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Napoleon and Samantha (1972)

Michael Douglas , Will Geer , Bernard McEveety  |  G |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Will Geer, Johnny Whitaker, Jodie Foster, Arch Johnson
  • Directors: Bernard McEveety
  • Writers: Stewart Raffill
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001I55PQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,337 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Napoleon and Samantha" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

There's magic in the memories as great Disney moments are captured right here for you and your family to enjoy. Two young children (Johnny Whitaker and Jodie Foster) suddenly find themselves in charge of a gentle, aging circus lion. However, when they are threatened with being split up by stern authorities, the trio embarks on a perilous journey across the wilds of the American Northwest. During their adventure-filled odyssey, they seek help in their plight from a sympathetic, free-spirited mountain man (ROMANCING THE STONE'S Michael Douglas). Ferocious forest predators, a dangerous drifter, and the pursuing police make for a head-over-heels race to breathtaking conclusions in this captivating saga.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very special treat from Disney December 12, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I can still recall when I first saw "Napoleon and Samantha" theatrically years ago. When the film was over, I felt like a different person. I wondered how anything like this can come from Walt Disney Productions. The plot is truly poignant and quite non-Disneyesque; the musical score is brilliant and won an Oscar nomination; and the photography is simply gorgeous. This is Jodie Foster's movie debut; and one of the last appearances of Will Geer. "De gustibus non est disputandum," but I consider this the best live action film the Disney Company ever has released. I would recommend that the youngest viewers watch this masterpiece together with a grownup.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Disney's little-known Napoleon and Samantha does not receive half the credit it deserves. Even as an adult, is is bar none, hands down, my favorite movie of all time. It is simply exceptional in every way.

I first became familiar with Napoleon and Samantha when renting movies from a local video (gasp! what's VHS?) rental store in Alabama back in the 90's. I was one, if not my top rented movie because we couldn't find it anyplace else back in the day, including Suncoast or even at Disneyworld on trip to Disney when we inquired about it.

I was very happy to get a copy of my own about 3 years ago on Christmas when it came out on DVD.

Now, what do i like about Napoleon and Samantha so much? Everything. It's hard to explain, but it has an incredible depth and charm so hard to find in other movies. The musical score is beautiful (and apparently equally rare, i haven't been able to find a copy of the soundtrack anywhere) and the scenery is equally beautiful and breathtaking. The acting of Johnny Whitaker (Sigmund and The Sea Monsters, Tom Sawyer movie), is great, and it is interesting to Jodi Foster and Michael Douglas so young, one of the first movie appearances for both of them. And, if you are a fan of The Waltons as i am, it is an added treat to see both Grandma and Grandpa Walton (Will Geer, Ellen Corby) in their respective roles as Napoleon's Grandpa and Samantha's housekeeper. As stated, the plot is slightly weightier than most Disney fare, with the death of Napoleon's Grandpa and a hinted-at child pervert named Mark (whom is only referred to as a "psycho")

The story starts with a lovable but slightly mischievous boy named Napoleon growing up in a small, unnamed rural town with his sidekick, best friend and next door neighbor, Samantha.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun for the Family.... October 12, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I was priveledged to see this movie made in 1971. It was filmed in the community I grew up in (John Day Oregon). It's a joy to watch it so many years later and be able to see the town I new when I was 11. I'm biased, but I think it's a wonderful family film and it's fun seeing Michael Douglas and Jodi Foster so early in their careers.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First rate family entertainment May 15, 2008
Whilst many critics do not rate this Disney offering as highly as some of the studio's other live action adventures (such as Davy Crockett, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Swiss Family Robinson), it is hard to imagine anyone coming away from seeing this film feeling dissatisfied. The great majority of viewers, from seven to seventy, will enjoy the fine performances of Michael Douglas, Johnny Whittaker and a very young Jody Foster (as Samantha) in what is at times both a heart-warming tale and fast-moving adventure.
In spite of the age of the film, the DVD picture is of fine quality and will please Disney collectors. The disc itself is rather bare-bones with no extras (unfortunately). A recent cast interview with those mentioned would have been great.
All in all, well worth the small investment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for my son and grandsons August 17, 2010
By jmn
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My younger son named his cat based on this movie. My older son wanted his sons to see it and I was so happy to find it for them. He and the grandsons have enjoyed the story, as well as reliving the memories of he and his brother.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars *Good Movie For Everyone!* May 16, 2008
This is a good movie for everyone in the family to enjoy.I loved seeing Michael Douglas and Jodie Foster at such a young age.I think you will enjoy this if you like the older,slower Disney movies.I enjoyed it.I think the older Disney movies were the best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great kid's movie! May 13, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I saw this when I was little and watched it the other night with my two young children. It's so different from the movies offered and made for children today, but the boys loved it!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Napoleon and Samantha is a wonderful movie. February 22, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I have watched this movie only once in my life time, when I was about 4 years old and I was visiting some family members in John Day, Oregon (where the movie was filmed). I loved it so much that I remember everything about it and I'm glad that I have finally found a copy so that I can enjoy watching it with my children.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Disney movies are always Great!!! Thank You.
Published 1 day ago by Joni Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! :)
They just don't make them like they used to...this is a family classic. I grew up watching it and now my children are too. Who wouldn't love a movie starring a lion? :)
Published 3 months ago by Janeece
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
this is an awesome movie i recommend it to anybody who loves animals. i think it is worth the money.
Published 9 months ago by Mike
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad "copy"--wouldn't play!
We weren't able to watch (stream) the whole movie. It kept "breaking down" at the same point about 1/2 way through the movie. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars bought when feeling nostalgic
this is pretty typical Disney live action. Remember watching when it first came out. Johnny Whitaker and Jodie Foster are both good child actors. Read more
Published 17 months ago by L. Lundy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great kids movie!
This movie is a treasure! We're quite conservative and this one is great without foul language or suggestive ideas. What a great movie!
Published on April 27, 2012 by AKA
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasing afternoon Disney movie that's entertaining for any age...
When his loving grandfather dies in their country home, little Napoleon is left alone to care for himself and their newly acquired, retired, pet circus lion, Major, who drinks only... Read more
Published on October 1, 2011 by Monty Moonlight
4.0 out of 5 stars Napoleon and Samantha
I am very happy with the service I received in ordering and receiving this CD. The person I gave it to was very pleased.
Published on December 28, 2010 by Veronica Nicholas
5.0 out of 5 stars Napoleon and Samantha
One of those great family features from Walt Disney Studios 1972 and just so happens that this was Jodie Fosters first film...ain't she cute
Published on November 16, 2010 by Movieman
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Children's Film Classic. Must Own For Any True Disney Fan.
This has always been one of my favorite Disney live action films. I saw it growing up and have never forgotten it.
It is a terrific mix of sentiment and excitement. Read more
Published on April 1, 2010 by Dean Richards
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