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 ...
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The scene is set during the French Restoration at the beginning of the 19th century. Jean Valjean, a galley slave who was sent to prison for stealing food, is now released after serving ... See full summary »
When Louis XVI summoned the Etats-Generaux he unleashes a revolution that would change his country and cost his life. This is the story of one of the crucial points in the history of France, and Europe, divided into two parts.
Richard T. Heffron
Klaus Maria Brandauer,
How can Napoleon, the man of war and pioneering military strategist, meekly accept being locked up on a storm-lashed rock in the middle of the Atlantic ocean? What system of defence, and ... See full summary »
Antoine de Caunes
Richard E. Grant,
In the 19th century Pyrénées, a stagecoach stops for the night at an isolated inn run by a couple of murderous thieves. The husband wants to kill and rob them all, but one of them is a priest whom the wife refuses to see harmed.
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
The series was shot simultaneously in French and English, thus two versions exist, with the exact same actors and near-identical edits, but a different original language. See more »
All the battle scenes, intended to be a highlight of the series with significant numbers of soldiers presented, oddly and inaccurately show soldiers advancing slowly in short half-steps when in reality they marched at full stride. See more »
Well, Marquis, how is this little mission of ours going? We've prepared the ground successfully, I hope?
Marquis de Caulaincourt:
Well, I've been preparing balls, concerts, banquets, hunting parties, firework displays... The Emperor wants to dazzle the Czar with a display of his power. His Majesty says nothing helps negotiations more, especially with a man as civilized as Alexander.
Yes, well, the sovereign of Russia may very well be civilized, but his people are not. In France, of course, it's the other way round.
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All my life I was fascinated by the Emperor of the French so I was glad to find this movie on DVD. As far as I know this is a pretty accurate description of the life and - particularly - the wars of Napoléon. I liked most of the actors and certainly Christian Clavier. However, three things could have been done better. To begin with there are too many battle scenes while it's impossible to keep overview; instead I would have preferred more attention for the political developments in the Napoleontic era. Then I don't understand why the movie is in the English language; Napoléon and his friends spoke French! My main objection is that it's difficult to identify with the main characters. Why does Napoléon do what he does, what's going on in the minds of Murat or Ney, what exactly attracts Walewska to Napoleon, etcetera? For people interested in what Napoléon might have moved, I strongly recommend the film 'Waterloo' (Bondarchuk 1970) with an overwhelming Napoléon played by Rod Steiger!
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