Napoleon Auf St. Helena (1929)

Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature]  |   Countries - Germany   |  
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Napoleon auf St. Helena was the next-to-last film of director Lupu-Pick, who died by his own hand in 1931. Werner Krauss is a physically inappropriate choice for the role of Napoleon, though he plays the part with his usual consummate skill. This study of Napoleon's last days in exile doesn't offer much in the way of action, but is more interesting as a "chamber piece." Especially well handled is the curious relationship between the Little Corporal and his "host," the British governor of St. Helena (played by Albert Basserman). The screenplay was by Abel Gance, whose own 1927 filmization of the life of Napoleon remains one of the unchallenged masterpieces of the silent cinema.