The Emperor's New Clothes (2002)



Critic Consensus: The premise of The Emperor's New Clothes is intriguing, and Holm gives a delightful performance.

The Emperor's New Clothes Videos & Photos

Movie Info

A fanciful retelling of the story of Napoleon Bonaparte (played by heralded actor Ian Holm, this British costume comedy suggests that it was Napoleon's double, not the man himself, who died on St. Helena Island. The film begins by presenting Napoleon after his defeat at Waterloo, at the home of a young boy (Tom Watson), where he watches a slide show of his actions and begins to tell his story. The film flashes back to Napoleon's six years of house arrest, when he dictated his memoirs to an aide … More

Rating: PG (adult situations/language)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Alan Taylor, Kevin Molony, Herbie Wave
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 2, 2002
Box Office: $0.5M
Paramount Classics - Official Site


as Napoleon Bonaparte/E...

as Pumpkin

as Dr. Lambert

as Gerard

as Montholon

as Antommarchi

as Marchand

as Bommel

as Captain Nicholls

as Maurice

as Dr. Quinton

as Papa Nicholas

as Adele Raffin

as English Tourist

as Bargee

as British Sergeant

as Recruit

as Junior Orderly

as Bookseller

as Customer

as Ticket Seller

as Brest Contact

as Truchaut

as Policeman

as Senior Orderly
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Emperor's New Clothes

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Critic Reviews for The Emperor's New Clothes

All Critics (94) | Top Critics (34)

A delightful, if minor, pastry of a movie.

July 25, 2002
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Viewers are asked so often to suspend belief that were it not for Holm's performance, the film would be a total washout.

Full Review… | July 19, 2002
Miami Herald
Top Critic

It's a great big snore.

Full Review… | July 19, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Recent and long-standing fans of Holm must relish the chance to watch Sir Ian in a dual role, one that he explores with customary insight, subtlety and good humor.

July 19, 2002
Detroit News
Top Critic

[Holm] saves this film time and again with an eagle's gaze that puts you on alert, prompting you to sit up a little straighter in that theater seat.

July 19, 2002
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Farcical, old-fashioned Hans Christian Andersen tale.

Full Review… | January 11, 2011
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for The Emperor's New Clothes

[font=Century Gothic]"The Emperor's New Clothes" takes place in 1821 as Napoleon Bonaparte(Ian Holm) escapes from St. Helena after a six year exile, exchanging places with a look-a-like. The plan is for him to reach France by boat and the imposter to be revealed, allowing him to retake the throne. But the plan starts to go awry when the boat overshoots France, and he ends up in Belgium instead.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Emperor's New Clothes" is not the broad comedy I was expecting(though there is a little of that here). It is actually a gentle and poignant bit of speculation about history, dreams of glory and the people trying to recapture them. Through this, the movie conveys a subtle antiwar message. And Ian Holm sets the right mood with a magnificent performance. Only the pedestrian direction hurts the movie. [/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

One of the best films about Napoleon, since it shows him at his best and worst. Ian Holm, who played him twice before, really shines here.

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