Napoléon (1929)

This 253-minute epic depicting Napoleon's life from boyhood to ultimate triumph as a military hero is the crowning achievement of French film master Abel Gance. Brimming with innovative visual techniques, it exists in several versions,… More

Directed By:
Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: February 7, 1929
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Critic Score: 90% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Mordaunt Hall
New York Times

There is in this edition of the picture an effort to cover too many historical incidents and the consequence is that quite a number of the passages are confused.

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Lou Lumenick
New York Post

Gance uses techniques not much associated with silent film, like a hand-held camera, multiple superimpositions, split split screen, rapid-fire editing and flashbacks to rivet the audience's attention and bring history to vivid life.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It turned out to be a commercial flop because the film cost too much to make.

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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe

Like D.W. Griffith, Orson Welles, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas, but mostly James Cameron, Gance understood the thrill of the cinematic event and had the hubris to bring it off.

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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle

The experience it provides - at times, akin to taking a drug - is unlike anything I've ever experienced in a movie theater.

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David Parkinson
Empire Magazine

Gance's use of subjective camera was almost recklessly ambitious in its bid to give the spectator the most visceral viewing sensation, while his skill in blending and multiplying images was unprecedented.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Napoleon is the last great silent epic. We will not see its like again.

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Variety Staff

Albert Dieudonne in the title role is excellent.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

In this case the form itself is equal to the subject. For Gance and for Napoleon, there are no small gestures.

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More reviews for Napoléon

Flixster Audience Score: 91% Flixster User Reviews
Jonathan Hutchings
Modern film-goers are used to explication, to having everything explained for them. The art of visual story-telling -- where images and action indicate the… More
Stella Dallas
yes, it's a four hour silent epic on the life of napoleon. i guess i don't need to say it's not for everyone :) however if u have the time and… More