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The Emperor's New Clothes ( I vestiti nuovi dell'imperatore )

Ian Holm , Iben Hjejle , Alan Taylor    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: 21.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Emperor's New Clothes ( I vestiti nuovi dell'imperatore ) + Monsieur N [DVD] + Duellists, The [DVD] [1977]
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Product details

  • Actors: Ian Holm, Iben Hjejle, Tim McInnerny, Tom Watson, Nigel Terry
  • Directors: Alan Taylor
  • Producers: The Emperor's New Clothes ( I vestiti nuovi dell'imperatore ), The Emperor's New Clothes, I vestiti nuovi dell'imperatore
  • Format: Import, PAL, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Run Time: 105.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026R7RTM


Italy released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Italian ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), Italian ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Behind the scenes, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Movies, especially science fiction films, love to ask, what if? This tepid romantic comedy has the disadvantage of imagining a what-if that probably hasn't crossed many people's minds lately. What if Napoleon Bonaparte, in his exile on St. Helena, had arranged for a double to impersonate him so he could sneak back to France to reclaim his imperial status?The film, adapted from a novel by Simon Leys, stars Ian Holm in the dual roles of Napoleon and Eugene, the drunken, buffoonish deckhand and look-alike who becomes his stand-in. Although there's plenty of opportunity for low comedy in the notion of an emperor and an oaf exchanging roles, "The Emperor's New Clothes," much to its detriment, doesn't pursue them. The film, directed by Alan Taylor, would rather think of itself as a witty, high-toned costume comedy with a reassuring message. ...The Emperor's New Clothes ( I vestiti nuovi dell'imperatore )

Customer Reviews

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Veteran actor IAN HOLM enjoys himself immensely in THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES, a "what if" historical drama set in 1821.

On the remote Atlantic island of St. Helena, Napoleon Bonaparte (HOLM) lives in exile after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo six years previously. With a small entourage of loyal followers and heavily guarded by British soldiers, the sea constantly patrolled by British warships, things look bleak for The Little Corporal. Yet his life is about to change forever...

A secret plot by a network of loyal Bonapartists is in motion. The idea is to swap the ex-Emperor with a double, able-bodied seaman Eugene Lenormand (also HOLM) while Napoleon escapes back to France via ship. Their identities will be switched for the duration of the journey. Once installed in Paris, Napoleon will reclaim his former throne after the doppelganger on St Helena, the real Eugene Lenormand, proclaims himself a fraud by revealing his true identity to a shocked world.

However, things do not go as planned. Napoleon's ship changes course mid-journey and he misses a crucial link with his supporter network but on finally arriving in Paris (via Belgium and a stop at the Waterloo battlefield!) he finds himself alone and friendless.

The contact he is due to meet here has just died and Napoleon soon strikes up a friendship with the man's young widow, melon seller Nicole "Pumpkin" Truchaut (IBEN HJEJLE) while at the same time inciting the jealousy of the local Doctor Lambert (TIM McINNERNY), who soon suspects that the new arrival is not all he seems to be. Meanwhile, on St Helena, the real Eugene Lenormand is beginning to enjoy his newfound role as Emperor...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple contentment is sometimes its own reward 10 Aug 2006
Napoleon died in 1821 in comfortable exile on the island of St. Helena, right? Nope. That's the alternative history premise in the lighthearted THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES.

Ian Holm, recently seen on the big screen as Bilbo Baggins in LORD OF THE RINGS, does double duty as Bonaparte and his look-alike, Eugene Lenormand. The latter is a swab jockey pulled off a passing merchant ship and secretly substituted for Bonaparte on St. Helena while the Emperor sets sail on the same vessel for France in the guise of the common sailor (with all his attendant duties). The plan is that, after enough time is allowed Napoleon to reach Paris, Lenormand will announce himself as a fraud to his British jailers, a revelation sure to make all the supermarket tabloids. Reading of this in Paris, the Emperor will emerge from the closet, so to speak, and retake his throne with the help of widespread popular support. The plan doesn't take into account that Eugene might enjoy his new existence in captivity. As he remarks to the French conspirators, he's been scrubbing ships' decks for all the years that Napoleon was Emperor, and now it's his turn to be pampered. So, in the meantime, the real Napoleon must cool his heels in Paris while staying in the home of the widow Truchaut (Iben Hjejle), alias "Pumpkin", who manages a cadre of street-roaming melon sellers. As luck would have it, Pumpkin's husband, who was one of the very few plotters privy to Napoleon's escape plan, died shortly before the Emperor's arrival. Oh, well.

Holm is splendid in his dual role, and Hjejle is engaging as Pumpkin. However, the two together, especially Holm's Napoleon persona, never quite made this viewer believe that the pair had a future together no matter how much Pumpkin wanted it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the wildwind 18 Feb 2011
Best of British film making. Ian Holm at his best. Loved it! Recommend to anyone with a romantic historical streak! Great Sunday afternoon film!!!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another take on history 7 April 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had seen the end of this film on TV and went looking for the DVD to see what had led to the ending I saw. The film is well worth watching, with great settings and excellent acting.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great acting superb settings and music 7 Mar 2011
By Peter Wade VINE VOICE
I don't normally bother with films like this as I find them too clever.

It is a what if story. Napoleon is exiled to St Helena and a plan is hatched to have him replaced by a nobody. It is handy that Ian Holm was available as Napoleon and even more handy that he was also available to play his double. This got over the problem of his British captors not knowing that he has been substituted.

He makes his way back to France and is unrecongised but finds love. The scenes in Paris are well filmed as obviously Paris doesn't look like that anymore.

There is an interesting scene when he uses to organisational ability to galvanise all the melon sellers like a military campaign to make a lot of money. We see the old Napoleon with his maps and stragetic thinking.

He tells his new partner Pumpkin who he is but she doesn't believe.

When he tells a doctor who he is he takes him to lunatic asylum and he sees what happens to people who claim to be Napoloen. I tHought that was a very clever scene.

I won't give away the ending. It was the ending that concerned me as it could have a fiasco of the whole story but it wAs well done.

All in all an underrated gem that I had not heard of before. Desrves a lot more publicity as Ian Holm is a geat actor and he did it well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A great storyline and some true gems in this film
A great storyline and some true gems in this film. Irreverent in parts, humorous and semi tragic, Sir Ian Holm is just superb and generates great empathy
Published 6 months ago by Julien Sweeting
5.0 out of 5 stars A great what if story
This is a wonderful story of what if's and second chances.
What if Napoleon did not die on st helena what if he had a double who replaced him to allow him to escape to... Read more
Published 12 months ago by N. KEMPTON
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and poignant film
Ian Holm reprises his role as Napoleon - previously the only good scene in Time Bandits - in a charming film, around the 'what if' scenario of Napoleon managing to escape from St... Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by G. T. Coulton
4.0 out of 5 stars More whimsical than biting, but extremely likeable
The Emperor's New Clothes got lost in the shuffle when FilmFour went to the wall, sitting on the shelf for a couple of years before a negligible release. Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2012 by Trevor Willsmer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor's New Clothes
This is a beautiful film. Post-Napoleonic Paris is recreated with lovely buildings, clothing, children, furniture, wood burners and candles. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2012 by Constantius10
5.0 out of 5 stars Gem of a film!
This little film is an absolute deliight! I saw it half way through on more four TV and wanted to see it all the way through so was delighted to find it here. It's a "What if? Read more
Published on 4 Sep 2011 by Immortal Beloved
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