For the first time ever, Napoleon the man and legend is depicted on screen in all of his facets: as a man of human needs and desires, strengths and weaknesses; as a soldier, politician and visionary who raised himself above his fellow mortals and transformed himself into a myth. "Napoleon" sweeps away the pathos of previous portrayals and presents its subject in all of his complexity and contradictions. It provokes questions and challenges common assumptions. It paints a portrait of Napoleon that respects the facts and depicts him as a man whose life can still move and inspire all of us today. This 4 part mini-series won the 2003 EMMY AWARD for outstanding costumes, along with 6 further nominations.
The snow surprised the Grande Armée in the immensity of the Russian plain. The disaster is such that the enemies of France demand that the Emperor renounce all of his conquests. Napoleon tries to assert his marriage with Marie-Louise who rallied him to the house of Austria, in vain. And it's war again. He must throw all his forces into battle. Feeling the wind turn, the most faithful soon abandon him.
Will the blood shed in Eylau be enough to establish a lasting peace? Napoleon wants to believe it when he meets Tsar Alexander and the two men become friends. However, the durability of the Empire seems tenuous, Josephine not being able to give him an heir. The Spanish Civil War, the Tsar's betrayal and the scheming of those close to him ended up weakening Napoleon who, after another difficult campaign, was forced to sacrifice Josephine for reasons of state.
1818, Saint Helena. Exiled in the middle of the South Atlantic, Napoleon remembers the time when he was just a young general without pay: his ambitions, his republican convictions, his meeting with Josephine. Then the first battles and the first victories... On the way to glory at just 27 years old, Bonaparte was already dreaming of transforming France and emerging from anarchy.
Paris 1800, Christmas Eve. Napoleon, First Consul, narrowly escapes an attack. Advised by Talleyrand, his minister, he organised the kidnapping and arrest of the Duc d'Enghien, cousin of Louis XVI and presumed leader of the plotters. The execution of Enghien assures him the support of the Jacobins who see in him the only man capable of preventing the return of the monarchy. Napoleon is crowned Emperor of the French. The powers of Europe, however, do not recognise its legitimacy and declare war.