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Eagle in a Cage (1972)

GP | | Drama | 25 April 1972 (Poland)
In 1815, a soldier becomes the Governor of St. Helena, and jailer of Napoleon.


Fielder Cook


Millard Lampell (screenplay)

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Credited cast:
John Gielgud ... Lord Sissal
Ralph Richardson ... Sir Hudson Lowe
Billie Whitelaw ... Madame Bertrand
Kenneth Haigh ... Napoleon Bonaparte
Moses Gunn ... General Gourgaud
Ferdy Mayne ... Count Bertrand
Lee Montague ... Cipriani
Georgina Hale ... Betty Balcombe
Michael Williams ... Dr. O'Meara
Hugh Armstrong ... English soldier
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Athol Coats Athol Coats ... Sentry (as Athol Coates)


In 1815, a soldier becomes the Governor of St. Helena, and jailer of Napoleon.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


War and women were his passions... and no island fortress could cage his lust for power! See more »




GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

25 April 1972 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein gewisser General Aparte See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Group W, Ramona See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Napoleon asks a British guard where he did battle. The guard replies, "Egypt, Waterloo, Corsica." The British had not fought at Corsica, by the time Napoleon was on Elba. While the British did have a NAVAL battle in Egypt against the French (August 1798), the soldier would have to be on a naval vessel. The British fought at Waterloo AFTER Napoleon escaped from Elba. See more »


[first lines]
Count Bertrand: Allow me to introduce myself.
Sir Hudson Lowe: That's quite unnecessary. I know who you are.
See more »


Version of Eagle in a Cage (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

As my dad used to say, Not Bad. Not bad at all.
8 November 2009 | by ekebySee all my reviews

Gielgud is billed as the star, but he doesn't show up until the last part of the movie, and he appears in just a couple scenes. Nevertheless he chews up the scenery, especially in his scenes with Ralph Richardson. The two of them have a rip-roaring time the few brief moments they appear together. And this with scenes that, in the hands of lesser actors, you'd barely notice. I kept imagining how wonderful if there had been more of their handiwork to be seen in this movie.

There is a lot of top-drawer talent on display here, and they do justice to the interesting and literate screenplay by blacklisted writer Millard Lampell. Despite all this talent, it's difficult to call this a truly superior film. There's nothing to complain of, really, and, in fact, overall I liked it. It's just that without the historical context, there isn't much of a story. Perhaps that's an unfair criticism, given the unique and fascinating circumstance of Napoleon in exile. But a lot of other human dynamics are introduced into this situation that don't seem to add up to all that much.

The movie held my attention well enough, but it wasn't until Gielgud showed up that I realized how much was lacking. If you're a Napoleon buff, or a fan of Gielgud, Richardson, or Billie Whitlaw, this is worthwhile. If you're not, you may find it a bit of a disappointment.

Another reviewer notes that this is the most difficult movie on Napoleon to find. I saw it as part of a 50 DVD Movie Pack "War Classics." The print they transferred was in terrible condition, almost shockingly so. The movie deserves better.

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