Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Paramount Studios presents
The Emperor's New Clothes (2002)

"That man is not what he seems."
- Dr. Lambert (Tim McInnerny)

Review By: Dan Heaton   
Published: February 05, 2003

Stars: Ian Holm, Iben Hjejle, Tim McInnerny
Other Stars: Nigel Terry, Hugh Bonneville, Murray Melvin, Clive Russell
Director: Alan Taylor

MPAA Rating: PG for brief language
Run Time: 01h:35m:38s
Release Date: December 10, 2002
UPC: 097363408147
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B+B+A- D

DVD Review

Eugene Lenormand (Ian Holm) arrives in Paris as an unknown figure and becomes involved through chance with a group of affable fruit sellers. Standing in front of detailed city maps posted on the wall, he explains his battle plan for achieving maximum sales. The audience stares in wonder at his ingenuity and abilities to rouse them into action. You see, these effective traits originate from his actual identityŚNapoleon, the former emperor of France. Escaping from his forced exile at St. Helena, the small man has returned to regain his position. Due to odd circumstances, however, his new occupation may cause Napoleon to reconsider his original priorities.

Based on the 1992 novel The Death of Napoleon by Simon Leys, The Emperor's New Clothes presents the theory that Napoleon did not die in exile at St. Helena. Instead, he participated in an elaborate plan to pose as Lenormand and travel by ship towards France. After being partially detained in Antwerp, he travels across the countryside to Paris with his ambitions riding high. During the journey, Napoleon even stops at Waterloo and observes souvenirs of his past defeat. This comic sequence includes a clever moment with the former emperor sleeping below a sign that says "Napoleon slept here." These fun scenes raise the story above the typical romantic costume drama. While following a pretty straightforward format, the interesting screenplay keeps the events lively.

While attempting to meet his contact (who is unfortunately deceased) in Paris, Napoleon becomes surprisingly attached to Pumpkin (Iben Hjejle, High Fidelity), the soldier's widow. This connection may lead him to forsake plans of regaining his throne. Would a simpler life with Pumpkin be so terrible? Definitely not. Complications also ensue when the actual Lenormand (also Holm) refuses to acknowledge that he is not the Emperor Napoleon. He spends his days at St. Helena gorging himself on fine food and inventing lurid stories for his memoirs. Meanwhile, the real Napoleon faces internal struggles and even buys a costume and starts wearing it around the house. Of course, no one believes his claim to the throne, which could lead to eventual madness.

Ian Holm (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Sweet Hereafter) shines in the dual role and creates two unique individuals almost solely through his mannerisms. The actor has exhibited wonderful talent in a wide array of roles throughout his career, and it's refreshing to see him receive a leading role. Hjejle also does an impressive job in making Pumpkin seem believable as a soldier's wife. While Holm is 40 years her senior, their moments have a surprising tenderness that makes them believable. The supporting cast (especially the young boy) all play their roles nicely, even while receiving limited screen time. Tim McInnerny does well playing the jealous Dr. Lambert in an underwritten part.

The Emperor's New Clothes is a sweet, enjoyable picture that benefits greatly from Holm's top-notch lead performance. Director Alan Taylor has developed significant experience on some of television's most heralded series, including Homicide: Life on the Street, The Sopranos, and Six Feet Under. His straightforward approach here lacks the visual flair often seen in those shows, but it mostly works for the material. There are some impressive scenery shots, and the personal moments work effectively. While not a groundbreaking comedy, this tale does provide an entertaining experience.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The Emperor's New Clothes appears in a decent 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Its picture contains few defects or specks throughout the presentation. Especially impressive are the picturesque outdoor moments in the French countryside, which showcase excellent colors. The only drawback of this transfer is a decent amount of grain and less clarity during the night shots. Everything is still easy to follow, but it lacks the premier quality of the other moments.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: This disc utilizes an effective 5.1-channel Dolby Digital transfer, which conveys Rachel Portman's enjoyable score nicely. The music resonates from both the front and rear speakers, which creates an enjoyable viewing atmosphere. While not a super-power audio track, this transfer presents a significant amount of complexity. Also, the dialogue is easily understandable throughout the feature. This release also offers a 2.0-channel Dolby Surround track, which matches its counterpart almost entirely and gives only a slightler lesser experience.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: This release contains no extra features except a skimpy 15 chapter cues and English subtitles. It would have been interesting to learn more information from historians about Napoleon's actual life and Simon Ley's novel.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

When I originally viewed the previews for The Emperor's New Clothes in theaters, I found the idea compelling. Numerous ideas for comedy exist within this clever tale, and Ian Holm looked right for the part. The final result does fall a bit short in terms of silliness, but it exceeds my expectations in dramatic terms. While not a complete success, the story is definitely worth a look.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store