Show Business: Napoleon: An Epic out of Exile

After 54 years, a classic is triumphantly restored

On April 7, 1927, Charles de Gaulle and his friend, André Malraux, saw the Paris premiere of a new movie. At its end, the two great-men-to-be were on their feet, cheering. Malraux remembered De Gaulle waving his long arms and crying, "Bravo, magnifique!" It is said that De Gaulle never forgot the images of glory he found that evening in Abel Gance's epic reconstruction of another young soldier's climb to greatness, Napoleon.

Unfortunately, another movie captivated audiences that year: The Jazz Singer. The first talkie totally obscured the late, great silents like Napoleon. The Gance...

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