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The Emperor's New Clothes [VHS]
Top Customer Reviews
It's not the ha-ha comedy I initially expected, and perhaps the script could have used a few more humorous scenes, given the potential in the subject matter, but it would not be fair to criticize the movie for not being something it did not set out to be. Napoleon's chance visit to the battlefield of Waterloo, now catering to tourists, is comical in a typically low-key way. The pacing may be too leisurely to some, but this says more about our Hollywood-shaped sensibilities than what director Alan Taylor had in mind. This is not a cookie-cutter, by-the-numbers movie. It's a gentle slice of whimsy and romance made for an audience that can appreciate a movie with no car crashes, machine guns, or bimbos.
The central theme is transformation: can a man remake himself utterly, and in so doing, gain a second chance at happiness?Read more ›
Ian Holm, recently seen on the big screen as Bilbo Baggins in LORD OF THE RINGS, does double duty as Bonaparte and his look-alike, Eugene Lenormand. The latter is a swab jockey pulled off a passing merchant ship and secretly substituted for Bonaparte on St. Helena while the Emperor sets sail on the same vessel for France in the guise of the common sailor (with all his attendant duties). The plan is that, after enough time is allowed Napoleon to reach Paris, Lenormand will announce himself as a fraud to his British jailers, a revelation sure to make all the supermarket tabloids. Reading of this in Paris, the Emperor will emerge from the closet, so to speak, and retake his throne with the help of widespread popular support. The plan doesn't take into account that Eugene might enjoy his new existence in captivity. As he remarks to the French conspirators, he's been scrubbing ships' decks for all the years that Napoleon was Emperor, and now it's his turn to be pampered. So, in the meantime, the real Napoleon must cool his heels in Paris while staying in the home of the widow Truchaut (Iben Hjejle), alias "Pumpkin", who manages a cadre of street-roaming melon sellers. As luck would have it, Pumpkin's husband, who was one of the very few plotters privy to Napoleon's escape plan, died shortly before the Emperor's arrival. Oh, well.
Holm is splendid in his dual role, and Hjejle is engaging as Pumpkin. However, the two together, especially Holm's Napoleon persona, never quite made this viewer believe that the pair had a future together no matter how much Pumpkin wanted it.Read more ›
The screenplay by director Alan Taylor (who directs a lot of series on HBO) and his co-writers Kevin Molony ("Sylvester") and Herbie Wave ("The Closer You Get") is based on the novel "The Death of Napoleon" by Simon Leys. The premise is deceptively simple: while exiled on the island of St. Helena, Napoleon switched places with Eugene Lenormand, a simple sailor who looked like the deposed Emperor of France. While Lenormand pretended to be Napoleon, the man himself would sail in Lenormand's place on the ship, return to France, contact loyal men who would get him to Paris, and take control of the nation once again from the Borbons. However, a couple of problems develop. The first is that Napoleon is deposited not in France, but Belgium, while the other is that Lenormand likes being Napoleon in exile and refuses to admit he is an imposter.
Napoleon makes his way by coach to Paris, and because he starts in Brussels he ends up at a stop in Waterloo, where the curious come to see the famous battlefield and buy mementoes of the Emperor's defeat. "They've changed my battlefield," Napoleon says, but that is not all that has changed since then.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Napoleon spoof that is quite entertaining. It is a twist on history that is believable and there is a bit of a love story also. No special effects just a good plot.Published 21 months ago by Mabelle Butts
If you can get past the thought of Napoléon as the main character in a light hearted love story there is much to enjoy here. Read morePublished on January 14, 2014 by Kevin Richard-Morrow
There have been umpteen Napoleon Bonapartes, and every one of them was a lunatic, save one.
This is the story of the one Napoleon who was not a lunatic. Read more
A brilliant film about a counter historical asking he question what might have happened if Napoleon had escaped St Helena and simply decided not to seize the throne a third... Read morePublished on March 28, 2013 by Reasonable Reviewer
I Love the story, it was a clean movie that had humor, suspense and love. I would recommend this movie to anyone that enjoys a possible romantic alternative to real history,Published on February 27, 2013 by Dani
Another of my all-time favorite films. Acting is wonderful. Clever, amusing, and very entertaining. Gives some thought to how true the story could have been.Published on January 28, 2013 by Mary J
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