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The Emperor's New Clothes (2001)

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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.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Napoleon Bonaparte / Sergeant Eugene Lenormand
Nicole 'Pumpkin' Truchaut
Dr. Lambert
Tom Watson ...
Louis Marchand
Sergeant Justin Bommel
Bob Mason ...
Captain Nicholls
Russell Dixon ...
Dr. Quinton
Papa Nicholas
Niall O'Brien ...


Napoleon, exiled, devises a plan to retake the throne. He'll swap places with commoner Eugene Lenormand, sneak into Paris, then Lenormand will reveal himself and Napoleon will regain his throne. Things don't go at all well; first, the journey proves more difficult than expected, but more disastrously, Lenormand enjoys himself too much to reveal the deception. Napoleon adjusts somewhat uneasily to the life of a commoner while waiting, while Lenormand gorges on rich food. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The world's most powerful man is about to fight his greatest battle... between love and glory.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief language | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

7 December 2001 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Las nuevas ropas del emperador  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,474 (USA) (14 June 2002)


$569,435 (USA) (4 October 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ian Holm played Napoleon twice before, in Time Bandits (1981) and Napoleon and Love (1974). See more »


[first lines]
Napoleon Bonaparte: No, that's not it. That's not right. Let me tell you what really happened...
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Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The true story of Napoleon Bonaparte's final days
14 December 2002 | by (Orange County, CA USA) – See all my reviews

"The Emporer's New Clothes" is a revisionist historical romantic comedy which tells of Napoleon Bonaparte's escape from exile on St. Helena and return to France to reclaim his throne. Traveling incognito, Bonaparte (Holm) hooks up with a comely widow Pumpkin (Hjejle) who takes some of the starch out of the "Little Corporal's" skivvies while setting his crusty old heart aglow. A charming period piece with exotic locations, this film pairs a tour de force by Holm with an all too rare performance by versatile beauty (Hjejle) in a happy mix of drama, subtle comedy, and light hearted romance. (B)

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