Napoleon & Love (1974/Acorn Media DVD)
C Sound: C Extras: C- Episodes: B-
of Napoleon has so many aspects to it and no one has been able to nail the
history well, despite some interesting attempts including Able Gance’s controversial
1927 silent classic Napoleon. Stanley Kubrick almost did until his project
fell apart and he moved onto the underrated Barry Lyndon in 1975. Though
he has also been a sort of joke in even pop culture, Rod Steiger played him in
the 1971 feature film Waterloo, but
it did so bad that it even killed Kubrick’s project. Still, the subject continues to fascinate and
a TV mini-series called Napoleon &
Love was made in 1974 on British TV and focuses on the women in his life.
plays the legendary military leader before his rise to success, first meeting
Josephine (Billie Whitelaw) and runs nine hour-long shows. Holm does not try to be too French and is an
underrated actor who actually does a decent job in the role. Soon, you believe he is (or could be) the
real man and the rest of the series falls into place. Starting at age 25 when he is a general, this
is not bad throughout and holds up pretty well.
The money is on the screen and looks good.
also helps and also includes Ronald Hines, Peter Bowles, Peter Jeffrey, Edward
de Souza, T.P. McKenna, Catherine Schell, Tony Anholt, Adrienne Corri and even
Tim Curry just before he made Rocky
Horror Picture Show. It is a
consistently smart and well-written piece in line with the last golden period
of British TV, so it is nice opt have it on DVD finally. Those who go out of their way to see it will
not be disappointed.
warns of source limits and the 1.33 X 1 image is a bit soft and limited
throughout, despite some good color from whatever source they used from the
original professional PAL analog taping.
Flaws include video noise, video banding, PAL cross color and even some
tape damage. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
is also a few generations down, but they have tried to fix this to some
extent. Extras include text cast
filmographies and a historical events timeline, but that is all.
- Nicholas Sheffo