★★★★☆ UK. 2h8m. Drama / Historical / Romance. Directed by Alexander Korda. Written by Walter Reisch, R.C. Sherriff. Cinematography by Rudolph Maté. Edited by William W. Hornbeck. Music by Miklós Rózsa. Starring Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Alan Mowbray, Gladys Cooper, Heather Angel, Gilbert Emery, Ronald Sinclair, Norma Drury, Juliette Compton, Sara Allgood.
Set during the Napoleonic Wars, the film tells the story of the rise and fall of Emma Hamilton, dance-hall girl and courtesan, who married Sir William Hamilton, British ambassador to the Kingdom of Naples. She later became mistress to Admiral Horatio Nelson. The film was a critical and financial success, and while on the surface the plot is both a war story and a romance set in Napoleonic times, it was also intended to function as a deliberately pro-British film that would portray Britain positively within the context of World War II which was being fought at that time.