Although 'Desiree' is now dated in style and technicolour, and the acting by Marlon Brando as Napoleon is rather stiff, Jean Simmons brings the whole story to life with her irresistible charm and enthusiasm in the eponymous lead role. I bought the film because I loved the original novel by Anne-Marie Selinko about Napoleon's first love, Desiree Clary, and I love Jean Simmons. I was not disappointed. There were some unexpected pleasures such as Elizabeth Sellars as Desiree's sister Julie, and Michael Rennie was dashing and attractive as General Bernadotte. This is a real romance and Desiree really did become Queen of Sweden (despite her early dislike of the cold north) and establish the Norwegian royal dynasty. A fascinating piece of history and despite some obvious flaws in stilted dialogue and some of the acting, I enjoyed it thoroughly. A good matinee with chocolates, especially for the older generation. It reminded me of its contemporary, 'War and Peace' and Jean Simmons was every bit as good in 'Desiree' as Audrey Hepburn in 'War and Peace' - in fact I would say she was better!