Napoleon: Five of Ridley Scott's best historical films from Gladiator to House of Gucci

Ridley Scott's latest epic, Napoleon, hits cinemas this week. Here are his five best historical films including Gladiator.

Ridley Scott's latest film, Napoleon, is out on November 22. Image: GettyRidley Scott's latest film, Napoleon, is out on November 22. Image: Getty
Ridley Scott's latest film, Napoleon, is out on November 22. Image: Getty

After releasing films such as Alien, Thelma & Louise and Blade Runner, Ridley Scott's latest release will take the director's career full circle.

Historical epic Napoleon, starring Joaquin Phoenix, chronicles the commander's relentless journey to power, however it is far from the first time Scott has dabbled in this time period with his filmmaking.

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From his original Napoleonic drama The Duellists to Roman epic Gladiator, here are five of Ridley Scott's best historical films.

The Duellists (1977)

Scott’s feature directorial debut, The Duellists also focuses on the Napoleonic era except from the perspective of two rival officers within Bonaparte’s army. Based on Joseph Conrad’s short story The Duel, the film spans almost 20 years and saw Scott nominated several awards, including Best First Work at Cannes, which he won.

The Last Duel (2021)

Based on the true story of France’s last trial by combat in the Middle Ages, the screenplay for this film was written by Nicole Holofcener alongside stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. The drama focuses on two knights, Jean de Carrouges (Damon) and Jacques Le Gris, played Adam Driver, who are preparing to fight to the death after the wife of de Carrouges – portrayed by Jodie Comer – accuses Le Gris of rape.

Gladiator (2000)

Starring Russell Crowe and Napoleon star Joaquin Phoenix, Scott’s historical epic tells the story of Maximus Decimus, a Roman general who becomes a slave, following the murder of Emperor Marcus Aurelius by his ambitious son Commodus. Despite a troubled production, the film won numerous awards – including Best Picture at the 73rd Academy Awards.

All the Money in the World (2017)

Set in 1973, All the Money in the World depicts the real life kidnapping of John Paul Getty III as his mother desperately tries to convince his billionaire grandfather, J. Paul Getty, to pay the ransom. It stars Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg and Christopher Plummer, who stepped in at the last minute to replace Kevin Spacey.

House of Gucci (2021)

Another biographical crime drama, House of Gucci follows outsider Patrizia Reggiani, played by Lady Gaga, as she marries Adam Driver’s Maurizio Gucci and becomes entangled in a fight for the control of the Italian fashion house. While the film received mixed reviews, the performances of the cast – particularly Gaga – were praised.



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