Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made by Alison Castle - review by Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts

His Waterloo

Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made


Taschen 1,112pp £44.99 order from our bookshop

This book chronicles the obsession of one of the world’s greatest film directors with one of the world’s greatest generals. Stanley Kubrick spent the second half of the 1960s, immediately after making 2001: A Space Odyssey, preparing to film a biopic of Napoleon, which was intended to be three hours long and utterly accurate in every minute detail. It is one of the great cinematographical tragedies that first MGM and then United Artists decided that the project was simply too financially risky. Big historical epics were out of fashion, and a deeply disappointed Kubrick had to move on.

Yet before the studios made up their minds against him, Kubrick delved into the life of Napoleon in a way unmatched by any other director on any other subject. This enormous book is testament to his passion for verisimilitude, amounting almost to a psychological disorder. A normal film

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