The Emperor's New Clothes

Synopsis: Napoleon, exiled, devises a plan to retake the throne. He'll swap places with commoner Eugene Lenormand, sneak into Paris, then Lenormand will reveal himself and Napoleon will regain his throne. Things don't go at all well; first, the journey proves more difficult than expected, but more disastrously, Lenormand enjoys himself too much to reveal the deception. Napoleon adjusts somewhat uneasily to the life of a commoner while waiting, while Lenormand gorges on rich food.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Alan Taylor
Production: Paramount Classics
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
107 min

You've got it backwards.

Try it the other way around.

No, that's not how it ended.

Go back.


It didn't end there.

It didn't end like that at all.

Twist that ring.

That's it.

Let me tell you

what really happened.

Sire, your bath is ready.

You're four minutes late.

I will not tolerate this slackness,

Marchand. Bath time is 10:00 sharp.

A precise routine dissolves the day,

you understand?

It helps me forget the time

I've spent on this hateful rock.

England feared peace more than war.

Why? They're afraid

of our friendship...

our doctrines, our example.

I summoned the English ambassador

and said if his idiot king wanted...

to be the first to draw his sword,

I'd be the last to sheathe it.

It was magnificent.

Swords and bayonets danced

in the sunlight above their heads.

The Old Guard,

the Imperial Guard...

20,000 men, formed

in a deep square around me.

I called on them

for their allegiance.

"Do you swear to perish

in defense of your emperor?"

And like a peal of thunder

came the answer, "We swear it!"

I hope you're getting all this down,

Captain Nicholls.

Sir, my commander wishes to be

informed as to your well-being.

Your commander's cowardice

is a disgrace to his king.

You can tell him

his authority stops there.

There, by that garden gate.

Captain Nicholls,

you are on foreign soil.

On the double, man!

Enough of memoirs.

Let us turn our attention

to the future.

A cargo ship bound for Brest has

dropped anchor a mile off the coast.

By midnight, our man

will be here in your place.

And I shall be on my way to France.

You will, of course,

be traveling incognito and...

Incognito, yes, but in

what capacity will I be traveling?

A galley hand, sire.

It is in the utmost need.

Even so, a position above decks

would've been more appropriate.

Carry on.

An agent will greet you on the dock

to speed Your Majesty to Paris.


Whereupon the double

will reveal himself...

and all the world

shall learn of your escape.

The French papers

will trumpet the news.

Citizens will take to the streets.

Loyal garrisons will raze the white

flag of the hated Bourbon king...

and raise once more

the beloved tricolor.

And then I shall come forward.

Yes. It is the only way.

So many have betrayed me.

I place my trust

in only two things now:

My will...

and the love

of the people of France.


The prisoner is well.


The prisoner is well.


The prisoner is unwell.



The prisoner is missing.

Might as well

make a start now, lad.

Guard our memoirs well.

We shall continue them

when we meet again in Paris.

I'm eager to write many

new and glorious chapters.

Six years of English cooking.

Six years of gazing

at these dreary walls.

And at your gloomy face.

You're quite ugly. Do you know that?

I've never had the heart

to tell you.

Yes, sire.

Six years.

The mere passage of time...

cannot dim the radiance

of Your Imperial Majesty.

Your Highness has not changed

since the day of the coronation.

Yes, well, the wait is soon ended.

Indeed. Before long our emperor

will be back upon his throne...

settled once more

in the embrace of his people.

Reunited, one may hope...

with his noble son,

the king of Rome.

- My son?

- Yes, sire.

- A beautiful child.

- That child traded his destiny...

for the tawdry comforts

of the Viennese court.

Do not speak of him.

He turned his back

on his father and the Empire.

Let the Empire

turn its back on him.

Sire, the sentries

will return in a few moments.

I am ready.

The eagle flies

from belfry to belfry.

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