hippolyte Charles (4 episodes, 2002)
Michel Ouimet ...
 Docteur Ivan (4 episodes, 2002)
Philip Lenkowsky ...
 Cipriani (4 episodes, 2002)
Tom Rack ...
 Pêcheur (4 episodes, 2002)
Geneviève Grandbois ...
 Femme pêcheur (4 episodes, 2002)
Patrick Bordier ...
 Vétéran (4 episodes, 2002)
 Geoffroy St-Hilaire (4 episodes, 2002)
Benjamin Sacks ...
 Jeune soldat pestiféré (4 episodes, 2002)
Emmanuel Karsen ...
 Soldat hôpital (4 episodes, 2002)
Deborah Rudetzki ...
 Julie (4 episodes, 2002)
Grégoire Bonnet ...
 Louis (4 episodes, 2002)
Laurence Margerie ...
 Élisa (4 episodes, 2002)
Constance Dollé ...
 Pauline (4 episodes, 2002)
 Eugène (4 episodes, 2002)
Tomas Jaka ...
 Grenadier blessé St-Cloud (4 episodes, 2002)
Laurent Larcher ...
 Soldat St-Cloud (4 episodes, 2002)
Tristan Lignier ...
 Officier Tuileries (4 episodes, 2002)
Grégoire Vigneron ...
 Laquais Tuileries (4 episodes, 2002)
Bruce McEwen ...
 Estafette Tuileries (4 episodes, 2002)
Lee Michelsen ...
 Huissier Tuileries (4 episodes, 2002)
Mark Reed-Klevberg ...
 Secrétaire Bonaparte (4 episodes, 2002)
László Görög ...
 Marbot (4 episodes, 2002)
Andrew Hefler ...
 Estafette blessé Danube (4 episodes, 2002)
Doug Rand ...
 Percier (4 episodes, 2002)
Mike Dineen ...
 Fortin (4 episodes, 2002)
Zsolt Zágoni ...
 Adjudant Vincennes (4 episodes, 2002)
Stéphane Bourquin ...
 Officier Fontainebleau (4 episodes, 2002)
Shawn Howard ...
 Ordonnance Fontainebleau (4 episodes, 2002)
Christian Abomnes ...
 Ordonnance Hudson Lowe (4 episodes, 2002)
Patrick Albenque ...
 Policier (4 episodes, 2002)
François-Xavier Anseaume ...
 Architecte (4 episodes, 2002)
Peter Bartfay ...
 Soldier (4 episodes, 2002)
Václav Chalupa ...
 Isabey (4 episodes, 2002)
Less Clack ...
 Dignitaire (4 episodes, 2002)
Julie du Page ...
 Jeune femme palais Erfurt (4 episodes, 2002)
Bill Dunn ...
 Dignitaire (4 episodes, 2002)
Couy Griffin ...
 Aide de camp église (4 episodes, 2002)
Richard Harris-Temple ...
 Policier (4 episodes, 2002)
Zoltán Karácsony Pulika ...
 Cavalier ferme (4 episodes, 2002)
Curtis Matthews ...
 Officier QG Barras (4 episodes, 2002)
Franck Neckebrock
(4 episodes, 2002)
Tibor Pintér ...
 Aide de camp (4 episodes, 2002)
Gerard Whelan ...
 Officier Ettenheim (4 episodes, 2002)
 Comtesse Marie Walewska (3 episodes, 2002)
 Klemens Metternich (2 episodes, 2002)
Mavie Hörbiger ...
 Marie-Louise d'Autriche (2 episodes, 2002)
Roc LaFortune ...
 Marchand (2 episodes, 2002)
Léopoldine Serre ...
 Petite fille attentat (2 episodes, 2002)
Andy Cam ...
 Homme attentat (2 episodes, 2002)
Sasa Rasilov ...
 Policier rue St-Nicaise (2 episodes, 2002)
Jerry Di Giacomo ...
 Fuyard St-Nicaise (2 episodes, 2002)


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 begins with his victory over the Royalists in 1795, which is followed by campaigns in Italy and Egypt. He marries the young and capricious JOSEPHINE DE BEAUHARNAIS, the love of his life, who unfortunately cannot bear him any children. After a coup d'état he seizes power in France and crowns himself Emperor of the French in 1804. After his decisive victory at Austerlitz, Napoleon reorganizes Europe and makes his relatives into princes and kings. Continuing resistance by the Spanish results in some initial losses, however. Meanwhile, Napoleon is increasingly fascinated by other women, including the Polish patriot MARIA WALEWSKA, who bears him a son. Napoleon intends to found an imperial dynasty, however, to strengthen his position. After divorcing Josephine, he marries the Austrian princess MARIE-LUISE,... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He was a master of war and peace. His struggle was with love. See more »


See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

17 September 2002 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Napoleon  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€41,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(4 parts) | (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


So far (2003) the most expensive European TV production. See more »


When Napoleon is with Eleanore Denuelle and his son to say goodbye, his hair is parted on his left side. When he leaves and turns around at the door, Napoleon's hair is parted on his right side. See more »


Napoléon: For God's sake, Caulaincourt, you sound like a midwife!
See more »


References Le souper (1992) See more »


La Bataille d'Iena (The Battle of Iena)
Written by 'Michel Cusson'
Performed by Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra-Sif 309
Courtesy of Virgin Classics
See more »

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User Reviews

You will buy it anyway
29 December 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It is probably pointless recommending or not recommending this series as there are two types of people that are going to buy this: The Napoleon nuts like me and the period drama people. The latter will be in their element as the domestic sets are both lavish and authentic. There are also some remarkable likenesses such as Josephine, Murat and Caulencourt.

On first viewing I was left a little cold. I thought that at last a substantial amount of time had been allocated to this, perhaps the greatest of all individual subjects. However, if there is one thing that any expert on the subject will tell you, it is that there is no way that you can even begin to condense this subject into 60 hours, let alone 6. The worst mistake that this film makes is attempting to replicate the battles themselves. The camera angles pan across large expanses revealing (at best) eight or nine hundred extras. All this whilst regular references are made to 20,000 losses on each side (Austerlitz, Eylau, Essling and especially Waterloo). Sometimes, it is almost laughable and cheapens the rest of the film. The makers would have been much better off by excluding any military action and just leaving it to innuendo – after all, Borodino is just referred to by Caulencourt when in Moscow conversing with Murat.. Thank God they didn't try to replicate that terrible battle! So, the plus points: Napoleon: At first I thought that Clavier was miles off the mark. If, like me you have seen and were bowled over by Rod Steiger's rendition in Waterloo then this will get some getting used to. After all, Napoleon is a red-blooded Corsican genius, capable of flying off the handle at any time, exhausting his counterparts and friends alike. Not in this version. Yet, Clavier has one saving grace. He introduces a measured, human approach that we know Napoleon had to have had from time to time. Almost schizophrenic some might say (Megalomania is the preferred terminology). I don't prefer his interpretation of Napoleon's to Steiger, but it is warmer if not necessarily more Corsican. If we could introduce this to Steiger's approach you may have the perfect Napoleon.

The relationship between Napoleon and Josephine is also one of the better points of this series. Clavier's in-love out-of-love relationship is perfectly handled without the usual mushiness. Here is a relationship based on love, intensity, necessity and ultimately friendship and loss.

Finally, Caulencourt is dealt with in some depth, as is Fauche, Murat and Talleyrand. But where is Berthier, Bessieres, Augereau, Davout and Ney (who suddenly appears towards the end despite his Russian campaign heroics)? Holes? Yes. But unless we get someone with $500,000,000 willing to approach this subject with the endeavour it deserves then we are left with this kind of product. So overall, not too bad. Vive l'Emperor!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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