Napoléon (1929)

Advertised as a remake of his landmark silent film Napoleon, Abel Gance's Napoleon Bonaparte is actually more of a re-edited reissue, with sound effects, background music and newly filmed talkie sequences added. Albert Dieudonne is back… More

Directed By:
Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: February 7, 1929
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Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Judith Martin
Washington Post

Inspires that wonderfully satisfying theatrical experience of whole-heartedly cheering a hero and hissing villains, while also providing the uplift that comes from a real work of art.

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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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Edward Porter
Sunday Times (UK)

Abel Gance's 1927 film Napoléon -- which dramatises the little corporal's ascent -- is a reminder of just how many of the techniques of epic cinema come from the silent days.

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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.

Wendy Ide
Observer (UK)

This magnificent piece of cinema history should be seen on the biggest screen possible.

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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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Mike McCahill

It's a national origin myth, a monument to resistance and an enormous spectacle; a work of expansive genius, restored to us by a considerable labour of love.

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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