Austerlitz (1960 film)

Austerlitz is a 1960 French film directed by Abel Gance and starring Jean Marais, Rossano Brazzi, Martine Carol, Jack Palance, Claudia Cardinale, Vittorio De Sica, Orson Welles, Leslie Caron and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Pierre Mondy portrays Napoleon in this film about his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. Leslie Caron plays the role of his mistress Élisabeth Le Michaud d'Arçon.[2]

Austerlitz (film).jpg
Directed byAbel Gance
Written byAbel Gance
Nelly Kaplan
Roger Richebé
Produced byAntoinette Coty
Alexander Salkind
StarringPierre Mondy
Martine Carol
Claudia Cardinale
Leslie Caron
CinematographyHenri Alekan
Robert Juillard
Edited byLéonide Azar
Yvonne Martin
Music byJean Ledrut
Release date
  • 1960 (1960)
Box office3,460,070 admissions (France)[1]


The first half of this film covers Napoleon's coronation as Emperor and political manoeuvrings while the second half covers the actual battle, where he beat both Austrian and Russian forces in his drive eastward.



Composer Jean Ledrut claimed that "La Marche d'Austerlitz" from his score had been plagiarised by producer/composer Joe Meek in the 1962 pop hit "Telstar". The case was eventually dismissed, but the lawsuit prevented Meek from receiving royalties from the record during his lifetime, and the issue was not resolved in Meek's favour until three weeks after his suicide in 1967. Austerlitz was not released in the UK until 1965, and Meek was unaware of the film when the lawsuit was filed in March 1963.[4][5]


The original French version runs longer than the English dubbed international version. The French version contains extra scenes including ones with Napoleon visiting his mistress and of Jean Louis Trintignant imagining the coronation for the palace staff.


A French DVD was released including interviews with star Pierre Mondy and other participants.


  1. ^ "Box Office Figures for Jean Marais films". Box Office Story.
  2. ^ Jean-Marie Thiébaud (2006) Elisabeth Le Michaud d'Arçon: Maîtresse de Napoléon, Editions Cabedita ISBN 2-88295-473-5
  3. ^ "UCL SSEES Library: Bain Graffy Film Collection: DVD-4128". Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Austerlitz (1960)". Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  5. ^ "The JOE MEEK Page | Joe Meek: A Portrait - 7. The cases Telstar, Heinz, Madras Place, Howard/Blaikley". Retrieved 5 April 2014.

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