Napoleon (2002)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Filmed in France, Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Morocco, and Canada, this ambitious biographical TV miniseries chronicles the life and times of the "Little Corporal" from Corsica who managed to conquer nearly all of Europe within a period of a dozen years. The narrative begins in the mid-1790s, as Napoleon Bonaparte (played, curiously enough, by comic actor Christian Clavier) makes his mark on posterity with spectacular victories in Austria and Egypt. On the home front, Napoleon woos and wins the lovely (and considerably older) Josephine (Isabella Rossellini), but finds time for extracurricular romances with other women, notably Countess Marie Walewska (Alexandra Maria Lara). Ultimately, Bonaparte's ambitions destroy him, first in Russia, then at Waterloo, consigning the general-cum-emperor to live out his life in humiliation and exile. When originally broadcast in France in October 2002, Napoleon ran six hours (plus commercials), with four episodes. For its American presentation on the A&E cable network beginning April 8, 2003, the production was literally sliced in half, shown in two installments with a running time of three hours. What remained was all highlights and few insights, though a few brilliant moments remained, many of these supplied by the supporting cast, which included Gérard Depardieu (who also produced) as Fouche, and John Malkovich as Talleyrand. Thankfully, the full six-hour version was made available in the U.S. on DVD and VHS in 2003.
Drama , Television
Directed By:
Written By:


Christian Clavier
as Napoléon
John Malkovich
as Talleyrand
Anouk Aimée
as Letizia Bonaparte
Julian Sands
as Klemens Metternich
Toby Stephens
as Tsar Alexander I
Ludivine Sagnier
as Hortense
Heino Ferch
as Caulaincourt
Marie Bäumer
as Caroline
Mavie Hörbiger
as Marie-Louise
Jessica Paré
as Eleanor Denuelle
Alexandra Maria Lara
as Marie Walewska
John Wood
as Pope Pius VII
George Dupire
as Cambronne
Marie Tifo
as Nurse
Serge Dupire
as Cambronne
Yves Jacques
as Lucien
Julian Rachlin
as Paganini
Roc LaFortune
as Marchand
Jacques Brunet
as Roger Ducot
Sylvain Corthay
as Dr. Corvisard
David J. Francis
as Hudson Lowe
Florence Pernel
as Madame Tallien
Florence Darel
as Madame Recamier
Fabienne Babe
as Madame De Stael
Charlotte Valandrey
as Madame De Coigny
Natacha Amal
as Madame Bertrand
David La Haye
as Duc DEnghien
André Chaumeau
as King Louis XVIII
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Napoleon

There are no critic reviews yet for Napoleon. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for Napoleon

While the costuming and production values are lavish, the writing and acting fall short making the overall effect pretentious. "Hey, look, we made a mini-series on Napoleon. Look at the sets, look at the costumes..." The history is told in snippets - this is what happened here, this is what followed there a year later, etc. While somewhat unique, it makes following the story difficult because everything feels disjointed. There is no character development due to this; you don't get a feel for who the characters are and why they are doing what they do. The acting is okay, but everything is overshadowed by the ostentatious sets and costuming. Malkovich and Gerard Depardieu try to ground the project with fine acting, but their roles are too small to have much effect. In the end, you are left with eye strain from being bombarded with the overblown production and boredom because the story just doesn't flow well enough to entice your brain to follow it closely. You wrote this on 7/5/09.

Don Schick
Don Schick

Napoleon Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Napoleon on our Movie forum!

News & Features