This film is held by the BFI (ID: 38528).


DRAMA. Historical. Napoleon ends his days on the island of St. Helena.

Rl.1 In October 1815, Napoleon is brought to the island of St. Helena, as an English prisoner. He receives a friendly welcome from the local inhabitants and some of his sadness is dissipated by the growing affection he feels for the family of Balcombe, an English planter, with whom he lives. The next year however, Hudson Lowe is made Governor of St. Helena and Napoleon is isolated to a greater extent. He is ordered to be moved to Longwood and he takes a touching farewell of the Balcombes and their friends. Lowe takes a series of petty measures which increase Napoleon's sadness. One of these is the order for the tree under which Napoleon has been accustomed to sit to be cut down. The Emperor however finds relief and some forgetfulness in the company of the children of his faithful friends who remind him of his own son. With these, he goes for long walks along the cliff tops and the shore. It is during one of these walks that he saves Hudson Lowe's life by preventing one of his guards from firing on him by mistake. Even the pleasure of the children's company is soon to be taken from him as the climate of St. Helena proves to be uncongenial and several of his devoted friends have to leave for Europe (823ft).

Rl.2 As a further insult to Napoleon, Hudson Lowe orders the bust of the Emperor's son to be destroyed. It is saved by two of the soldiers who take it to Napoleon in a trunk. Meanwhile Captain Blakeney plans Napoleon's escape but by this time he is too weak to make the effort and the plot is discovered. The Emperor's health declines rapidly and on his death-bed, he relives his glorious past. He embraces his friend's children and his son's bust and takes a prolonged farewell of his friends. Meanwhile, Hudson Lowe is suffering from the effects of a guilt laden conscience and in a moment of terror sees the ghost of Napoleon towering threateningly over him. He is informed of Napoleon's imminent death and hastens to the Emperor's bedside but arrives to find Napoleon already dead. Later, the spirit of victory stands triumphant on the Emperor's grave (1714ft).

Note: English titles.

DRAMA. Historical. Napoleon ends his days on the island of St. Helena.

Main title (5). "LE MÉMORIAL DE STE HÉLÈNE OU CAPTIVITIÉ DE NAPOLÉON SCENE HISTORIQUE D'APRÈS LE DRAME DE MICHEL CARRÉ ET JULES BARBIER" (6). Filmed from a cave looking to sea, Napoleon poses (17). "OCTOBRE 1815 À JAMES TOWN PRISONNIER DE L'ANGLETERRE APRÈS WATERLOO, NAPOLÉON TRANSPORTÉ À STE HÉLÈNE Y VIT ENTOURÉ DU RESPECT DE TOUS LES HABITANTS" (30). Napoleon and his attendants walk along a beach and are warmly greeted by the people (56). "NAPOLÉON REÇOIT L'HOSPITALITÉ D'UN ANGLAIS DE GRAND COEUR, LE PLANTEUR BALCOMBE" (62). Napoleon is seen approaching the house where he greets the Balcombe family (114). "JANVIER 1816. À LONDRES HUDSON LOWE EST NOMMÉ GOUVERNEUR DE STE HÉLÈNE" (123). Lowe is called into a room and is issued with his orders; CU of orders (145-161); he accepts the orders and leaves (177). "5 AVRIL 1816 À STE HÉLÈNE LE GOUVERNEUR HUDSON LOWE PREND POSSESSION DE SON POSTE ET DÉCIDE D'ISOLER DAVANTAGE L'EMPEREUR" (188). Lowe writes orders for Napoleon to be moved from the Balcombe house to Longwood; the order is given to Captain Blackeney who reads it. He is shocked but carries out the order (242). Blakeney arrives at the Balcombe house and conveys the bad news. Napoleon is shown the orders and agrees; CU of the orders (295-309). Lowe arrives to make sure the orders are carried out. The household turns out to bid farewell to Napoleon (424). On the road to Longwood (447). "NAPOLÉON ACCEPTANT L'ADVERSITÉ, VIT À LONGWOOD ENTOURÉ DES GÉNÉRAUX ET DES AMIS FIDÈLES QUI PARTAGENT SON EXIL" (461). Under the shade of a tree, Napoleon and his entourage entertain themselves (499). "S'EXAGÉRANT LE RÔLE QUE LUI A ÉTÉ CONFIÉ, HUDSON LOWE PERSÉCUTE NAPOLÉON AU POINT DE FAIRE ABATTRE UN ARBRE SOUS LEQUEL L'EMPEREUR AIMAIT À SE REPOSER" (519). Lowe order the tree to be chopped down; the children playing arrive on the scene and one of the boys attacks Lowe. The tree is felled as a footman arrives. Napoleon arrives and orders Lowe to leave then comforts the child (605). "FUYANT LE CRUEL FORMALISME D'HUDSON LOWE NAPOLÉON CHERCHE DANS LA PROMENADE UN DÉRIVATIF À SON ENNUI" (612). Napoleon wanders along the cliff tops (614). [Repeat scenes of Napoleon comforting the child and the previous intertitle (622)]. Napoleon wanders along the cliff tops (651). "EN SOUVENIR DE SON FILS LE ROI DE ROME, NAPOLÉON SE PREND D'UNE AMITIÉ PATERNELLE POUR LES ENFANTS DE SES COMPAGNONS DE CAPTIVITÉ" (666). Napoleon and the child wander the countryside (712). "L'EMPEREUR SAUVE HUDSON LOWE QU'UN DE SES FIDÈLES ALLAIT TUER" (721). Napoleon prevents one of his servants from trying to kill Lowe (792). "LÀ BAS C'EST LA FRANCE" (796). Napoleon looks out to sea with the child (829). "1818 LE CLIMAT MEURTRIER DE STE HÉLÈNE CONTRAINT LES COMPAGNONS DE L'EMPEREUR À RETOURNER EN FRANCE" (840). In a room at Longwood, the child is ill, the doctor writes a note. Napoleon enters and is informed that the child must return to France. Napoleon's friends take their leave ((1913). "SEUL!" (1917). Napoleon on a cliff top looks out to sea (945).

Rl. 2. "MÉMOIRES DE ST. HÉLÈNE II" (4). Napoleon sits alone in his room and shivers with cold. He remembers better times and thinks of his child the King of Rome, a vision of whom he sees (39). GEÔLIER IMPITOYABLE, HUDSON LOWE PROJETTE DE DÉTRUIRE UN BUSTE DU ROI DE ROME ENVOYÉ À NAPOLÉON PAR L'EX-IMPÉRATRICE MARIE-LOUISE" (49). Hudson Lowe writes a letter in his office, a box is carried in by two sailors and the contents are revealed as a bust of the King of Rome. Hudson Lowe is moved to destroy the bust but is prevented from doing so by Captain Blackeney who has the bust replaced in the box and taken to Napoleon. "ÉMU PAR LE MALHEUR ET LES SOUFFRANCES DE L'EMPEREUR, LE CAPITAINE BLACKENEY PROJETTE DE LA FAIRE ÉVADER". Blackeney writes a letter in his room suggesting that Napoleon escapes on a ship in the harbour. One of Hudson Lowe's officers enters the room with a message and becomes suspicious of Blackeney who he follows. Blackeney throws the message over the garden wall and is observed by the officer and also by Hudson Lowe. One of the gardeners takes the message to Napoleon. Blackeney arrives to see Napoleon but he refuses the offer of escape owing to ill-health. Hudson Lowe arrives and demands Blackeney hands over his sword. Blackeney takes his sword from his scabbard and breaks it in two and is ordered to leave by Hudson Lowe. Napoleon intervenes on Blackeney's behalf but is taken ill (518). "17 MARS 1821 SENTANT VENIR LA MORT, NAPOLÉON REVIT PAR LA PENSÉE SA GLORIEUSE ÉPOPÉE" (523). Napoleon is left alone in his room. He wanders the room and remembers former times. He has visions of himself standing on guard for a tired sentry; commanding his army; and sitting at a farmhouse fire with the family. He then collapses on his bed (728). "5 MAI 1821 PENDANT QUE L'EMPEREUR AGONISE, HUDSON LOWE EFFRAYÉ DE SON ACTE EN COMPREND ENFIN TOUTE L'ATROCITÉ" (737). Hudson Lowe enters his office and attends his paperwork. He suddenly sees Napoleon's hat on his desk. Horrified, he sees further visions of Napoleon one of which attempts to strangle him (843). "5 MAI 1821 5 HEURES DE L'APRÈS MIDI LA MORT DE L'AIGLE" (846). People enter Napoleon's room and stand by his bed. MS of the death scene as Napoleon holds the bust of his son and dies (896). Hudson Lowe removes his hat as he enters the room and realises that Napoleon is dead (907ft).

Note: The above is from the Joye Collection No. 295.



  • MEMOIREN VON ST HELENA (Alternative)
  • NAPOLEON ON ST. HELENA (Alternative)

Technical Data

Film Gauge (Format):
35mm Film

Production Credits

Production Countries:
CARRÉ, Michel
Author of the Original Work
Author of the Original Work
CARRÉ, Michel
cast member
cast member
MILO, Emile
cast member
cast member
Production Company