Napoléon (1927 film)

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Napoléon is a 1927 silent French epic film written, produced, and directed by Abel Gance that tells the story of Napoleon's early years.wikipedia
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Abel Gance

Films Abel Gance
Napoléon is a 1927 silent French epic film written, produced, and directed by Abel Gance that tells the story of Napoleon's early years.
A pioneer in the theory and practice of montage, he is best known for three major silent films: J'accuse (1919), La Roue (1923), and the monumental Napoléon (1927).

Silent film

silentsilent erasilent films
Napoléon is a 1927 silent French epic film written, produced, and directed by Abel Gance that tells the story of Napoleon's early years.
An early effort of this kind was Kevin Brownlow's 1980 restoration of Abel Gance's Napoléon (1927), featuring a score by Carl Davis.

Hand-held camera

handheldhandheld camerahand-held
Many innovative techniques were used to make the film, including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, a wide variety of hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple-camera setups, multiple exposure, superimposition, underwater camera, kaleidoscopic images, film tinting, split screen and mosaic shots, multi-screen projection, and other visual effects.
In January 1925, Abel Gance began shooting Napoléon using a wide variety of innovative techniques, including strapping a camera to a man's chest, a snow sled, a horse's saddle, a pendulum swing, and wrapping a large sponge around a hand-held camera so that it could be punched by actors during a fight scene.

Polyvision

triple-screen final sequence
Napoléon had been screened in only eight European cities when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought the rights to it, but after screening it in London, it was cut drastically in length, and only the central panel of the three-screen Polyvision sequences was retained before it was put on limited release in the United States.
Polyvision was the name given by the French film critic Émile Vuillermoz to a specialized widescreen film format devised exclusively for the filming and projection of Abel Gance's 1927 film Napoleon.

Split screen (video production)

split screensplit-screensplit screens
Many innovative techniques were used to make the film, including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, a wide variety of hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple-camera setups, multiple exposure, superimposition, underwater camera, kaleidoscopic images, film tinting, split screen and mosaic shots, multi-screen projection, and other visual effects.
The visionary French director, Abel Gance, used the term "Polyvision" to describe his three-camera, three-projector technique for both widening and dividing the screen in his 1927 silent epic, Napoléon.

Gina Manès

Splashed with water in a narrow Paris street, Napoleon is noticed by Joséphine de Beauharnais (Gina Manès) and Paul Barras (Max Maxudian) as they step from a carriage on their way into the house of Mademoiselle Lenormand (Carrie Carvalho), the fortune teller.
In Abel Gance's Napoléon, she took the part of Joséphine de Beauharnais, and then played the title role in Jacques Feyder's Thérèse Raquin (now lost).

Antonin Artaud

ArtaudArtaudianAnton Artaud
The leaders of the group, Georges Danton (Alexandre Koubitzky), Jean-Paul Marat (Antonin Artaud) and Maximilien Robespierre (Edmond Van Daële), are seen conferring.
Artaud's performance as Jean-Paul Marat in Abel Gance's Napoleon (1927) used exaggerated movements to convey the fire of Marat's personality.

Kevin Brownlow

Brownlow, Kevin
The film was restored in 1981 after twenty years' work by silent film historian Kevin Brownlow.
Brownlow spent many years getting support for the restoration of Abel Gance's French epic, Napoléon (1927), a then mutilated film that used many novel cinematic techniques.

Point-of-view shot

point of viewpoint of view shotPOV
Many innovative techniques were used to make the film, including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, a wide variety of hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple-camera setups, multiple exposure, superimposition, underwater camera, kaleidoscopic images, film tinting, split screen and mosaic shots, multi-screen projection, and other visual effects.
In making 1927's Napoléon, director Abel Gance wrapped a camera and much of the lens in sponge padding so that it could be punched by other actors to portray the leading character's point of view during a fist fight, part of a larger snowball fight between schoolboys including young Napoleon.

Annabella (actress)

AnnabellaAnabellaFrench actress Annabella
Fleuri's beautiful daughter Violine Fleuri (Annabella) admires Napoleon silently.
Annabella's chance to enter films came when her father entertained a film producer, who gave her a small part in Abel Gance's great classic Napoléon (1927).

Walter Percy Day

W. Percy DayPoppa' DayW. (Walter) Percy Day
Because of the French advance, English Admiral Samuel Hood (W. Percy Day) orders the burning of the moored French fleet before French troops can recapture the ships.
In addition to creating visual effects for Napoléon (1927), Day also played the role of the British Admiral Hood in the film.

Edmond Van Daële

The leaders of the group, Georges Danton (Alexandre Koubitzky), Jean-Paul Marat (Antonin Artaud) and Maximilien Robespierre (Edmond Van Daële), are seen conferring.
He starred in nearly 50 films including Abel Gance's Napoleon between 1915 and 1950.

Maurice Schutz

The shepherd Santo-Ricci (Henri Baudin) interrupts the happy welcome to tell Napoleon the bad news that Corsica's president, Pasquale Paoli (Maurice Schutz) is planning to give the island to the British.
Napoléon (1927)

Max Maxudian

Splashed with water in a narrow Paris street, Napoleon is noticed by Joséphine de Beauharnais (Gina Manès) and Paul Barras (Max Maxudian) as they step from a carriage on their way into the house of Mademoiselle Lenormand (Carrie Carvalho), the fortune teller.
Napoléon (1927)

Philippe Hériat

A reversal causes Antoine Christophe Saliceti (Philippe Hériat) to name Napoleon's strategy a great crime.
Over the next fifteen years, he appeared in secondary roles in another twenty-five films including the 1927 Abel Gance masterpiece, Napoleon.

Albert Dieudonné

At the edge of the crowd, Napoleon (Albert Dieudonné), now a young army lieutenant, thanks de Lisle as he leaves: "Your hymn will save many a cannon."
In 1927 he was hired back to star in the title role in Gance's epic film, Napoléon.

Jean d'Yd

In an archive room filled with the files of condemned prisoners, clerks Bonnet (Boris Fastovich-Kovanko) and La Bussière (Jean d'Yd) work secretly with Fleuri to destroy (by eating) some of the dossiers including those for Napoleon and Joséphine.
1927 : Napoléon directed by Abel Gance

La Marseillaise

MarseillaiseFrench national anthemFrench
Camille Desmoulins (Robert Vidalin), Danton's secretary, interrupts Danton to tell of a new song that has been printed, called "La Marseillaise".
Abel Gance's film Napoléon (1927) features Harry Krimer as Rouget de Lisle and dramatizes the adoption of his song as the revolution's anthem at the Club of the Cordeliers in 1792.

René Jeanne

A young military instructor, Jean-Charles Pichegru (René Jeanne), asks Napoleon for his name.
* 1927: Napoléon by Abel Gance: Jean-Charles Pichegru, a military instructor at Brienne College

Georges Danton

DantonDantonistsGeorges Jacques Danton
The leaders of the group, Georges Danton (Alexandre Koubitzky), Jean-Paul Marat (Antonin Artaud) and Maximilien Robespierre (Edmond Van Daële), are seen conferring.
Danton, along with Marat and Robespierre, is a secondary character in the 1927 epic Napoléon. His portrayal in the film is somewhat cartoonish, as he is depicted as a decadent fop, albeit dedicated to republicanism and revolution, and it is he that allows Rouget de Lisle to premiere "La Marseillaise" at the Club des Cordeliers. (In reality, no such performance by Rouget de Lisle is known to have taken place.)

Eugénie Buffet

They are greeted by his mother, Letizia Buonaparte (Eugénie Buffet) and the rest of his family at their summer home in Les Milelli.
In 1927 Buffet appeared in the silent film Napoléon directed by French filmmaker Abel Gance; she played the role of Laetizia Bonaparte, Napoleon's mother.

Acho Chakatouny

Later in the streets of Ajaccio, Pozzo di Borgo (Acho Chakatouny) encourages a mob to put Napoleon to death for opposing Paoli, and the townsfolk surround the Buonaparte home.
Napoleon (1927)

Ajaccio

a legendAjaccio, CorsicaAjaccio, France
Later in the streets of Ajaccio, Pozzo di Borgo (Acho Chakatouny) encourages a mob to put Napoleon to death for opposing Paoli, and the townsfolk surround the Buonaparte home.
Napoléon, one of the last successful French silent films by Abel Gance in 1927.

Widescreen

wide screenwide-screenwidescreen format
Though American filmmakers began experimenting with 70mm widescreen (such as Fox Grandeur) in 1929, widescreen did not take off until CinemaScope was introduced in 1953.
Widescreen was first widely used in the late 1920s in some short films and newsreels, including Abel Gance's film Napoleon (1927) with a final widescreen sequence in what Gance called Polyvision.