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The Best Napoleonic War Movies Ever Made 

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Updated June 14, 2019 2.3k votes 1k voters 228.8k views 17 items

List Rules Movies must take place during the Napoleon Wars

A list of the best films depicting the era of Napoleon in Europe. The Napoleonic Era is technically the fourth stage of the French Revolution, the chaotic series of events that started in the summer of 1789 with the Tennis Court Oath and the Storming of the Bastille prison. It begins in 1799 with General Napoleon Bonaparte's coup of 18 Brumaire, replacing the French Government with a Consulate and ends with Bonaparte's defeat at Waterloo in 1815.

Napoleon's various invasions and occupations across Europe during this time - including Germany, Russia, Austria, Spain and Italy - inspired many of these films, creating a general air of unpredictability and anxiety across the continent. Some of the likewise directly deal with the military side of Napoleon's Empire, such as "The Duellists" (which follows two French officers in Napoleon's army) and "Master and Commander" (about the crew of a British warship following an ambush by a French privateer.)

What are the best Napoleon movies? This is an Open List, so if you notice any great Napoleonic Era movies missing, add them at the bottom of the page. And be sure to vote for your favorite films to push them to the top of the list!

[Click here for the Complete Guide to All Napoleonic War Films, or for The Best Actors Who Played Napoleon Bonaparte]

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1
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Orson Welles, Christopher Plummer, Rod Steiger

Released: 1970

Directed by: Sergei Bondarchuk

Waterloo is a 1970 Soviet-Italian film directed by Sergei Bondarchuk and produced by Dino De Laurentiis. It depicts the story of the preliminary events and the Battle of Waterloo, and is famous ...more

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2
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Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Joseph Morgan

Released: 2003

Directed by: Peter Weir

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a 2003 epic historical drama film co-written and directed by Peter Weir, starring Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey, with Paul Bettany as Stephen ...more

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3
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The Duellists Harvey Keitel, Albert Finney, Pete Postlethwaite

Released: 1977

Directed by: Ridley Scott

The Duellists is a 1977 historical drama film and the directorial debut of Ridley Scott. It won the Best Debut Film award at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival. The basis of the screenplay is the ...more

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4
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Christopher Lee, Stanley Baker, Virginia Mayo

Released: 1951

Directed by: Raoul Walsh

Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. is a 1951 naval adventure film. It was directed by Raoul Walsh and stars Gregory Peck, Virginia Mayo, Robert Beatty and Terence Morgan. It was based upon three of ...more
5
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Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Anita Ekberg

Released: 1956

Directed by: King Vidor

This film is the first English-language film version of the novel by Leo Tolstoy. It is an American/Italian production, directed by King Vidor and produced by Dino De Laurentiis and Carlo Ponti. ...more
6
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Danielle Darrieux, Jean Marais, Jean-Pierre Aumont

Released: 1955

Directed by: Sacha Guitry

Napoléon is a 1955 French historical epic film directed by Sacha Guitry that depicts major events in the life of Napoleon. Napoleon is played by two actors, Daniel Gélin as a young ...more
7
Napoléon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Napoleonic War Movies Ever Made
valeriu-popa added John Malkovich Christian Clavier Isabella Rossellini Gérard Depardieu Alexandra Maria Lara

Released: 2002

Directed by: Yves Simoneau

Napoleon is a historical miniseries which explored the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 2002, it was the most expensive television miniseries in Europe, costing the equivalent of $US46,330,000 to ...more
8
Austerlitz is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Napoleonic War Movies Ever Made
Orson Welles, Claudia Cardinale, Jack Palance

Released: 1960

Directed by: Abel Gance

Austerlitz is a 1960 film directed by Abel Gance and starring Jean Marais, Rossano Brazzi, Jack Palance, Claudia Cardinale, Vittorio de Sica, Orson Welles, Leslie Caron and Elvire Popesco. ...more
9
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Countermoon added Ryan O'Neal, Leonard Rossiter, Hardy Krüger

Released: 1975

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Barry Lyndon is a 1975 British-American period drama film written, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the 1844 novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray. It ...more

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10
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Antonin Artaud, Albert Dieudonné, Gina Manès

Released: 1927

Directed by: Abel Gance

Napoléon is a 1927 epic silent French film directed by Abel Gance that tells the story of Napoleon's early years. On screen, the title is Napoléon vu par Abel Gance, meaning ...more

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11
Monsieur N. is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Napoleonic War Movies Ever Made
DGiiii added Monsieur N. Philippe Torreton

Directed by: Antoine de Caunes

12
H.M.S. Defiant is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Napoleonic War Movies Ever Made
solomovies added H.M.S. Defiant
13
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kerthialfad added Daniel Olbrychski, Michał Żebrowski, Andrzej Seweryn

Released: 1999

Directed by: Andrzej Wajda

Pan Tadeusz: The Last Foray in Lithuania is a 1999 Polish film directed by Andrzej Wajda. It is based on the eponymous epic poem by Polish poet, writer and philosopher Adam Mickiewicz. As in the ...more
14
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DGiiii added Gérard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant, Fabrice Luchini

Released: 1994

Directed by: Yves Angelo

Le Colonel Chabert is a 1994 film directed by Yves Angelo and starring Gérard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant, and Fabrice Luchini. It is based on the novel Le Colonel Chabert by Honoré de
15
Le Souper is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Napoleonic War Movies Ever Made
DGiiii added Le Souper Claude Brasseur Claude Rich

Directed by: Édouard Molinaro

16
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bojanthebest added Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Jessica Harper

Released: 1975

Directed by: Woody Allen

This film is a 1975 comedy film by Woody Allen. It is a satire on Russian literature starring Allen and Diane Keaton as Boris and Sonja, Russians living during the Napoleonic Era who engage in ...more

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17
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Monica Bellucci, Matt Damon, Lena Headey

Released: 2005

Directed by: Terry Gilliam

The Brothers Grimm is a 2005 adventure fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam. The film stars Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, and Lena Headey in an exaggerated and fictitious portrait of the Brothers ...more

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