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6.3/10
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8 user 1 critic

Austerlitz (1960)

Another of Napoleon's adventures in this epic reconstruction of the battle of Austerlitz, where he had the greatest victory of his career, over the Russians.

Director:

Abel Gance
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierre Mondy ... Napoléon Bonaparte
Martine Carol ... Joséphine de Beauharnais
Claudia Cardinale ... Pauline Bonaparte
Leslie Caron ... Mlle de Vaudey
Vittorio De Sica ... Pope Pius VII
Elvire Popesco Elvire Popesco ... Laetitia Bonaparte
Jean Marais ... Carnot
Michel Simon ... Alboise
Orson Welles ... Robert Fulton
Georges Marchal ... Le maréchal Jean Lannes
Jack Palance ... Gen. Weirother
Jean-Louis Trintignant ... Ségur fils
Rossano Brazzi ... Lucien Bonaparte
Jean Mercure Jean Mercure ... Talleyrand
Anna Maria Ferrero ... Elisa Bonaparte
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Storyline

Another of Napoleon's adventures in this epic reconstruction of the battle of Austerlitz, where he had the greatest victory of his career, over the Russians. Written by Adalberto Fornario

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

French

Release Date:

1960 (Yugoslavia) See more »

Also Known As:

A Batalha de Austerlitz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Elvire Popesco. See more »

Goofs

In the scene in William Pitt's office in London which is set in the early 1800's, you can see in the background through the window the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, 60 years before they were built. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original French version runs longer than the English dubbed international one. It contains extra scenes including ones with Napoleon visiting his mistress and of Ségur (Jean-Louis Trintignant) imagining the coronation of the emperor for the palace staff. See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Seul le cinéma (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sad thing
13 February 2006 | by MacBobbySee all my reviews

This movie is a huge disappointment. You'd expect the battle of Austerlitz to be the core subject as the title suggests, but it's not. Most of the movie is about the Napoleonic era before the battle, with a pseudo historic perspective. If you know just a little about history, you'll find yourself yawning most of the time, as Abel Gance tries to describe the situation for hours, through endless dialogs. Then when Napoleon is about to be crowned, you think: oh no, not another half hour just for that scene. Fortunately there's no coronation scene, but.. worse: it's told! You guess correctly: Gance didn't have the budget to do it. He might as well just skipped the whole episode.

By then you've waited more than 2 hours and still no battle in sight. At last the battle comes but what you see is a tragic waste. The tactics and whereabouts of the battle are not shown but told, and you can hardly understand what's going on. A cavalry charges from right to left (a couple hundred horses), and you assume it's the Austrian cavalry. Then you're told that they're defeated by the French, and you see the same guys charging from left to right (they don't even seem to have switched costumes). Parts of the battle were filmed in studio, with ridiculous painted backgrounds. The close combat scenes are unrealistic at best. Soldiers fall apparently for no reason, and if nobody told you about the outcome, you wouldn't know who won or lost. The last scene with the French Army singing the national anthem completes the cinematographic disaster.

All in all, you sit back with the feeling that this movie was conceived and shot in the early days of movie making, not in 1960: it's not a movie about Austerlitz, it's the pathetic attempt of an aging man trying to describe the glory of an emperor he admired. The result is a boring picture that doesn't even enhance our historic understanding of the Napoleon era (in spite of Gance's attempts to stick to some historic details).


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