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Désirée (1954)

The rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France.

Director:

Henry Koster
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Marlon Brando ... Napoleon Bonaparte
Jean Simmons ... Désirée Clary
Merle Oberon ... Empress Josephine
Michael Rennie ... Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte
Cameron Mitchell ... Joseph Bonaparte
Elizabeth Sellars ... Julie - Désirée's Sister
Charlotte Austin ... Paulette Bonaparte
Cathleen Nesbitt ... Mme. Bonaparte
Evelyn Varden ... Marie
Isobel Elsom ... Mme. Clary - Désirée's Mother
John Hoyt ... Talleyrand
Alan Napier ... Despreaux
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Stewart ... Minor Role
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Storyline

In Marseilles, France in 1794, Desiree Clary, a young millinery clerk, becomes infatuated with Napoleon Bonaparte, but winds up wedding Genaral Jean-Baptiste Berandotte, an aid to Napoleon who later joins the forces that bring about the Emperor's downfall. Josephine Beauharnais, a worldly courtesan marries Napoleon and becomes Empress of France, but is then cast aside by her spouse when she proves unable to produce an heir to the throne. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The life...the women...the conquests of Napoleon!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Swedish

Release Date:

11 February 1955 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Désirée See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,720,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early in 1953, it was rumored that Audrey Hepburn would star opposite Marlon Brando as Desiree Clary in this film. See more »

Goofs

Jean Bernadotte's name is mispronounced throughout the film. It is actually pronounced BER-NAH-DOH. See more »

Quotes

Napoleon Bonaparte: I want my family to be well established. Joseph, particularly. The rest must wait until the victorious culmination of my campaign in Italy.
Desiree Clary: And you think you can do with people precisely what you want? That life is as you say it is?
Napoleon Bonaparte: Have you ever heard of a thing called destiny, Désirée?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Munsters: Munster Masquerade (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Désirée: Main Title
Composed By Alfred Newman
Orchestrated By Alexander Courage
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic, and beautiful costumes!
29 July 2017 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

I fell in love with Marlon Brando's and Jean Simmons's chemistry in Guys and Dolls, but I didn't know until recently that they'd made another film together prior to their musical pairing. In Desiree, Brando plays Napoleon Bonaparte, and once again, he's paired up with Jean Simmons, the title character. Yes, we all know Bonaparte married a woman named Josephine, not Desiree, so what's the story about?

Daniel Taradash wrote a very interesting script, with exciting, passionate characters. The film lasts decades, starting from Bonaparte's introduction to Desiree, before he changed his name, through the memorable Battle of Waterloo. As famous a figure as he was, the film actually focuses on Desiree, the woman torn between Bonaparte and Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. She's vivacious, loving, strong, and smart. It's easy to see how the two very powerful men fell in love with her.

The Oscar nominated costumes, designed by Charles Le Maire and Rene Hubert, are exquisitely beautiful, and Alex North's theme is very nice. But with all the lovely elements in this film, the best is the sparkling chemistry between Brando and Simmons. There's a magnet between the two; it's incredible. If only they made more movies together, or better yet, enjoyed a long, loving Hollywood marriage! Alas, Jean was married at the time, and I never read anything about an affair between them.


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