Napoléon (March 25, 1955)

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Napoleon the movie
 

Released on March 25, 1955: An epic French production of the life, battles and loves of Napoleon Bonaparte from birth till death.

Produced by Clement Duhour

Directed by Sacha Guitry

The Actors: Jean-Pierre Aumont (Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Angely), Jeanne Boitel (Madame de Dino), Pierre Brasseur (Vicomte Paul de Barras), Gianna Maria Canale (Pauline Borghese), Pauline Carton (Une aubergiste), Jean Cevrier (Le general Duroc), Danielle Darrieux (Elenore Denuelle), Clement Duhour (Le marechal Michel Ney), Jacques Dumesnil (Le marechal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte), O.W. Fischer (Le prince Karl von Metternich), Jean Gabin (Le marechal Jean Lannes), Daniel Gelin (Napoleon Bonaparte, jeune), Cosetta Greco (Elisa Baccioli), Sacha Guitry (Prince Charles de Talleyrand), Madeleine Lebeau (Emilie Pellapra), Jean Marais (Le comte de Montholon), Lana Marconi (Marie Walewska), Luis Mariano (Le chanteur Garat), Armand Mestral (Le marechal Nicholas Oudinot), Michele Morgan (Josephine de Beauharnais), Yves Montand (Le marechal Lefebvre), Patachou (Madame san-Gene), Raymond Pellegrin (Navpoleon Bonaparte as an old man), Roger Pigaut (Le marquie de Caulaincourt), Micheline Presle (Hortense de Beauharnais), Serge Reggiani (Lucien Bonaparte), Dany Robin (Desiree Clary), Noel Roquevert (Le gerneral Cambronne), Maria Schell (L'archiduchesse Marie-Louise d'Autriche), Erich von Stroheim (Ludwig von Beethoven), Maurice Teynac (Le comte Emmanuel de Las Cases), Henri Vidal (Le marechal Joachim Murat), Orson Welles (Sir Hudson Lowe), Georges Spanelly (unknown), Roland Alexandre (Le comte de Blanc-Mesnil), Martine Alexis (Mademoiselle Delacroix), Anna Amendola (Caroline Murat), Paulette Andrieux (Une Merveilleuse), Jean-Marc Anthony (Le marechal Auguste de Marmont), Gino Antonini (Pape Pie VII), Antonio (Le coiffeur), Louis Arbessier (Le marechal Louis Berthier), Claude Arlay (Jerome Bonaparte), Andre Auguet (Un parlementaire), Lucien Baroux (Louis XVIII), Betty Beckers (Une Merveilleuse), Philippe Beharn (Le marechal Suchet), Jacques Bertrand (Le marechal Mac Donald), Gilbert Bokanowski (Marchand and Louis XVI), Noelle Bourdin (Une Merveilleuse), Roland Bourdin (Meneval), Catherine Brieux (Une Merveilleuse), Colette Brumaire (Une Merveilleuse), Maurice Brutus (Le duc de Fleming), Maurice Bénard (unknown), Jacques Bézard (unknown), Anthony Carretier (Le general Augereau), Anne Carrére (Mme Hamelin), André Chabrol (unknown), André Chanu (Le general Petit), Aimé Clariond (Corvisart), Felix Clement (Gasparin), Michele Cordoue (Laetitia), Henri Cote (Un parlementaire), Bob d'Arcy (Lord Wellington), Denis d'Ines (Sieyes), Jean Danet (Le general Gourgaud), Pierre Darcay (Un parlementaire), Louis de Funes (unknown), Jean Debucourt (Comte Joseph Fouche), France Degand (unknown), Jean Degrave (Le marechal Davout), Jean-Jacques Delbo (Le general Becker), Lucien Desagneaux (Un parlementaire), Bernard Dheran (Bourrienne), Dora Doll (Une Merveilleuse), Paul Dupuis (Neipperg), Maurice Escande (Louis XV), Fernand Fabre (Franz II de Austria), Robert Favart (Le comte Otto), Maria Favella (Madame Laetitia, Napoleon's mother), Jacques Fayet (Eugene de Beauharnais), Pierre Flourens (unknown), Christian Fourcade (Napoleon Bonapart as a baby), Sami Frey (unknown), Gilles Gallon (unknown), Gilbert Gil (Louis Bonaparte), Michele Ginesty (Une Merveilleuse), Joe Hamman (Kellermann), Guy Henry (Le marechal Brune), Yvonne Hebert (Une Merveilleuse), Daniel Ivernel (Cambaceres), Francoise Jacquier (Une Merveilleuse), Marcel Journet (Choiseul), Lucienne Le-Marchand (Une Merveilleuse), Darling Legitimus (La nourrice), Jacques Mafioli (Constant), Judith Magre (Une Merveilleuse), Marie Mansart (Mme Bertrand), Robert Manuel (Joseph Bonaparte), Jean Marchat (Le general Bertrand), Jean-Francois Martial (Le general Dugommier), Jonny Mary (unknown), Nicole Maurey (Mme Tallien), Jean-Pierre Maurin (Eugene de Beauharnais), Charles Moulin (Le general Mortier), Michele Nadal (unknown), Michel Nastorg (Massena), Constantin Nepo (Le Tsar Alexandre I), Simone Paris (La comtesse de Blanc-Mesnil), Jean-Claude Pascal (unknown), Raphael Patorni (unknown), Jean Piat (Junot), Marguerite Pierry (Mme de Chabrol-Trompiez), Stephane Prince (Martini), Jean Paqui (Le general Flahaut), Marcel Raine (Le general Dutheil), Alexandre Randall (unknown), Gerard Renateau (Le docteur Antommarchi), Gaston Rey (unknown), Andre Roanne (M. de Remusat), Jean-Marie Robain (young Robespierre), Louis Sainteve (un parlementaire), Rene Sarvil (Une Merveilleuse), Sylvain (Un parlementaire), Victor Tabournot (Un parlementaire), Nadine Tallier (Une Merveilleuse), Marcel Vallee (Le general Carteaux), Jacques Varennes (Boissy d'Anglas), Marcel Vergne (Roger Ducos), Howard Vernon (Lord Liverpool), Georges Vitray (Gohier), Leon Walther (unknown), Pierre Would (Le marechal Perignon), Robert Rietty (voice dubbed the part of Napoléon)

 

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Emperor of the World

We can all name several 'epic' motion pictures with a cast of thousands, award winning cinematography, direction and actors, but this one probably would not come to mind. Filmed in and around Mourmelon-le-Grand, France, this motion picture tells the story of Napoléon Bonaparte from birth to death, and hey, he was French, so there are plenty of beautiful women and side stories of his affairs of the heart. Besides watching a fascinating part of world history played out by hundreds of French actors, I enjoyed glimpses of legendary silent and sound screen star Erich von Stroheim and a short appearance by Orson Welles, still at the top of his fame in 1955. Now, one of the plot lines that I really enjoyed was during a scene where Napoléon gathers his large group of family and close advisors and metes out rewards and punishments. If this were a Russian film, the punishment would have been exile to Siberia . . . if this were a British film the punishment might have been banishment to Australia, but this is a French film. One of Napoléon's brothers refuses to divorce his wife so that Napoléon can marry him to a foreign girl as a political move, so Napoléon gives him a one way ticket to the worst place on the face of the earth . . . America! I wasn't insulted by that, but actually amused, and could easily understand the reasoning. And hey, many days today as I watch politicians squabble like ten year olds I can understand how other nations see us as a pretty bad place to be. But I digress . . . plan plenty of time to watch this epic as it runs to almost two hours, but the time will pass quickly once you get into the story. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with lots of real melted butter on top and enjoy the show.

Daniel Gelin as Napoleon Bonaparte and Michele Morgan as Josephine de Beauharnais
Daniel Gelin as Napoleon Bonaparte and Michele Morgan as Josephine de Beauharnais
Daniel Gelin as the young Napoléon
Daniel Gelin as the young Napoléon
Erich von Stroheim as Ludwig van Beethoven
Erich von Stroheim as Ludwig van Beethoven
Erich von Stroheim in the motion picture Napoleon
Erich von Stroheim in the motion picture Napoleon
Michele Morgan as Josephine de Beauharnais
Michele Morgan as Josephine de Beauharnais
Michele Morgan meets Daniel Gelin
Michele Morgan meets Daniel Gelin
Michele Morgan
Michele Morgan