The Little Napoleon

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The Little Napoleon
The Little Napoleon.jpg
Directed by Georg Jacoby
Written by
European Film Alliance
Release date
  • 29 November 1923 (1923-11-29)

The Little Napoleon (German : Der kleine Napoleon) is a 1923 German silent historical comedy film directed by Georg Jacoby and starring Egon von Hagen, Paul Heidemann and Harry Liedtke. It depicts the life and amorous adventures of Jérôme Bonaparte, the younger brother of Napoleon, who installed him as King of Westphalia.


The film is best known for the small role played by Marlene Dietrich as Kathrin, a lady's maid. Her brief appearance was filmed over several days during the summer of 1922. [1] It marked Dietrich's film debut, though she was later unhappy with her early silent films. [2] She was cast after impressing the director, Georg Jacoby, during a meeting arranged for them. Dietrich played gradually more substantial roles during the rest of the decade until her breakthrough film The Blue Angel (1930).

The film was made by the European Film Alliance (EFA), a failed attempt by the American firm Paramount to establish a production base in the lucrative German market. [3] The EFA was wound up shortly after the film's completion, which delayed its release. [4] It finally premièred on 29 November 1923 at the Marmorhaus in Berlin. [5]

The Little Napoleon is one of many works from 1923 that entered the public domain in the United States in 2019. [6]


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  1. Spoto p. 31
  2. Bach pp. 58–59
  3. Prawer p. 5
  4. Bach p. 58
  5. Bach p. 491
  6. Douglas, Nick (13 April 2018). "These 1923 Copyrighted Works Enter the Public Domain in 2019". Life Hacker. Retrieved 5 September 2018.