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Monsieur N (2005)

Philippe Torreton , Richard E. Grant , Antoine de Caunes  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Philippe Torreton, Richard E. Grant, Jay Rodan, Elsa Zylberstein, Roschdy Zem
  • Directors: Antoine de Caunes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2005
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007Z0ODG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,264 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Monsieur N" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interviews with Antoine De Caunes and Philippe Torreton
  • The Legend of Napoleon
  • Photo Gallery
  • Trailers

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After his defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to the south Atlantic island of St. Helena, where he died a few years later. Or did he? Using a combination of historical record and creative speculation, renowned director Antoine de Caunes has crafted a fascinating portrait of the Emperor in exile, one that explores a remarkable theory: Napoleon may have escaped from St. Helena in a ruse so clever that to this day it has remained undiscovered. Starring Philippe Torreton and Richard E. Grant.


Fascinating! Better than Master and Commander. --The New York Times

First-rate acting and beautifully shot, with the visual power of great paintings. --The Hollywood Reporter

Captivating! An engaging mystery and study of a brilliant figure. --Philadelphia Inquirer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Director Antoine de Caunes has adapted Rene Mansor's fine screenplay concerning the enigma that still exists as to the final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte into a film that relates the period of history from 1816 to 1840 during which time the bifurcated responses of the British and French to the legend of Napoleon initiated the scandal that still piques our interest.

Opening in 1816 Napoleon (the brilliant Philippe Torreton) is imprisoned on the island of St. Helena along with his most trusted supporters and various citizens who elected to follow him into exile - with an eye on Napoleon's fortune when he dies. There is a new British Governor appointed, Hudson Lowe (Richard E. Grant), who is steely and determined to prevent Napoleon's escape and yes, even protect the British government from the costly extended prison expenditures a prolonged exile will produce. Lowe appoints Basil Heathcote (Jay Rodan) to sit in watch of the Emperor/General only to come under the spell of the mysterious Napoleon and the spell of a young girl Betsy Balcombe (Siobhan Hewlett) who is in love with Napoleon. Others among Napoleon's party include the Montholons (Stephane Freiss and Elsa Zylberstein) the latter of whom Napoleon keeps as his mistress and impregnates, Cipriani (Bruno Putzulu) his butler and half brother, Ali (Igor Skreblin) his bodyguard, Marshal Bertand (Roschdy Zem) his aide de camp, among others. Napoleon's self perception as the Emperor makes him unavailable to close scrutiny and rumors fly about his proposed escapes and about the British idea of poisoning him.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This is a great movie for anyone who is deeply interested in the Age of Napoleon.

This is a mystery which raises anew the question of who is buried in Napoleon's Tomb. The idea behind the movie is that Cipriani, Bonaparte's valet and half brother, died himself of a hereditary stomach cancer, only to ultimately end up in the Emperor's tomb.

This all happens by sleight of hand and a little bribe to Hudson Lowe. Once the deception is complete, the perfectly healthy Napoleon escapes to Louisiana and lives till his final day with Betsy Balcombe, the real life niece of Hudson Lowe.

To the point, true or false, the story is a very interesting mystery movie worthy of watching. It is excellent cinema. It has good acting and excellent dialog. True, false or indifferent - the movie is worth the money and the time to watch it. I recommend it strongly to the thinking movie fan who wants an interesting topic to discuss over cocktails or wine and cheese.

Today, the real life mystery can be addressed very easily by forensic gene testing. The emperor's clothes and other personal items are plentiful and the body is conveniently located in the center of Les Invalides. They can be easily matched or distinguished.

I do not know what the French are willing to consider concerning this prospect. I prefer myself to keep the prospect alive that Napoleon did win his last great battle. It makes the reading of the story of the Age after Waterloo all the more exciting because it ends in a story of final victory -- not only of the British and the Age, but of the spirit of man.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Napoleon's last battle December 16, 2007
At any given time there are always two films in pre-production about Napoleon's time in exile that never actually get made (last year it was an Al Pacino-Scarlett Johannson opus). Surprisingly a few years ago two got made at the same time - Alan Taylor's whimsical The Emperor's New Clothes and Antoine de Caunes' (yes, the Rapido guy) darker Monsieur N., a rather good but sometimes uncertain, albeit very handsomely shot, conspiracy drama about Napoleon's last days on St Helena and the mystery surrounding his death. At times it feels like two different movies as it moves between his parasitic court in exile and his eventual reburial in Paris decades later, but at least they're two different fairly interesting movies, and Philippe Torreton makes a convincingly bitter Napoleon. Richard E. Grant, a last minute replacement for Stephen Fry, is less successful as his jailor, particularly in his scenes as an older, broken man, and Jay Rodan's British accent leaves something to be desired, but they're minor problems in an interesting if not entirely successful take on an old story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lush, theatrical work of movie majesty, June 9, 2007
Presented in its original French with English subtitles, Monsieur N. is the DVD movie equivalent of a fascinating historical novel. Portraying the legendary conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte during his years of exile after his defeat at Waterloo, Monsieur N. not only bring to life an eye-opening portrait of the former Emperor's exile, but also presents a daring "what-if" story - what if Napoleon escaped St. Helena in such a crafty manner that his disappearance remained undiscovered to this day? A lush, theatrical work of movie majesty, highly recommended. 127 minutes, color.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Monsieur N May 2, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Not the best film, but like any good French film it leaves you wondering if he possibly did not die in exile, but escaped. I can't show it to my students because of the nudity, but I liked it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-see for those interested in Napoleonic history
I bought this as a christmas gift for my husband, who is very interested in the history of the period, but I must say, I really enjoyed this film as well. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Allie Chem E
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a watch
I really enjoyed this movie. The setting was wonderful, and I thought Phillippe Torreton did an excellent and convincing portrayal of Napoleon as a brilliant, proud and arrogant... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Judith
4.0 out of 5 stars Napoleon at St Helena
This movie is French with English subtitles. It is about Napoleon being on St Helena and befriending a girl called Betsy Belcombe. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Ms. Angela Elkington
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorite movies
This is well acted, well written and makes you hope the ending is true. A gotcha to the petty bureaucrats of all governments who think they have won a war, and can impose their... Read more
Published 24 months ago by happy
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile distraction
A fun fantasy about Napoleon on Saint Helena. For those following this period, Antoine de Caunes' film is a worthwhile distraction, although it belies the huge mobilisation in... Read more
Published on June 14, 2012 by Ed Crutchley
1.0 out of 5 stars No.
MONSIEUR N. (2003) with Richard Grant.

A French version of the wacky Oliver Stone conspiracy picture that posits what REALLY happened to Napoleon Bonaparte on St... Read more
Published on May 14, 2012 by The Mysterious Traveler
5.0 out of 5 stars A geat vedio
This vedio i purchased i now have two in my possesion to whom ever i loan this vedio
they come back and ask me where was he buried. I laugh what do you think.
Published on February 22, 2012 by noahtenbears
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Intelligent
Brilliant portrayals, all attempting to be true to the legend that emerged about the Emporer in exile. Read more
Published on November 7, 2011 by Frank
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars for music, acting, and scenery
Okay, I liked the music, the acting, and the scenery here--especially the scenes on St. Helena. But the film is a narrative mess, slowly paced and plodding at times, and I had to... Read more
Published on January 23, 2009 by Viva
5.0 out of 5 stars Muy buena pelicula
Me llego pronto la pelicula aunque la caja llego maltratada, pero el DVD llego bien.
Published on November 15, 2007 by Roberto Sanchez Ibarra
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