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Release Date: June 28, 2002
On DVD/VOD: December 10, 2002
1h 47m |
Stuck in his island prison after his defeat at Waterloo, the great Napoleon Bonaparte (Holm) attempts an ingenious escape in order to return to France and reclaim his throne. His loyal staff recruits a look-alike, Eugene (Holm), a drunken, waddling commoner who nevertheless is the spitting image of the Emperor, to be his temporary stand-in while he sneaks off on a boat to Paris. Yet as one snag after another delays Napoleon's plan to regain his rule, Eugene easily becomes more and more accustomed to his new status as Emperor and refuses to reveal the truth. Napoleon is now stuck on the streets of Paris, incognito. Forced for the first time to experience real life, he falls unexpectedly in love with a beautiful but impoverished widow (Hjejle), and takes it upon himself to rebuild her fruit-and-vegetable business with the fervour and dedication he would give to building an empire. Yet Napoleon's true, secret ambition remains to be Emperor again. Will Napoleon get his second chance -- or will victory come when he discovers that his real identity is that of a man, like any other, looking for love and happiness?
Adapted from the award-winning novel The Death of Napoleon by Simon Leys.