Napoleon – Kubrick’s Unfinished Masterpiece


Since coming across the Kubrick interview that I blogged here about earlier, I did some digging around. The result was this screenplay(warning, it’s a PDF file) for Napoleon by Kubrick.

I cannot comment as to its authenticity, but there is sufficient brilliance in there to suggest it could be the work of the master himself.

The whole screenplay makes for excellent weekend reading, which is what I did last weekend by the way.

Some sections that bring out the personality of Napoleon

  • 1789 Revolution on Page 9. Napoleon’s ability to take charge of volatile situations.
  • Toulon Road – Day on Page 13. Ability to think strategically.
  • Paris Street – Day on Page 24. Willingness to use force, morality be damned.
  • Notre Dame – Day on Page 69. Self-coronation..enough said!
  • Bedroom – Day on Page 147. Last moments of the hero and his descent into clouded states of memory.
  • Production Notes on Page 149. Notes of Kubrick on the planning work done until then.

It is amazing to learn about the rigor and planning that supports a creative endeavor like movie making. Coupled with the interview I linked to in my previous blog post on Kubrick, we get a little insight into the mechanics of creativity.

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