The Little Napoleon

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The Little Napoleon
Directed by Georg Jacoby
Written by Robert Liebmann
Georg Jacoby
Starring Egon von Hagen
Paul Heidemann
Harry Liedtke
Jakob Tiedtke
Cinematography Max Schneider
Emil Schünemann
Walter von Gudenberg
Release date
29 November 1923
Country Germany
Language Silent
German intertitles

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 today 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, 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]



  1. ^ Spoto p.31
  2. ^ Bach p.58-59
  3. ^ Prawer p.5
  4. ^ Bach p.58
  5. ^ Bach p.491


  • Bach, Steven. Marlene Dietrich: Life and Legend. University of Minnesota Press, 2011.
  • Prawer, S.S. Between Two Worlds: The Jewish Presence in German and Austrian Film, 1910-1933. Berghahn Books, 2005.
  • Spoto, Donald. Blue Angel: The Life of Marlene Dietrich. Rowman & Littlefield, 2000.

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