Movies about Napoleon

Movies about Napoleon are an eye-opener and worth watching. We have gathered the list of the best movies for you to watch and be entertained!

I’d like share my opinion on a couple of Napoleon films however, I believe that a few thoughts about the general perception of Napoleon is in order before that. The old adage that “history is written by victor’s story’ could be illustrated by Napoleon Bonaparte better than most other famous people. It is believed that the Napoleonic Wars, though they encompassed a wide range of nations and took more than two centuries, were essentially an ongoing battle among England and France at large. We all are aware that France wasn’t the winner in the Battle of Waterloo and that England was. This is why we have the deformed historical account pushed by the English which has been passed down and handed down through generations. Napoleon isn’t the only person who has been a victim of this kind of false historical fact However, he is an outstanding illustration.

Waterloo (1970) 

The gem of a film stars Rod Steiger in the role of Napoleon and Christopher Plummer as Wellington. The two-hour version of the Battle of Waterloo is generally satisfactory, but I would have preferred more had the opening battles of Qautre Bras as well as Ligny were included. Battle scenes in the film are impressive considering that none of them are computer generated. All of the uniforms that are strutting around in real life! I think Steiger’s performance as Napoleon is well-done when one realizes that he played the man on the date of war, a date on where the majority of historians believe that he wasn’t his normal self. If one views Steiger’s portrayal as a true depiction of Napoleon generally, I believe this would be an insult to the emperor and to the actor. Furthermore, based on what I have learned about Steiger’s portrayal of the Duke of Wellington the character that Plummer portrays of him is spot on. It is recommended as one of the best movies about Napoleon!

The Emperor’s New Clothes (2001)

I’d like to concur on an Amazon review of the film that ‘alternative histories and a whimsical imagination create cosy beds’. It’s a truly original Bonaparte film that has good sets and a great acting. Ian Holm was playing the role for the second time playing this role. Bonaparte and his appearance helps him to succeed. I’m not sure if these insufferable and impatient qualities that Holm portrays in his character is result of his interpretation of Napoleon or simply because that’s what director wanted him to portray. However, it’s not an accurate depiction of the man. It can be a bit irritating sometimes because it serves to reinforce the false impression that Napoleon was merely uncaring, ranting and a petty megalomaniac. It is recommended as one of the best movies about Napoleon!

Napoleon television Series (2002) 

This was an excellent depiction of Napoleon Bonaparte. Christian Clavier has obviously studied Napoleon in depth; his portrayal of the man isn’t suffering much from the standard routine, but instead is an exceptionally mature rendition of the subject. The film is accurate to the time and gives viewers a greater view of Napoleon than many films can offer. We are able to see not just his remarkable skills as a commander as well as his skills as an emperor and legislator, as a lover of arts and the culture, and as a husband and father. As a historian, I would like that more attention was placed on the other aspects that tell the Napoleonic story However, I know that the length of the film limits the writer and director. It features an all-star supporting cast that includes Isabella Rossellini, John Malkovich and Gerard Depardieu. It is recommended as one of the best movies about Napoleon!

Napoleon (1927 and 1955) – Of course I couldn’t forget these two classic films of the same name. For a long time, they were regarded as THE CLASSIC Napoleon films. The older one silent film was remade in the hands of Coppola in the early 1980’s, with an orchestral score. It has been in court for a long time and is incredibly difficult to locate, which is why I haven’t yet seen it. I have included it due to the acclaim it has received throughout the decades. The most recent version I’ve watched and still enjoy occasionally however, I have to admit that the cinematic quality of contemporary films is usually more appealing and can move this film to the bottom of my DVD collection. But the acting is superb, it’s an accurate portrayal of the key events of the Napoleonic story and certainly is worthy of being in the collection of any serious lover of Napoleon. It is recommended as one of the best movies about Napoleon!
Mr.”N. (2003) 

Well I’ve saved my favorite for the very last. From all feature-length films as well as parts that have depicted Napoleon Bonaparte none compares to Philippe Torreton’s dazzling and beautiful depiction of this man. In one scene, he shows us a hard-headed, determined and sharp Bonaparte but in the next, it reveals the gentle and kind character that the character. He blends and mingles these two traits so beautifully that viewers begin to appreciate Napoleon as the person was, not as an obscure icon. Torreton also demonstrates his “penetrating presence” so very well. If you’re looking for a genuine image of the man then you must see this film. Torrenton represents Napoleon in real life. It is important to remember that the cast and the setting are all real, but the plot is fictional. It is nevertheless an interesting story, which demonstrates the popular theory regarding Napoleon’s possible escape from exile and his disappearance within the US. I’ve never believed that belief because I don’t think that the evidence is in support of it, but as Napoleon states in the film, people want to believe in everything… It is recommended as one of the best movies about Napoleon!

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By Cary Grant

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