Friday, 6 September 2013

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the latter stages of the French Revolution and its associated wars in Europe. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815, the first monarch of France bearing the title emperor since the reign of Charles the Fat (881–887). His legal reform, the Napoleonic Code, has been a major influence on many civil law jurisdictions worldwide, but he is best remembered for his role in the wars led against France by a series of coalitions, the so-called Napoleonic Wars.

The Peninsular War and the invasion of Russia in 1812 marked turning points in Napoleon's fortunes. His Grande Armée was badly damaged in the campaign and never fully recovered. In 1813, the Sixth Coalition defeated his forces at Leipzig; the following year the Coalition invaded France, forced Napoleon to abdicate and exiled him to the island of Elba. Less than a year later, he escaped Elba and returned to power, but was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815. Napoleon spent the last six years of his life in confinement by the British on the island of Saint Helena. Napoleon is generally regarded as one of the greatest military commanders of all time, and his campaigns are studied at military academies worldwide.(Wikipedia)

Abel Gance's epic masterpiece Napoleon (1927) starring Albert Dieudonné. The restoration by film historian Kevin Brownlow received it's premiere in New York in 1981. 235mins.

Herbert Lom as Napoleon in The Young Mr. Pitt (1942) directed by Carol Reed and starring Robert Donat, Robert Morley and John Mills. Lom would play Napoleon again in War and Peace (1956).

Desiree (1954) starring Marlon Brando as Napoleon Bonaparte and Jean Simmons as Desiree Clary, directed by Henry Koster, also starring Merle Oberon, Michael Rennie and Cameron Mitchell.

Herbert Lom as Napoleon in King Vidor's 1956 epic War and Peace which starred Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda and Mel Ferrer. Oscar nominations for Best Director, Cinematography and Costume Design.

21 year old Dennis Hopper as Napoleon in The Story of Mankind (1957) directed by Irwin Allen, the film stars Ronald Colman as The Spirit of Man and Vincent Price as The Devil.

Vladislav Strzhelchik as Bonaparte in Sergei Bondarchuk's 7 hour epic War and Peace (1967) which was released in 4 parts and was (and probably still is) the most expensive Russian film ever made. 427mins!

Sergei Bondarchuk followed War and Peace (1967) with another gargantuan production Waterloo (1970) starring Rod Steiger as Napoleon and Christopher Plummer as the Duke of Wellington. Winner of 2 BAFTA awards, Best Art Direction and Costume Design, also nominated for Cinematography.

James Tolkan as Napoleon in the comedy Love and Death (1975) directed by Woody Allen who stars alongside Diane Keaton.

Ian Holm as the French Emperor in Time Bandits (1981) directed by Terry Gilliam, a popular fantasy movie featuring time-travelling dwarves. Sean Connery appears as Agamemnon, John Cleese as Robin Hood, David Warner as Evil and Sir Ralph Richardson as the Supreme Being.

Party on dudes! Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1988) directed by Stephen Herek and starred Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in a time-travelling sci-fi comedy. On their excellent adventure they encounter, Socrates, Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Billy the Kid, Genghis Khan, Beethoven and Napoleon (played by Terry Camilleri).

Ian Holm again playing Napoleon, this time in romantic drama, The Emperor's New Clothes (2001) directed by Alan Taylor and also starring Iben Hjejle and Tim McInnerny.

Napoleon (2002) a 4 part French mini-series directed by Yves Simoneau and starring Christian Clavier as Napoleon, also starring Isabella Rossellini, Gérard Depardieu and John Malkovich. 357mins.

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