An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french


Magazine and News is a place where, every day, we bring you not only what’s going on in the Napoleonic world and interviews with those leading Napoleonic history today, but we also offer you Napoleonic pastimes, entertainments, and even recipes. Enjoy!

Latest updates :

Littérature et poésie : "The geographical plan of the Island & Forts of Ste Helena"
Bon appetit! : Turkey in the form of a turtle
Quiz : The major reforms of the Consulate and the Empire (August 2010)
anglegauche angledroit



  • LE DESTIN FABULEUX DE DÉSIRÉE CLARY, (The remarkable destiny of Désirée Clary), by Sacha Guitry - 1942

(Jean-Louis Barrault)
(by kind permission of Madame Jacqueline Aubart)

Désirée Clary (Gaby Morlay)
(by kind permission of Madame Jacqueline Aubart)

Napoleon (Sacha Guitry)
reading a despatch to his marshals
(by kind permission of Madame Jacqueline Aubart)

 Country : France

 Medium : Black and white

 Duration : 117'

 Video : René Chateau Vidéo - 1991

 Production : Édouard Harispuru / CCFC

 Scenario : Sacha Guitry

 Screenplay : Sacha Guitry

 Music : Adolphe Borchard

 Director of photography : Jean Bachelet

 Plot : From Marseilles where she met Napoleon to Stockholm where she became Queen, Désirée Clary wrote the pages of her extraordinary novel and followed the path of her destiny. The spectator watches fascinated at the irresistible rise of this petit bourgeois woman form the South of France along side the successes of her first fiancé Bonaparte and her husband Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. The film shows clearly that Bernadotte's opposition to the Empire at every step was merely out of jealousy.

 Cast : Jean-Louis Barrault (Bonaparte) ; Sacha Guitry (Napoleon) ; Gaby Morlay (Désirée Clary) ; Aimé Clariond (Joseph Bonaparte) ; Yvette Lebon (Julie Clary) ; Noël Roquevert (Fouché) ; Jacques Varennes (Bernadotte)

 Extract : « Napoleon. - Yes, Bernadotte, you did everything you could to save the Republic. So you see that it was doomed. It wasn't the Republic that you should have saved, my friend, it was France. It's a very serious but common error to suppose that by saving the regime you save the nation. Being a Republican is merely a matter of opinion. »

 Review : Despite some good lines and some well-played scenes, Guitry never gets beyond the conventional and there is a banality not to be seen in any other of his films. The performances are not very believable, particularly that by the author himself in the role of the Emperor. But the presence of soundtrack music very subtly placed at the very centre of the film, between the "Bonapartist" period and the epic "Napoleonic" period, shows well the author's imagination and talent.



Back to the home page

Return to the top section





Top of the page

Bulletin | My | Site Map | Contact us | Add to your favourites | Legal | ISSN 2272-1800