Napoléon is an epic (1927) silent French film directed by Abel Gance that tells the story of the rise of Napoleon I of France.
It begins from his youth in school where he already manage a snowball fight like a military campaign, to his victory in invading Italy in 1797. Planned to be the first of six movies about Napoleon Bonaparte, it was realised after the completion of the film that the costs involved would make this impossible.
Ahead of its time in its use of handheld cameras and editing, many scenes were hand tinted or toned. Gance had intended the final reel of the film to be screened as a triptych via triple projection, or Polyvision.
It was first released in a gala premiere at the Paris Opéra in April 1927. Napoléon had been screened in only 8 European cities when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought the rights to the film, but after screening it intact in London, it was cut drastically in length, and only the central panel of the widescreen sequences retained before it was put on limited release in the United States, where it was indifferently received at a time when talkies were just starting to appear.