Napoléon (2002)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama
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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 »

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »


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)
 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)
Dimitri Michelsen ...
 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?


In July 2003 dollars, the film costs $46,330,000 to make. 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 »


British Officer: He won't open if you call him General, Sir. He insists on being called by his title.
Hudson Lowe: Title? Emperor? Majesty? Poppycock. He's Bony the Ogre, and always will be. Knock again!
See more »


References Le souper (1992) See more »


Vers L'Egypte (Towards Egypt)
Written by Richard Grégoire
Performed by Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra-Sif 309
Courtesy of Virgin Classics
See more »

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User Reviews

Well, at least it's accurate!
22 April 2003 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

I admit I found it a little hard to stomach Christian Clavier (Jacquouille la Fripouille from « Les Visiteurs » and Astérix from the Astérix films) as Napoléon, especially when that role has been interpreted in English by the likes of Marlon Brando, Charles Boyer, Herbert Lom and Rod Steiger and in French, by the likes of Albert Dieudonné, Daniel Gélin, Sacha Guitry, Raymond Pellegrin and Jean-Louis Barrault. Because of all those famous precedents, one has come to expect in the role a kind of forceful but graceful personality. Clavier plays him a little bit on the educated warthog side, but that's OK because so did Marlon Brando.

IMDb users seem to hate this TV movie for all the wrong reasons. It can't be faulted for historical accuracy. There is every indication that almost every single word spoken in this script was actually said by the protagonists. And here is at least one English-language movie that doesn't show Napoléon's soldiers taking aim at the Sphinx's nose for target practice (an English myth). The sets and costumes are magnificent. The action is a little simplified for my taste but it allows the viewer a more unencumbered comprehension of the timeline. I have seen many French movies that naturally expect their French audience to know all the dates and the battles by heart and take it from there, so to speak. I am sure that the DVD version, which is longer, will reconcile many critics with scenes that seemed a little too short on TV.

I only noticed two major goofs in the whole four hours. John Malkovitch seems to think he is too great an actor to accept suggestions as to the pronunciation of French names, either from his co-stars or from a French coach, which must be responsible for his coasting through every possible phonetic permutation of the words 'Duc d'Enghien' in the course of an hour, some of them successful. Also, the same character warns Joséphine not to go to Poland before Napoléon has even met Marie Waleska, which is mysterious indeed. Did he actually know they would meet and fall in love?

But, all in all, it is a magnificent effort in a TV series, one that is not without its artistic and poetic merits.

24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Napoleon was a decent commander. dankm85
CHRISTIAN CLAVIER: silly? mories-1
Was this a great film BrugOne_Be
Is this dubbed ? pezza27
Which Characters/Actors were the best? beali5
Who is the English Girl? doublemandala
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