A Royal Divorce is the misleading title bestowed upon this dramatization of certain events in the lives of Napoleon and Josephine. Making her first screen appearance in two years, Hollywood's Ruth Chatterton tops the cast as Josephine, whose widowhood is relieved upon her marriage to up-and-coming military officer Napoleon (France's Pierre Blanchar). Though she's several years older than her husband, Josephine tries to be the wife he wants-but she cannot give him what he really wants, namely an heir. Miles Malleson's screenplay puts forth the theory that Josephine agreed to her divorce from the Emperor so that he might father a legitimate child by his mistress, Marie Louise. In terms of costumes and settings, A Royal Divorce is authentic to a fault; in terms of adherence to the facts, it's a bit shaky, though undeniably dramatic.
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