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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.



(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »



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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
See  »

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

A story of whimsy and the betrayal of fate.
21 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First off I need to say that Ian Hom is amazing. To be able to play two different characters of two different persuasions and bearings is mind-blowing. This film is whimsical and fun and a very good "what if" of history. Parts of it are sad and parts are humorous and all of it is good. A human element is given to characters whom are known to history solely for their deeds and every character in the film has depth of field and a real personality. Many of the scenes are played out in textbook fashion with a beginning a middle and an end with rising and falling action and yet each scene propels the story line further and is a driving force to the film as a whole. My personal favorite moment in the film is the melon scene where Naploean as an exile in his own country still becomes a general of a an army of melon merchants. Sheer brilliance and very beautiful in its humanity. This film shows that although a person can't change whop they are, everyone can change direction and find love.

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