Napoleon (1927) HOME 
Their stomachs empty, but their heads filled with songs, leave history to pass into legend'  -  Title Card
1 2 3 H  (Top 3 Silent Films)

In the film Vendémiaire refers to months in the French Republican Calendar (Sept. to mid Oct.) and Thermidor (mid July to mid Aug.)
Abel Gance obviously wanted this to be a technological marvel, but only if the technologies worked well for the film.  A 3-D segment was shot for example but not used.
Several cast members were wounded as a result of an unscheduled explosion, including director Abel Gance.

  Like Napoleon (portrayed as completely in control over men and self destiny), Abel Gance demonstrates full control over the film medium (he wrote, directed, edited and acted).  A superb individual achievement and a silent masterwork.


  Builds to many stirring moments with the final segment the strongest of all, where 3 screens display separate images along with multiple exposures so that at times you are watching several movies at once.  Then patriotic colors emerge and separate frames combine for an amazing and eternally original finale.


  Technically innovative throughout, like the sequence that cinematically fuses ocean waves with a National Convention – a brilliant effect and relevant to the concurrent story.

        » Brent Chastain,   

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Pauline Kael

Danny Peary, Guide for the Film Fanatic

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