NAPOLEON (2003)

 

 

 

Director:    Yves Simoneau.

Starring:

An A&E network production, 8 hours long.


Cast:

Napoleon's Family

Christian Clavier  --      Napoleon

                                    Letizia or Laetitia, Ramolino Bonaparte (c. 1750-1836)  (Napoleon’s mother);

                                    Joseph Bonaparte (1768–1844) eldest child in the family, brother to Napoleon;

                                    Lucien Bonaparte (1775–1840)  --  Napoleon's younger brother (married a commoner);

                                    Elisa Bonaparte (1777–1820)  -- oldest sister of Napoleon (she married Felix Pasquale Bacciochi, captain of infantry);

                                    Louis Bonaparte(1778–1846)  -- Napoleon's brother (in 1802 he reluctantly married Hortense de Beauharnais); his son became

                                     Napoleon III;

                                    Pauline Bonaparte (1780–1825)  --  Napoleon’s favorite sister (she married General Leclerc);

                                    Caroline Bonaparte (1782–1839)  --  younger sister (in 1800 she married General Murat)

                          Jérôme Bonaparte (1784-1860) -- Napoleon’s youngest brother (Napoleon had his first marriage dissolved and arranged for his

                          brother to marry, in 1807, Catherine of Württemberg).

Isabella Rossellini   --    Josephine Bonaparte,his first wife;

                                    Marie Louise of Austria --  his second wife; (her son with Napoleon became Napoleon II).

Contemporary Political Persons (French):

                                      King Louis XVI  --  king of France, 1774-1793.

John Malkovich  --         Talleyrand  (1754-1838)  --  influential French diplomat.

Gerard Depardieu  --      Foche, minister of police.

Contemporary Political Persons (Non-French):

Francis II  --  the last Holy Roman emperor (1792-1806); as Francis I, emperor of Austria (1804-35); as Francis, king of Hungary (1792-1830) and king of Bohemia (1792-1836).

George III  -- king of Great Britain, 1760-1820. 

Catherine II  -- Tsar of Russia, 1762-1796. 

Paul  --  Tsar of Russia, 1796-1801.

Alexander I  --  Tsar of Russia, 1801-1825.   

Frederick William II  --  king of Prussia, 1786-97.

Frederick William III  --  king of Prussia, 1797-1840.

Charles IV  --  king of Spain, 1788-1808.

Ferdinand VII – king of Spain, 1808.

King Charles IV –  restored king of Spain, 1808 (replaced by Joseph I, Bonaparte, 1808-1813).


Historical Background:

1769  -- born a French subject at Ajaccio, Corsica. His father was able to gain acceptance into the French aristocracy.

1779  --  at the age of 10, he enters the military academy at Brienne, France. He was teased for his Corsican background, his accent, and his small size.

1784  --  wins a place at the prestigious Ecole Militaire in Paris.

1785  --  graduates and commissioned a second lieutenant of artillery, garrisoned at Valence.

1789  -- outbreak of the French Revolution.

1790-1791 --  Napoleon helps consolidate French rule in Corsica.

1792 -- he is there at the second storming of the Tuileries; the arrest of King Louis XVI; and the slaughter of the Swiss Guards. This left Napoleon with a great distrust of the common French citizen.

1792  -- Napoleon promoted to captain.

1792-1797  --  War of the First Coalition (France versus Great Britain, Prussia, Austria, Spain, Naples; at end GB, Austria)

1793 -- he rejoins his regiment in Italy.  He directs the artillery in the siege of Toulon; seizes ground from which he could bombard the British ships; Toulon falls.  Napoleon is promoted to brigadier general.

1795  --  disperses rioting citizens by firing a bunch of pellets from a cannon into them, thereby saving the revolutionary government. Now regarded as a hero of the Revolution, he gains entrance into Parisian society (where he meets  Josephine de Beauharnias).

1795 (November 4)- 1799 (November 9)  --  the Directory

1796 (March 9)  --  marries Josephine. His wife’s connections get the appointment to be the commander of the French army in Italy. He defeats four Austrian generals in succession, forcing Austria and its allies (Italy and Sardinia) to make peace with France.

1796 (November)  --  at the Battle at Arcola (Italy), 29,000 French troops under Napoleon defeated the 80,000 Austrian troops. After repeated attempts to take  the crucial Arcole Bridge, Napoleon grabbed a flag and led the next attack.  This attack too was unsuccessful, but it certainly proved Napoleon's bravery in battle. 

Suspected of treason, Napoleon is relieved of his command.

During the First Italian Campaign, Napoleon began to hear rumors that Josephine was being unfaithful. He went to her apartment in Milan, but she was not there.  She had gone to Genoa (it was thought with army officer Hippolyte Charles, with whom she was suspected of having an affair). He grew suspicious. 

1796  --   Napoleon puts down a Paris revolt, saving the French government. Under the new government, the Directory, Napoleon once again becomes commander of the French army in Italy.  He splits the troops of the King of Sardinia into two parts, and then defeats each part separately.

1797 February  --  he marches across the Alps toward Vienna and the Austrians sue for peace.  Austria forced to give up the Netherlands and Lombardy to France and recognize the Rhine as the eastern boundary of France. France gives Austria most of the old Venetian Republic.

As a national hero, Napoleon dreams of conquering an empire to rival that of Alexander the Great.  

1798 (mid-March)  --  Napoleon confronts Josephine about the infidelity rumors.  She denies everything and with anger says that if the rumors were true he should  divorce her. But the next day she changed her tune and became much more acquiescent to her husband.  Napoleon, however, was still bitter and he took a mistress: Pauline Bellisle Foures, wife of a junior officer. 

1798 June 10  -- Napoleon takes the island fortress of Malta.

1798 (July) - 1801 (September 2)  Napoleon and Egypt

1798 (July) --  three weeks later they laid siege to Alexandria. Within days the entire Nile Delta was in French hands.

1798 July -- wins the battle of the Pyramids.

1798 (August 1)  --  Napoleon’s first defeat came when his entire naval fleet was destroyed by the British navy at the Battle of the Nile in Aboukir Bay.

1799 February  --  He turns towards Syria, but is held off by English and Turkish troops and forced to retreat to Egypt. The French are defeated at the battle of Acre.

1799 July  --  he defeats 10,000 Turks at Aboukir.

1799 (August)  --  Napoleon returns to take command of French forces in Europe.

1799-1802  --  War of the Second Coalition (France versus Great Britain, Portugal, Russia, Austria, Naples)

1799 (October)  --  Napoleon returned to France after a year away. Josephine was not at her house when Napoleon arrived.  He refused her entry, but she pushed by the servants and starting wailing for hours outside his locked door.  Despite his initial reluctance, Napoleon made up with Josephine. 

Josephine would go on to another lover, but this allowed Napoleon to feel free to have his own affairs. 

Napoleon takes advantage of the disarray of the Directory government.

1799 November 9  --  with the help of Emmanuel Sieyes, in a coup d’’etat, he overthrows the Directory and then sets up his Consulate government.

1800 (February)  --  Napoleon became First Consul; he and his wife moved into the Tuileries Palace.

Napoleon was supposed to be just one of three equal consuls, but he soon sets himself up as ad-hoc dictator.

1802  --  the French vote him Consul for life.

1803 --  British again at war with France. At the Battle off Cape Trafalgar, the British under Lord Nelson destroys the French fleet.

1804 May  -- crowned Emperor of the French.

1805  --  War of the Third Coalition (Frances versus Great Britain, Sweden, Russia, Austria, Naples)

1805 August  -- Napoleon invades Germany with victories at Ulm, and Austerlitz. Napoleon is crowned king of Italy.

1806-1807  --  War of the Fourth Coalition (France versus Prussia, Saxony, Russia)

1806 --  defeats Prussia after it declared war on France.

1806  --  Josephine had accompanied Napoleon on the campaign.  During this time, Napoleon learned that his latest mistress, Eleonore Denuelle, was pregnant with his child.  This proved that it was not he that was responsible for the childlessness of Josephine.  Once again he considered divorce.  

1806 (October 14)  --  he defeated the southern part of the Prussian army at the Battle of Jena, Germany. On the same day, French General Marshal Louis Davout defeated the main Prussian army at the Battle of Auerstadt. 

1807  --  Napoleon defeated a Russian forces under Levin Bennigsen at the Battle of Eylau, East Prussia.  Murat's cavalry charge of 10,000 horses saved the day for the French.

1807 June  --  victory over the Russians at the Battle of Friedland.

1808  --  Charles IV of Spain cedes to Napoleon, who puts his brother Joseph on that throne.

1809  --  War of the Fifth Coalition (France versus Great Britain and Austria)

1809 (July 5-6)  --  the Austrians under Archduke Charles suffered 70,000 casualties at the Battle of Wagram. 

1809 (10 July)  --  Archduke Charles defeat at the Battle of Znaim and forced to sign an armistice. 

1809 (November)  --at dinner, Napoleon lets Josephine know that he and France must find a wife who could produce an heir. Josephine was devastated.  The divorced.  After being turned down by the 15 year old sister of the Russian Czar, a marriage was arranged with the 19 year old Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria (daughter of his old enemy, Emperor Francis I of Austria), who detested the idea.

1810 (March)  -- marriage between Napoleon and Archduchess Marie Louise.

1811  --  Marie Louise gave birth to an heir.  

1812-1814 --  War of the Sixth Coalition (Frances versus, ultimately, Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, Austria)

1812 (June 23)  --  begins the invasion of Russia with 250,000 troops.  Makes it to Moscow, but no farther.  Napoleon has to retreat with the winter helping to whittle down his forces to less than 100,000

by 1812 (August 16-18)  --  Napoleon had lost nearly 100,000 men by the time of the Battle of Smolensk, in which Napoleon took the town.  The Russian army escaped to fight again. 

1812 (September 7)  --  Napoleon won the day, but now had less than 100,000 men.  Marshal Davout wounded. The way to Moscow was open  Napoleon moves into Moscow and waits a month for Tsar Alexander to sue for peace.  The Russians set fire to much of Moscow. 

1812 (October 23)  --  the French left Moscow. 

1813 (early February)  --  the Russians occupy Warsaw (Poland).   

1813  --  Prussia, Russia, and Austria ally against France, soon followed by an invasion of France.

1813  -- Napoleon wins the Battle of Lutzen, forcing the Allies to retreat.  20,000 casualties on each side.

1813  -- Napoleon wins again, this time at the Battle of Bautzen.  20,000 casualties on each side.

1813  --  Wellington won the Battle of Vittoria, Spain.  The French had to retire to the Pyrenees.

1813 (August 23)  --  Prussian and Swedish troops defeat two of Napoleon's subordinates at the Battle of Gross-Beeren.  This was followed by the defeat of other subordinates at the Battle on the Katzbach and the Battle of Kulm.  Napoleon won the Battle of Dresden. 

1813 (October 16-19)  --  second only to Borodino in size of battle, in the Battle of Leipzig, Napoleon retreated back toward France. 

1813 (October 30-31)  --  Napleon defeats General von Wrede at the Battle of Hanau.   

1814 March  --  Paris falls to the allies. 

1814 April 6  --  Napoleon abdicates. He is exiled to the island of Elba.

1814 (May 29)  --  Josephine dies from a worsening cold in the arms of her son Eugene.

1815  -- War of the Seventh Coalition (Frances versus all)

1815  -- returns to Paris and is reinstated as head of state. After some initial victories, the British and Prussian forces defeat Napoleon at the Battle of  Waterloo. He is exiled to the island of St. Helena a thousand miles off the African Coast.

1821 -- dies on St. Helena at the age of fifty.

 

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