Mr N.

Mr N. is a film of Antoine de Caunes , released in 2003 . The story is devoted to the exile to St. Helena and the death of Napoleon and the interrogations that followed.

The opening of the film takes place 19 years later during the exhumation of his tomb on the island, prelude to the return of the ashes of Napoleon to the necropolis of the hotel des Invalides (December 15, 1840 ).


After the defeat at Waterloo , the English exiled Napoleon Bonaparte to St. Helena , a tiny island lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean . Thus the fallen Emperor, who had Europe at his feet, finds himself suffocated in a place with a hostile climate, where he will have to stay until his death . This is where he dictates his memories and builds his myth.

But, if ” History is a lie that no one disputes “, did his last years take place as the official historiography attests? Repeating the most diverse theses, from the most scientific (poisoning, etc.) to the most speculative (we know the wish of the Emperor to finish his life in America …), the film opens many tracks and adds a little from mystery to Napoleonic legend .

Through the journey of young Lieutenant Heathcote, we return to the last fight of the Emperor. This British officer, desirous of knowing the truth of the events of the last years of Napoleon, which he had known for some time at Saint Helena, goes for that to seek the testimony of the elders of the island, Generals Bertrand , Montholon and Gourgaud , as well as a Hudson Lowe fallen from disgrace, to build his truth that can be summarized by what Napoleon said to him: “The passion of men for the marvelous is such that they are ready to sacrifice him the reason ” .

Technical sheet

  • Director: Antoine de Caunes
  • Scenario: René Manzor
  • Composer: Stephan Eicher
  • Director of Photography: Pierre Aïm
  • Costume Designer: Carine Sarfati
  • Production Designer: Patrick Durand
  • Production: Pierre Kubel & Marie Castille Mention-Schaar
  • Production Companies: France 3 Cinema, StudioCanal , Bac Films
  • Distribution Company: Mars Distribution
  • Language: French , English
  • Genre: Historical Movie


  • Philippe Torreton : Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Richard E. Grant : Hudson Lowe , Governor of St. Helena
  • Jay Rodan : Basil Heathcote
  • Elsa Zylberstein : Albine of Montholon
  • Roschdy Zem : Grand Marshal Bertrand
  • Bruno Putzulu : Cipriani
  • Stéphane Freiss : General Montholon
  • Frédéric Pierrot : General Gourgaud
  • Siobhan Hewlett : Betsy Balcombe
  • Peter Sullivan : Thomas Reade
  • Stanley Townsend : Dr. O’Meara
  • Igor Skreblin : Ali
  • Blanche de Saint-Phalle : Fanny Bertrand
  • Jake Nightingale : Carpenter
  • Bernard Bloch : Von Hogendorp


And if Napoleon had not died at St. Helena?

This is where lies the plot of the film Antoine de Caunes. How could a man who has conquered a large part of the world and led millions of men live in exile on this piece of rock, so far from everything?

Young Lieutenant Heathcote examines the Emperor’s last battle, the clever play of power he wielded against Hudson Lowe, and the affection his daughter of her British neighbors had for her.

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