Doing It for the Art: The film was an early attempt at widescreen films, as well as the oldest known example of Aspect Ratio Switch. Most of it is in 4:3, standard for films of the time. However, the climax took advantage of the Polyvision projection system, which used three projectors with individual 4:3 frames, making a 4:1 Aspect Ratio. This remains the widest aspect ratio in cinematic history, as well as a precursor to 1952's three-projector Cinerama system.
Stillborn Franchise: Planned to be the first instalment of six portraying Napoleon's life, but the others were never made for budget reasons. Abel Gance still reused some ideas for them in Austerlitz (1960).
Irony as She Is Cast: Czar Alexander I makes several anti-English remarks to ingratiate himself with Napoleon. He's played by Brit Toby Stephens, who makes no effort to hide his natural accent.
Fake Nationality: A staple. Josephine, Talleyrand, Alexander, Metternich, and Pius VII are all played by people of nationalities other than their historical counterparts (an Italian, an American, and three Brits respectively). Marshal Jean Lannes and Napoleon's aide Armand de Caulaincourt are both played by German actors, Sebastian Koch and Heino Ferch respectively.