Napoleon (1996)

Kubrick’s dream project was Napoleon, never realized because of its ambitious scope & projected huge budget. Talented Italian pornographer Luca Damiano goes the opposite route with NAPOLEON, a clever shot-on-video porn treatment of the emperor’s love life.

Ian Holm is my favorite screen Napoleon, whose 1974 TV miniseries holds up extremely well after all these years. Hefty porn character actor Roberto Malone would seem an odd choice, but he brings off the role with panache, capturing both the world-weariness and lustiness of the larger-than-life personage.

He’s introduced in April 1821 in captivity on St. Helena, pouring out in flashbacks his many loves to an attentive journalist (Aliona). He credits Carlotta (beautiful star Lea Martini) as educating him in military tactics, by which he later almost conquered the entire world. They have a playful sex scene, in which he uses her body as a battlefield for his toy soldiers enactment.

He next recalls his first meeting with Giuseppina (Josephine), well-played by the terrific superstar Erica Bella. They’re introduced by Gen. Barros (Ramon), and a foursome ensues.

Nap is next dispatched to head up the army in Egypt, where he recalls Mme. Fouche who he nicknames Belinotte (I believe she’s played by Jeanette La Douce, just called “Dame” in the credits crawl). Belly dancers entertain a trio of Arabs in a tent for some mixed-combo, big dick action in this sequence. As usual, low-budget video uses stock footage to set each locale, including shots of soldiers marching around, but it’s unconvincing in this interior, studio-bound shoot.

Napoleon is also absent in the next sequence, wherein Valeria reads sexy stories plus a letter from Napoleon (very weak story hook) to a couple of lesbians, whose Sapphic sex turns into troilism upon the arrival of a guy.

Nap’s second wife Maria Louisa (very cute blonde Betty Anderson) is introduced at an inn, in a highlight sex scene with Malone.

He recalls his defeat at Waterloo in a cleverly-written revisionist take on history, typical of the overall witty and effective script. On the eve of battle, an old general (Giulio Massimini in a non-sex role) presents Napoleon with a gift of two prostitutes, serviced by him and young officer played by Francesco Malcom (familiar Euro face who starred in ADOLESCENZA = ALL GROWN UP). Malcom gets the blonde while Malone handles an ultra-busty (natural) plumper in an interesting foursome.

Malone relates that hundreds of other prosties were presented to his troops that night, resulting in his defeat. This provides a tongue-in-cheek but clever ending to this well-made XXX video.