Napoleon Bonaparte, inspiring his own people with his military and political genius and his revolutionary fervor, became, within a few brief years, Emperor of the French and Master of all Europe.
In 1812, after 15 years of victory, he met with disaster in the Russian Campaign. By 1813 defeated by the combined forces of Austria, Russia, Prussia and England at Leipzig, Napoleon was driven to the very gates of Paris-there to await his destiny.

[Scene 1 , The Emperor's Abdication]

INTERIOR : The Palace of Fontainebleau

Several marshals are walking at the same pace in a corridor of the palace. Guard-soldier is standing by the door. When marshals come into the room, he salutes by hitting heel.
There's Napoleon alone in this room. He is standing, facing the window, clasping his hands behind his back.


Marshal Michel NEY : "There's no hope, Sire."
(Dan O'Herlihy)
Marshal SOULT : "We're defeated, Sire."
(Ivo Garrani)
NEY : "For twenty years, we followed you. You marched with glory through Europe."
SOULT : "We cannot even save a siege of the Paris."
NEY : "The Austrians......, they are in Versailles."

Napoleon turns around slowly.

NEY : "The Cossacks are watering their horses in the Seine."

Napoleon faces toward Ney. (He is putting on glasses.)

NEY : "They can hear the Prussian cannons in Montmartre."
SOULT : "There are four nations, four armies, four fronts against us."

Napoleon sits on the chair quietly. And he take off his bicorne with a tired look on his face.

NEY : "Abdicate."
SOULT : "Your enemies will allow you retire to the island of Elba with a personal-guard of thousand men." (*)
"It is an honorable exile, Sire."
NEY : "There's nothing left you to do, but abdicate."
Marshal OUDINOT : "Sign, Sire. You must sign."
(Jean Louis)

Napoleon takes off his glasses, glances at Marshal's face, and then he close his eyes slowly.

Emperor NAPOLEON : "Why?"
(Rod Steiger)
NAPOLEON : "So you all can keep the titles, these're titles I gave you?" "What were you before me? Nothing. ..... I made you."

NEY : "You must abdicate, Sire."
SOULT : "Sire."

Napoleon looks up irritatingly.

NAPOLEON : "Listen to me, Ney."
"If there's anything I despise, ... it's ingratitude."


NAPOLEON : "What can I do?" "What?"
"I sent to the Emperor of Russia for peace. He refused me."
"What can we do?" "What can we do? What can we do?"
"We can fight!"

After the shouting, suddenly, Napoleon stands up and comes near the desk, points on the map, and then he raves incessantly.

NAPOLEON : "Fight! I fortify Paris. I disengage from Austria. I find a line and retreat to Italy. Above all, we must consolidate, consolidate, mobilize, mobilize, train the recruits on the march!"
Marshal MACDONALD : "There are no more men to mobilize."
(Giuliano Raffaelli)
NEY : "The army doesn't want the same thing to happen to Paris that happened to Moscow."

Marshal SAINT-CYR : "Wellington..."
(Filippo Perego)
NAPOLEON : "Wellington?" "Why is it always Wellington?"

Napoleon sighs, and He is at his wit's end.

NAPOLEON : "Wellington, Wellington, Wellington, Wellington."
"Why're All so afraid of Wellington? Because he beat you in Spain? That's why?"
SOULT : "France will not follow you." (*)
NAPOLEON : "France will follow me to the stars, if I give her another victory."
NEY : "You have no choice." "You have to give up the throne."

Napoleon smiles.

NAPOLEON : "Oh, Ney, Ney, Ney, the throne?"
"Do you know what the throne is, Ney?"
"The throne........, is an over-decorated piece of furniture."
"It's what's behind the throne that counts."
"My brains, my ambitions, my desires, my hope, ......"
"My imagination, and above all, ..... my will."
NAPOLEON : "I can't believe my ears."
"You all stand before me waving a peace of paper crying: `Abdicate, Abdicate`."

Napoleon shouts.

NAPOLEON : "I will not! I will not!, not!!, not!!!"


Napoleon droops his head, and sits down. Then, Emperor's adjutant walks into this room. He whispers something in Napoleon's ear. Napoleon thinks hard for a short time.

NAPOLEON : "All his men?"

Adjutant nods slightly. Napoleon is stunned to hear this news. He stands up and walks around.

NAPOLEON : "When?"
Col. LABEDOYERE (*): "This morning."
(Philippe Forquet)

NAPOLEON : [ There is nothing left to do. .... Sign. ]
NAPOLEON : [ Elba, ... Why Elba? ]

While Marshals are keeping an eye on their Emperor, Napoleon signs to abdicate sullenly. And he leaves this room by trudging along.

LABEDOYERE: "Marshal Marmont has surrendered his army to the Austrians." "It was his last hope."

[Scene 2 , The Farewell at Fontainebleau]

EXTERIOR : The Courtyard of the White-Horse

Before departure to the isle of Elba, Napoleon reviewed the Old-Guard for the last time.  A parade held in the courtyard of the White-Horse.
The Old-Guard has lined up, and the eagle-color of the Guard is the center. Napoleon came to the center of courtyard, and begins to talk to his devoted Old-Guards.

NAPOLEON : "Soldiers!..." "...of my Old-Guard!"
"After twenty years.....I have come..... to say..... goodbye!"
"France has fallen!..." " remember me!"
"Though I love you all,... I cannot... embrace you all."

He comes near an eagle-color of the Guard and kisses it.

NAPOLEON : "With this kiss.... remember me."
"Goodbye, my soldiers!.... Goodbye, my sons!...."

He raises his left hand for them and is nearly choked with emotion.

NAPOLEON : "Goodbye,..... my children."

He can not control his tears and covers his face by the flag.

Many old soldiers who have been never shaken are in tears. They saw Napoleon embraced the eagle color of them. Their hearts are full of sorrow over parting their master.
Napoleon gets into the coach for the journey to Elba, and then he leaves the palace.


[Titoli - "Ritorno dall'Elba"]

On 26 February, 1815, a small vessel slipped away from the island of Elba. When the season of violets bloom came his prophecy came true. Napoleon, now, is on the ship to retake his Empire. His ship is being rolled by the grand waves, but he is gazing at the French coast  in a dark. From the land of exile, the former hero, regaining the hope and the shine, has come back. Once again, he resolves to get a glory for France. Finally, the last chapter of legend of the man who confronted fate has began.


[Scene 3 , The Monster's Escaped]

INTERIOR : The Palace of Tuileries


Three full-dressed men come up the stairs all in a fluster. Running into the room, they are out of breath.
There are King, prince, princess, and other. They were feeling quite relaxed in contrast.

Dr Vitrolles : "Your Majesty!"
(Camillo Angelini-Rota)
"The monster ... has escaped from Elba."

Dr Vitrolles hands a letter to king's minister. He opens the letter.

SOULT : "We can thank God! He is mad enough to land in France."
King LOUIS XVIII : "Well, let's not ... dramatise yet."
(Orson Welles)
LOUIS XVIII : "Napoleon and his followers ... are thousand men."
"They are not really dangerous ... yet."
"Marshal Soult, You'll keep command of our troops here in Paris."
"Marshal Ney, ..." "You will be the first to confront the werewolf."

Royalists become aware of his unusual attitude.

LOUIS XVIII : "I know you love this man."
NEY : "I did. ... Once!"
"But I promise you Majesty I'll bring him back to Paris in an iron cage."
LOUIS XVIII : "............"

Two marshals salute by hitting heel, and then they go out.

LOUIS XVIII : "How they exaggerate all this! ... The soldiers."
"'In an iron cage'?" "Ha!" "Nobody asked for that."

[Scene 4 , Taking the Fifth]

EXTERIOR : A Field of Laffrey in vicinity of Grenoble

Napoleon leads the Old-Guard, and comes straight along this road.
But where they're going, many hostile troops, commanded by Ney, were waiting for them to come. (*)

Guard Soldier A : "There's no way around."
Guard Soldier B : "The way is forward."
Guard Officer : "The second column!, at a run, to the right, move!"

They are an explosive situation.

Royal Officer : "Present!"

Royal infantryman's ready to fire, presenting their muskets.

The Old-Guards intend to take a countermeasure, but Napoleon controls this act. He walks forward alone, and stands still, clasping his hands behind his back. He is in front of the muzzle of enemy muskets, ready to risk his life.

NAPOLEON : "Soldiers of the Fifth! ... " (*)
"Do you recognize me?"

Napoleon takes a few steps forward alone.

NAPOLEON : "If ... you want to kill your emperor, ..."

He laughs.

NAPOLEON : "... here I am."


Royal Officer, Colonel Delessart : "Fire!!"
(Franco Fantasia)


Nobody shoots. But then, a young soldier loses consciousness and falls down, suddenly, the field resounds with thunderous applause.

Cheer : "Vive l'emperor!" "Vive l'emperor!!!!"

Napoleon is covered with soldiers's cheer, replying by putting up his hands with a smile. Soldiers, excited, are going to touch to their emperor, but Guards stop them.
And then Napoleon comes to front of Ney at a slow pace. After silence, Ney throws away his saber to mean surrender. But Napoleon hands back soon this saber to Ney.

NAPOLEON : "Follow me to Grenoble."

Ney nods slightly. Napoleon takes and puts up his bicorne. Again, they give a shout of joy for their Emperor.

[Scene 5 , The Return of the Emperor]

EXTERIOR : A Street in Paris

The Proclaimers :
"It was the cry of injured honor that brought me back to France."
"From Elba, I saw the rights of France misprized and thrown aside." "My victory is certain."
"My eagles will fly from steeple to steeple."
"From Elba, I saw the rights of France misprized and thrown aside. ..." (Repeat)

INTERIOR : A room of Hotel-de-ville

Napoleon is dressing up himself using valet's hand.
He puts on his bicorne, and looks at Ney.

NAPOLEON : "Straight?"

Ney nods with smile.

NAPOLEON : "We'll come then. Show them your redhead."

EXTERIOR : A Balcony

Citizens are singing a revolutionary song "AH-CA-IRA". Coming out to the street, everyone welcomes his returning, calling his name. In a balcony, Napoleon replies to their cheer by waving his hat with a smile.

People A : "Hurrah for the Emperor!"
People B : "Napoleon! Napoleon!"

Then Ney appears in the balcony, and waves his hat.
Napoleon calms down people to do speech.

NAPOLEON : "I have come back!"

Citizens are excited.

NAPOLEON : "I have come back only to make France happy!"

An old retired soldier who lost both legs is very proud. All of them unanimously support their Emperor and express their discontent about the Bourbons.

Retired Soldier: "The Bourbons to the compost!"
People C: "Hang the traitors!"

Napoleon is inflated with pride, and he asserts it in such a way.

NAPOLEON : "I am France and France is me!"

Citizens are more excited.
Old retired soldier is carried on Grenadier's shoulder. And he say;

Retired Soldier : "Hurrah! Napoleon has come back to us. He's come back."

EXTERIOR : A Balcony

NAPOLEON :"I will never forget your face, Ney, the way used for me, when you forced me to abdicate."
NEY : "I did have to do ... for France."
NAPOLEON : "I know what's good for France. I understand you made a promise to the King."
NEY : "Yes, Sire."
NAPOLEON : "Something about a cage?"
NEY : "Yes."
NAPOLEON : "What was it? Exactly!"
NEY : "I said I'd bring you back to Paris ... in an iron cage."

Napoleon laughs.

NAPOLEON : "That's what I heard you said."

Again, Napoleon faces toward excited citizen.

NAPOLEON : "The fat king must be carried from the throne!"
"He has corrupted the honour of Frenchmen!"

Everybody is getting angry with king, and they are burning king doll.

People C : "Hang the traitors!"

[Scene 6 , The Flight of The Bourbons]

INTERIOR : The Palace of Tuileries

King comes down the stairs gloomily. He is greatly disappointed that he will be exiled again. To see him off, King's family are waiting for him, and they are very sad about their misfortune.

LOUIS XVIII : "Perhaps the people ... will let me go ... as they let him come."

King gets into Royal coach for the exile. And then he go out the palace.

[Scene 7, Bring the hero to home]

A street is resounding with thunderous applause. Excited people are welcoming their emperor, thronging emperor's coach.

People F : "He is back, He's back! The Emperor is back!"
People G : "Now France will live again!"

Napoleon gets out of the coach.

People H : "Long live the Emperor!"

Raptured, many people are singing and dancing. People and Soldiers carry Napoleon on their shoulders, and they enter the palace.

People I : "He will lead us to glory again!"
People J : "Our Emperor! Our emperor is back!"
People K : "Home! Home! Bring the hero home!"
Citoyenne :"Vive le Napoleon!"

After said so, she throws the flowers.

Everybody chorused "Vive le Napoleon" many times for a long time.

[Scene 8, The New Chief of staff]

INTERIOR : The Palace of Tuileries

The court is full of ministers, officers, nobles, and ladies. Everybody dressed up, and welcomed Emperor politely.

NAPOLEON : "Caulaincourt, Mollien, Mole, Fouche." (*)
"See me after half hour. We have a small problem to solve."
Joseph FOUCHE : "What?, Sire"
(Rodolfo Lodi)
NAPOLEON : "What!?" "Why, when France wakes up tomorrow-morning, it must have a government."

Napoleon laughs.

NAPOLEON : "Drouot!"
Gen. DROUOT : "Yes, Sire."
(Gianni Garko)
NAPOLEON : "Let me tell you something."
"The most precious quality of life .. is loyalty."

Napoleon turns to Ney, and says;


And then Napoleon turns around.

"And you Drouot, are a man, a rare man," "untainted and true."
"Will you join me? I need you."
DROUOT : "With all my heart, Sire."
NAPOLEON : "Thank you Drouot."

NAPOLEON : "Soult."

Soult with stiff face was standing at the corner. Napoleon beckons him to come closer.

NAPOLEON : "I see you got my invitation."
SOULT : ".... Yes, Sire."
NAPOLEON : "I understand you're no longer king's Minister of War."
SOULT : "Obviously not, Sire."
NAPOLEON : "Obviously not, Soult."

This talk is disturbed by all the others.

NAPOLEON : "Silence!"
"You're to be my chief of staff. Accept?"
SOULT : "..... I accept, Sire."
NAPOLEON : "Good Soult." "All's well that ends well."

[Scene 9, The communiques]

INTERIOR : A room of The Palace of Tuileries

Napoleon is dictating a letter to his secretaries.

NAPOLEON : "Madame ...."
"Your son Ferdinand was killed ..."
"when he fell off a horse" ".. at a review."
NAPOLEON : "No, no, no, no, Musset must go." (*)
"We need more conscripts! We need more men."
"We must sweep the area again."
NAPOLEON : "Your son was very brave and persistent in his duties." "I am sorry, Madame, .. that fate hasn't been more discriminating."

Napoleon changed the topic.

NAPOLEON : "To my dear Prince Alexis." (*)
"I did not usurp the crown." "I found it! ... in the gutter!"
"And I! ... I picked it up! ... with my sword."
"And it was the people, Alexis," "the people! ... who put it on my head."

Napoleon mimicked putting crown on his head by hand.

NAPOLEON : "He who saves a nation violates no law."

Napoleon took a rest for a while. He takes a medicine, drinks water.

NAPOLEON : "To my beloved wife."
"I beg you not only my wife but as daughter of Austria, my enemy." "Please return to me ... my most precious possession."
"My son."

Napoleon walked around, and lay on maps near fireplace. He, again, changes the topic.

NAPOLEON : "To the Prince Regent, England." (*)
"Royal Highness, You have been my most generous enemy for twenty years."
"But now I want, .... I want peace. .... peace .."
"Therefore I protest the presence of Wellington ..."

Suddenly, Napoleon stopped dictating, and he is deep in thought.

NAPOLEON : "........"
"... My son ... is my future. ..."
"And I would rather see him dead than raised as a captive Austrian prince." "...."

[Scene 10, The declaration of war]

INTERIOR : A corridor

Four emperor's staffs are waiting. Then, Napoleon comes closer to them. He has diplomatic papers.

NAPOLEON : "Well, they've done it. To declare me an enemy of humanity, all Europe has declared war against me. Not against France, but against me."
Gen. LABEDOYERE (*): "They dignify you, Sire, by making you a nation."

Napoleon laughs.

NAPOLEON : "Dignify!?"
"Dignify? They deny me the decency of law."
"They make it legal that any clown can kill me." (*)

Napoleon changes the topic.

NAPOLEON : "What's a news of Wellington?"
SOULT : "Still in Brussels, Sire."
NAPOLEON : "Still with old Blucher? ..."
NEY : "They started the war." "Let them bleed!"
NAPOLEON : "Yes, let'em bleed."
"Well, I will discuss peace over Wellington's dead body. That's my peace table." (*)

[Scene 11, Marshal Soult's News]

INTERIOR : A bathroom

There is a bathtub in the room. Napoleon is taking a bath up to his chest. He is sleeping, covered by a towel. But He awaked by valet's whisper.

Valet CONSTANT (*): "Marshal Soult, Sire." "It's urgent."
(Orazio Orlando)
NAPOLEON : "It's always urgent."

Napoleon said so sleepily, and closed his eyes again. But he noticed that valet is waiting his permission.

NAPOLEON : "Well, show him in."

Soult is coming into this room.

SOULT : "The armies of the Wellington and Blucher has separated, Sire."
NAPOLEON : "Separated?"
SOULT : "Yes, Sire."
NAPOLEON : "Separated!?"
SOULT : "Yes."

Soult smiles.

NAPOLEON : "Ha, Ha. I wonder what history will say of them?"
"And what'd we do, Soult? We'll push Blucher aside and march onto Wellington, won't it?"
SOULT : "Yes."
NAPOLEON : "Then it will be a bloody day."
SOULT : "Yes, Sire."
NAPOLEON : "Oh, yes, Soult. ..."
"Everything depends on one big battle, just like at Marengo." (*)
"Thank you, Soult."

Soult salutes by hitting heel, and then he goes out. Napoleon left alone in this room is deep in thought.

NAPOLEON : [ But at Marengo, I was young. ]

And he closed his eyes to sweep away bad thought.

To next page