Hi there, I just picked up a VHS off my library shelf the other day of Napoleon by Gance. I had never heard of it before, and knew nothing of the controversy. Anyway, I wrote an Amazon review, which I will post below. I am a musician, and I will say in my view, that Carmine's score is at best ok, certainly not good enough. And now that he's dead, and its at the wrong speed, Coppola is committing a crime against the cinema by trying to force his dad's score onto this film. Coppola knows this is one of the greatest movies of all time, and he wants his name, and his dad's name to be part of it. What an egomaniac to the point of insanity. Will he ever relent? I doubt it. Heart of Darkness and Vanity, indeed.
This is truly an unbelievable movie, one of the greatest movies of all time, no question. Every second of this movie you are sitting on the edge of your seat, and wanting to rewind it, and watch parts of it again, in slow motion. The acting is excellent, and the camera work, for the time, is mind-blowing. There is even some nudity, and shots of women dancing while nude under their dresses, in the party scene, where Napoleon meets Josephine. Talk about pushing the envelope. There is so much to this movie, one could write forever.
But, but but, here's the problem: Francis Ford Coppola is actively blocking us from seeing the entire movie! His version, has cut out 90 minutes out of this great film, and it appears that Coppola does not want us to see the entire movie? Why is this? Coppola knows this is one of the greatest movies of all time, and he got his father to write music for this version, so he obviously is practicing personal nepotism, to try and make his fathers music THE music of this great film. This is a tragedy, and is unethical, to say the least.
This is exactly like the Sofia Coppola nepotism disaster in Godfather III, when he cast his daughter who cannot act, and wrecked his own movie. Same deal here. He wants to force his dad's score down our throats, I guess, even at the expense of suppressing this movie. Carmine Coppola's score is pretty good, not too bad, but not great. For Coppola to SUPPRESS the full version of this great movie is beyond unethical. If he had any respect for this movie, he would release the long-full version, with 2 versions of the score. Why won't he do this? Is he afraid his father music won't cut it?
Anyway, I cannot express how angry I am that Coppola is suppressing this great movie, right as we speak, in 2006. I want to see the ENTIRE movie that now exists, and so does the world. Some major-league film critics need to try to "reason" with Coppola to get the full version released, and to try and get him to stop suppressing it. Otherwise, Coppola will severely damage his place in film history forever. What he is doing is not even about money. Its about him actively suppressing one of the greatest films of all time, for reasons of nepotism. Truly pathetic, and a crime against the cinema.