In the mid-twenties, Abel Gance filmed part one (of a proposed six part) biography of Napoleon Bonaparte. He spent several years in writing and filming and it was released in 1927. Part one is around six hours long and only covers Napoleon's schooldays in Brienne, the Revolution, his marriage to Josephine and Napoleon's campaign in Italy, up to 1797. Gance had spent approximately 70% of the budget and so did not proceed with parts two to six. We watched the British Film Institutes's restored version on four DVDs which has an excellent orchestral score by Carl Davis and Beethoven.
We started at 09:30 and finished at 16:40, with around 60 minutes for breaks and lunch. I think we were all captivated by this visually stunning film.
|Albert Dieudonné as Napoleon|
|Three camera/screen shot of Napoleon on left looking over the camp of the Army of Italy|
|Oops - wrong Napoleon|
|Abel Gance had a role as Saint-Just|
|Dieudonné on set|
|Camera team keeping up with the cavalry|