La Route Napoleon is a lampoon of the aggressive sales tactics adopted by the French tourism industry. Go-getting publicity flack Martel (Pierre Fresnay) hits upon a clever scheme to boost the tourist trade along the coast of France. He arranges a group of sightseeing tours around the route taken by Napoleon during his 1815 flight from Elba. He then sets up a series of "authentic" historical sites along the way, the better to separate the tourists from their money. The irony of it all is that when Martel comes across a site where Napoleon actually stayed during his journey, the owners refuse to allow the building to be exploited. Undaunted, Martel decides to turn the next town up the road into the hub of all tourist activities. The changes brought upon the nonplused residents of this heretofore sleepy village is the source of most of the film's comedy.
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