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Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made Hardcover – April 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1112 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen; Har/Psc Mu edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3836523353
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836523356
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 9.1 x 14.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"You have to see it to believe it, which is appropriate when you consider Kubrick's obsession... it could be that the project has found its perfect home as the most grandiose book ever made." (New York Magazine)"

About the Author

Alison Castle received a BA in philosophy from Columbia University and an MA in photography and film from New York University (NYU/International Center of Photography masters program). She is the editor of titles on photography, film, and design, including Some Like it Hot and The Stanley Kubrick Archives.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
Absolutely stunning book.
Tyler Brewer
This movie should've been made sometime in his life.
Michael A Anderson
The content will last a lifetime.
A. Taylor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By D. Boen on December 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Ten books inside this massive green behemoth tell and illustrate the story of how Kubrick attempted to make this period epic for MGM right after 2001: A Space Odyssey. But a cash crunch in Hollywood at the end of the 60's, 2001's not-blockbuster numbers, and a flop from DiLaurentis called Waterlloo convinced MGM to pull out. The production was shelved, stored by Kubrick on his farm, where it sat until recently. Finally his estate has decided to revive this treasure trove of research, scriptwriting, costume planning and location scouting to a small monument of books filled with terrific historical text, photos of archived notes and correspondence, photographs, production details and techniques, and the final script. It's a movie in a box, waiting to be made. Serious, scholarly discussion of the subjects complement an embarrassment of photographic riches to fill up this beautiful, one of a kind volume for serious study of the process of independent film production. The product design of this monster is one-of-a-kind. It's worth every penny.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Tom Lavagnino on April 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a Kubrick nut. If you're also a Kubrick nut, you will find NAPOLEON endlessly fascinating -- the literary equivalent of an ten-course meal at a five-star restaurant at the best restaurant you could ever possibly formulate in your imagination. Despite its cost, this publication does not disappoint. And what's fascinating to me is that -- despite NAPOLEON's comprehensiveness, from a "macro" standpoint -- a studious reader garners true, unbridled insight into the quotidian methodology of Kubrick's wholly astringent sensibility. This is thanks to the exhaustively collected (and beautifully reproduced) letters and memos (both from and to Stanley) and -- even more significantly -- the "hand-written annotations" that appear, throughout the material, in Kubrick's own hand. Particularly given the time-frame during which the bulk of this material was created -- in the immediate aftermath, for the most part, of 2001 -- it's fascinating to witness the means by which Stanley was leveraging his success (to ostensibly actuate his dream project), and the extent to which his reach occasionally (and ultimately) exceeded his grasp. Kubrick's insight into the workings of the Hollywood studio system is also on evidence; viz., there's a full draft of the NAPOLEON screenplay included, but the script's (somewhat schematic) side-stepping of the contemplated scope of the more ambitiously contemplated battlefield-centric production sequences (for example : Wellington appears, in the climactic clash, but has nary a line of dialogue) subtly suggests Kubrick's savvy insofar as making the project as financially palatable as possible to Hollywood's powers-that-be.Read more ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Wesley Strick on March 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes, the new single-volume edition is rife with design compromises: unwieldy size, awkward layout, tiny pictures. But it sells for an attractive price. Whereas the original 10-volume edition is a five-star thing of beauty and wonder ... but you probably can't find it for any price, as Taschen manufactured only 1000 copies (alas).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael A Anderson on March 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I agree with the last reviewer in that, design wise, they could've made some improvements. Blank back pages of binders, tiny pictures, etc. Either make it less pages or make the pictures larger! I haven't yet logged into the database with 150000 or so images. This is probably cool, though.

Bottom line is this...for 50 bucks (including shipping) you can spend hours pouring through all the research stuff in here. It's awesome, and being a Kubrick fan I am overwhelmed with the information here.

This movie should've been made sometime in his life. We see that after 2001 it was postponed, but why not made after A Clockwork Orange, instead of Barry Lyndon (which I love)? I'm still trying to find the answer, but it comes down to that it would cost too much. Too bad. Buy the book if you have room for it!
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel on April 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this book one can pore over Stanley Kubrick's personal correspondences as well as the screenplay, saying nothing of the 100's of photos. The content is incredible.

Stanley Kubrick's passion for research, beauty, and functional organization is no secret. It is ironic and unfortunate, that this book was incredibly well researched, meticulous in what was put in (and left out), well organized, but was printed in an odd format, in a way that stifles clear communication of the book's own content. It was not formatted for function, but for concept.

The volume is over 1000 pages yet uses a distinctly vertical format to feel like a book from the Napoleon era. The pages curl tremendously towards the center, and the text documents within the book fan out from the binding of the book, for that feel of actually looking through originals. Unfortunately, the information close to the center of the book becomes so curved due to the book's size that the reader has to angle their head or move the book to read (particularly around page 500). The hundreds of sequential photos do not read well across a vertical format; they are just over an inch wide and unclear. Often these images are of etchings from napoleons era, an art form whose beauty resides in the details.

I get the conceptual appeal of the book format. It looks nice on my coffee table. It just needed to be a much bigger book to feel clear, or in another format to properly use.

Instead of focusing on the type of BOOK that was produced in the napoleonic era, it would have been much more pleasurable for the reader, to design the format of the book around the FILM Stanley Kubrick designed. Stanley wasn't going to film Napoleon in the common aspect-ratio of prints and paintings from the Napoleonic era.
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