IMDb > Empire of the Sun (1987)
Empire of the Sun
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Empire of the Sun (1987) More at IMDbPro »

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Empire of the Sun -- A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   93,590 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 40% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
J.G. Ballard (novel)
Tom Stoppard (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Empire of the Sun on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1987 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
To survive in a world at war, he must find a strength greater than all the events that surround him.
Plot:
A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Extraordinary film See more (295 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Christian Bale ... Jim

John Malkovich ... Basie

Miranda Richardson ... Mrs. Victor

Nigel Havers ... Dr. Rawlins

Joe Pantoliano ... Frank Demarest

Leslie Phillips ... Maxton
Masatô Ibu ... Sgt. Nagata
Emily Richard ... Mary Graham, Jim's mother
Rupert Frazer ... John Graham, Jim's father
Peter Gale ... Mr. Victor
Takatarô Kataoka ... Kamikaze Boy Pilot (as Takatoro Kataoka)

Ben Stiller ... Dainty
David Neidorf ... Tiptree

Ralph Seymour ... Cohen

Robert Stephens ... Mr. Lockwood
Zhai Nai She ... Yang
Guts Ishimatsu ... Sgt. Uchida
Emma Piper ... Amy Matthews
James Walker ... Mr. Radik
Jack Dearlove ... Singing Prisoner
Anna Turner ... Mrs. Gilmour
Ann Castle ... Mrs. Phillips
Yvonne Gilan ... Mrs. Lockwood
Ralph Michael ... Mr. Partridge
Sybil Maas ... Mrs. Hug
Eric Flynn ... British Prisoner

James Greene ... British Prisoner
Simon Harrison ... British Prisoner
Barrie Houghton ... British Prisoner
Paula Hamilton ... British Prisoner
Thea Ranft ... British Prisoner
Tony Boncza ... British Prisoner
Nigel Leach ... British Prisoner
Sheridan Forbes ... British Prisoner

Peter Copley ... British Prisoner
Barbara Bolton ... British Prisoner

Francesca Longrigg ... British Prisoner
Samantha Warden ... British Prisoner
Kieron Jecchinis ... American Prisoner
Michael Crossman ... American Prisoner
Gary Parker ... American Prisoner
Ray Charleson ... American Prisoner

Burt Kwouk ... Mr. Chen
Tom Danaher ... Col. Marshall
Kong-Guo-Jun ... Chinese Youth
Takao Yamada ... Japanese Truck Driver
Hiro Arai ... Japanese Sergeant - Airfield

Paul McGann ... Lt. Price
Marc de Jonge ... Frenchman
Susan Leong ... Amah
Nicholas Dastor ... Paul
Edith Platten ... Paul's Sister
Shirley Chantrell ... Chinese Cook at Detention Centre
John Moore ... Mr. Pym
Ann Queensberry ... Mrs. Pym
Sylvia Marriott ... Mrs. Partridge
Frank Duncan ... Mrs. Hug's Father
Ronald Eng ... Mr. Chen's Aide
Za Chuan Ce ... Shopkeeper
Shi Rui Qing ... Shopkeeper
Lu Ye ... Merchant
Guo Xue Liang ... Merchant
Ge Yan Zhao ... Merchant
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nina Armstrong ... Nina (uncredited)
J.G. Ballard ... Guest at Masquerade Party (uncredited)
Ken Enomoto ... Jpn Soldier / cut out (uncredited)
Paul Reynolds ... Refugee (uncredited)

Rochelle Rose ... British Prisoner (uncredited)

Directed by
Steven Spielberg 
 
Writing credits
J.G. Ballard (novel "Empire of the Sun")

Tom Stoppard (screenplay)

Menno Meyjes  uncredited

Produced by
Kathleen Kennedy .... producer
Chris Kenny .... associate producer
Frank Marshall .... producer
Robert Shapiro .... executive producer
Steven Spielberg .... producer
 
Original Music by
John Williams 
 
Cinematography by
Allen Daviau 
 
Film Editing by
Michael Kahn 
 
Casting by
Maggie Cartier 
 
Production Design by
Norman Reynolds 
 
Art Direction by
Charles Bishop (supervising art director)
Fred Hole  (as Frederick Hole)
Rick Carter (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Harry Cordwell 
Michael Ford  (as Michael D. Ford)
 
Costume Design by
Bob Ringwood 
 
Makeup Department
Lynda Armstrong .... makeup artist
Paul Engelen .... key makeup artist
Betty Glasow .... hair stylist
Vera Mitchell .... hair styles supervisor
Daniel Parker .... makeup artist
Lisa Tomblin .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Paquita Trench .... assistant hair stylist (uncredited)
Paquita Trench .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Diego Gómez Sempere .... production manager: Spain (as Diego Gomez Sempere)
Ted Morley .... production manager
Terry Needham .... unit manager: Spain
Arthur F. Repola .... post-production supervisor (as Arthur Repola)
Jian Hua Shen .... production manager: Shanghai Film Studios
Paul Tivers .... unit production manager: China
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Roy Button .... second assistant director
Javier Chinchilla .... first assistant director: Spain
Juan Estelrich Jr. .... third assistant director: Spain (as Juan Estelrich)
Steve Harding .... first assistant director: second unit
Patrick Kinney .... second assistant director
Tim Lewis .... third assistant director: UK
Frank Marshall .... second unit director
Kieron Phipps .... second assistant director: UK
Ken Shane .... third assistant director
David Tomblin .... assistant director
Ignacio Vallejo-Nájera .... third assistant director: Spain
Manuel L. Cañizares .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Asad Qureshi .... additional second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Ted Ambrose .... draughtsman
Bobby Betts .... stand-by painter (as Robert Betts)
Brian Bishop .... scenic artist
Gavin Bocquet .... assistant art director
Laurence Burns .... stand-by carpenter: second unit (as Lawrence Burns)
Sharon Cartwright .... assistant set decorator: UK
Miguel Chang .... assistant art director: Spain
Peter Childs .... chief draughtsman: UK
Bill J. Coggon .... stand-by propman: second unit
Norman Dorme .... supervising art director: Spain
Belinda Edwards .... production buyer
Maurice Fowler .... supervising art director: China
George Gibbons .... stand-by stagehand
Ian Giladjian .... production buyer
Peter Hancock .... supervising property master
Qiagui Huang .... art director: Shanghai Film Studios (as Huang Qia Gui)
David Jonas .... production illustrator
Jim Kerr .... stand-by carpenter
John King .... assistant art director: Spain
Geoff Kingsley .... construction manager: China unit
Philip McDonald .... property master: China unit
Jonathan McKinstry .... draughtsman
Dave Middleton .... construction buyer: UK
Dave Midson .... supervising dressing prop: Spain (as David Midson)
Jim Morahan .... draughtsman
Mickey Pugh .... supervising stand-by props
Cliff Robinson .... assistant art director
He Jiu Shen .... prop buyer: Shanghai Film Studios
Ray Staples .... stand-by plasterer
Ed Verreaux .... production illustrator
Bill Welch .... supervising construction manager
Lin Long Xing .... property master: Shanghai Film Studios
Jin Ming Zhu .... construction manager: China unit
Andrew Ackland-Snow .... draughtsman (uncredited)
John Alvin .... poster artist (uncredited)
Michael Boone .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Paul Duff .... chargehand carpenter (uncredited)
Martin Duffy .... supervising carpenter (uncredited)
Thomas W. Lay Jr. .... conceptual artist (uncredited)
Gwendolyn Margetson .... art department assistant (uncredited)
Tony Marks .... carpenter (uncredited)
Brian Neighbour .... supervising carpenter (uncredited)
José María Ortega .... painter (uncredited)
David Russell .... conceptual illustrator (uncredited)
Adrian Start .... supervising painter (uncredited)
Tadeo Villalba hijo .... assistant property master (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Kevin Bartnof .... foley artist
John Boyd .... re-recording mixer
Allan Bromberg .... foley editor
Charles L. Campbell .... supervising sound editor
Larry Carow .... sound editor
Colin Charles .... sound mixer
Lucy Coldsnow-Smith .... sound editor (as Lucy Coldsnow)
Shep Dawe .... sound maintenance
Tony Dawe .... production sound mixer
Don Digirolamo .... re-recording mixer
Louis L. Edemann .... supervising sound editor (as Lou Edemann)
Leonard T. Geschke .... foley editor (as Leonard Geschke)
James J. Isaacs .... sound editor (as Jim Isaacs)
Robert Knudson .... re-recording mixer
Bobbe Kurtz .... adr editor
Chuck Neely .... sound editor
Mel Neiman .... processed sound effects
Alan L. Nineberg .... adr editor
Dan O'Connell .... foley artist
John Pitt .... sound maintenance
John Samworth .... boom operator
Larry Singer .... supervising adr editor
Roger Sword .... sound editor
Gary Weir .... boom operator
Guo Qiang Wu .... sound engineer: Shanghai Film Studios
James Ashwill .... foley mixer (uncredited)
Samuel C. Crutcher .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
George R. Groves Jr. .... re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Nils C. Jensen .... sound editor (uncredited)
Lionel Strutt .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Bill Wilner .... assistant adr editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Trevor Neighbour .... senior effects technician
Antonio Parra .... special effects chief: Spain
David H. Watkins .... senior effects supervisor
David H. Watkins .... special effects supervisor: pyrotechnician
Kit West .... special effects supervisor
Antonio Bueno .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Yves De Bono .... senior technician (uncredited)
Peter Fern .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Jim Machin .... model maker (uncredited)
Nigel Nixon .... special effects model maker (uncredited)
María Luisa Pino .... special effects/makeup assistant (uncredited)
Alan Poole .... special effects technician (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Peter Aston .... model airplane supervisor
John Ellis .... additional optical effects: ILM
Ye Mao Gen .... special effects senior technician: Shanghai Film Studios
Dennis Muren .... additional optical effects
Michael Pangrazio .... additional optical effects
Wang Yong Qiu .... special effects technician: Shanghai Film Studios
Craig Barron .... matte photography supervisor (uncredited)
Warren Franklin .... Group VP ILM (uncredited)
Michael Fulmer .... model maker (uncredited)
Steve Gawley .... model maker (uncredited)
Ned Gorman .... visual effects manager (uncredited)
Paul Huston .... matte modelmaker (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Vic Armstrong .... stunt coordinator
Dickey Beer .... stunts
Michael Dubrant .... stunt double
Nick Gillard .... stunts
Keith Harvey .... stunt double
Wendy Leech .... stunts
Wayne Michaels .... stunts (as Wayne David Michaels)
Vic Armstrong .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
David Appleby .... camera grip
Peter Bloor .... gaffer
Barry Brown .... camera operator
James Devis .... director of photography: second unit (as Jimmy Devis)
Frank Elliott .... focus puller: second unit, Spain
Ian Foster .... clapper loader
John Foster .... clapper loader: second unit, Spain
Mike Frift .... camera operator: second unit
Trevor Jones .... stand-by grip: second unit
Colin Manning .... camera grip
John Maskall .... camera operator: China and UK second unit
Roger McDonald .... camera focus puller
Ray Meehan .... best boy
Simon Mills .... clapper loader: second unit
Xue Fu Ming .... gaffer: Shanghai Film Studios
Frederick Mitchell .... stand-by grip: second unit
Reggie Newkirk .... first assistant camera
Eamonn O'Keeffe .... camera focus puller
Brian Osborne .... grip: second unit, China/UK (as Brian Osborn)
Chris Pinnock .... focus puller: second unit, China/UK
Mike Roberts .... camera operator
Martin Beek .... specialist camera devices (uncredited)
Kevin Fraser .... crane grip (uncredited)
Peter Hodgson .... video assist operator (uncredited)
Billy Merrell .... electrician (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Corinne Cartier .... casting assistant: UK
Jane Feinberg .... casting: USA
Mike Fenton .... casting: USA
Francisco García .... crowd casting: Spain
Yuriko Matsubara .... casting: Japan
Ningqi Song .... casting: Shanghai Film Studios
Judy Taylor .... casting: USA
Daxing Zhang .... extra casting assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ken Crouch .... wardrobe master (as Kenneth Crouch)
Zhang Ju Fang .... wardrobe mistress: Shanghai Film Studios
Andrés Fernández .... wardrobe assistant: Spain
Agustine Jiménez del Campo .... wardrobe assistant: Spain
Colette Koo .... wardrobe assistant: China
Patrick Wheatley .... wardrobe supervisor
Zhu Pei Zen .... hairdresser: Shanghai Film Studios
Graham Churchyard .... assistant costume designer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Craig Bassett .... associate editor
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
Martin Cohen .... associate editor
Dan Farrell .... assistant editor (as Danny Farrell)
Brad Goodman .... post-production assistant (as Bradley Goodman)
Nick Moore .... assistant editor
Robert Raring .... color timer
Andrew Silver .... assistant editor
Melissa Tynan-Lagorio .... post-production coordinator
Colin Wilson .... associate editor
 
Location Management
Kevin Berman .... location security
Larry Ely .... location security
José Luis Escolar .... location manager: Spain
Paul Frift .... location manager: China unit
Paul Shersby .... location manager: UK
Shen Ye .... location manager: Shanghai Film Studios
 
Music Department
Elin Carlson .... chorus
Shawn Murphy .... score mixer
Meyer Rubin .... music contractor
Herbert W. Spencer .... orchestrator (as Herbert Spencer)
Janine Wagner .... choral conductor
Kenneth Wannberg .... music editor
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist (uncredited)
Tom Boyd .... oboe soloist (uncredited)
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Brian Hathaway .... transportation coordinator
Mark White .... transportation
Joel Marrow .... transportation coordinator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Margaret Adams .... production coordinator
Jin Zhi Bai .... propman: Shanghai Film Studios
Kate Barker .... assistant: Ms. Kennedy, USA
Ren Yi Biao .... accountant: Shanghai Film Studios
Irena Butcher .... location accountant: China unit
Marianne Campbell .... secretary to Mr. Spielberg
Ignacio Castellví .... interpreter: Spain
Sonia Chang .... interpreter: Spain
Mishka Chen .... production associate
Nikki Clapp .... script supervisor
Murray Close .... unit stillman
Bill J. Coggon .... second unit stand-by propman
Phil Cunningham .... production interpreter: China unit
Tom Danaher .... aerial unit chief zero pilot
Yves De Bono .... senior effects technician
John Evetts .... aerial unit chief engineer
Val Farmer .... assistant production accountant
Ren Ya Fei .... china film co-production liaison: China unit
Carlos Fernández .... interpreter: Spain
Gerald Fitzsimon .... location accountant: Spain
Antony Ford .... production assistant (as Anthony Ford)
Shane Fry .... stand-in: Jim
Antonio García .... accountant: Spain
Martin Gates .... dialogue coach
Wen Yong Ge .... propman: Shanghai Film Studios
Bibiana Gonzalez-Gordon .... publicity assistant: Spain
James Good .... aerial unit coordinator
James Graham .... production associate
Mark Hanna .... aerial unit mustang pilot
Ray Hanna .... aerial unit chief mustang pilot
Barbara Harley .... assistant: Ms. Kennedy: UK
Jeff Hawke .... aerial unit coordinator
José María Henry .... interpreter: Spain
Lil Heyman .... production assistant
Sharon Jiang .... production interpreter: China unit
Yuan Miao Jun .... interpreter: Shanghai Film Studios
Adam King .... stand-in: Jim
Kiji Kusuhara .... Japanese interpreter: Spain
Sun Li .... production interpreter: China unit
Eve Mavrakis .... production interpreter: China unit
Margarita McDermott .... production coordinator: Spain
Roy Merchant .... stand-in: Jim
Trilby Norton .... production coordinator: Spain
Annie Penn .... script supervisor: second unit (as Anne Wotton)
Hoof Proudfoot .... aerial unit mustang pilot
Ma Qiang .... china film co-production liaison: China unit
Bonne Radford .... production controller
Mary T. Radford .... assistant: Mr. Marshall
Jennie Raglan .... production coordinator
Glynis Robertson .... assistant: Mr. Kenny
David Saldaña .... interpreter: Spain (as David Saldana)
Shi Li Sha .... production assistant: Shanghai Film Studios
Michael Shevloff .... production assistant
Robin Skelton .... secretary: Mr. Marshall
Mike Smith .... supervising production accountant
Ann Tasker .... unit publicist
Samantha Thomas .... production assistant
Janet Yang .... project consultant: China unit
Ann Yen .... production interpreter: China unit
Mark Albela .... production runner (uncredited)
Robert C. Campion .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Robin Demetriou .... catering supervisor (uncredited)
Tina Simmons .... miranda richardson stand-in (uncredited)
Sarah Teboul .... assistant location accountant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
153 min
Country:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:Livre | Canada:PG | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-12 | France:Tous publics | Hong Kong:IIA | Iceland:12 | Japan:G | Malaysia:U (original rating) | Malaysia:P13 (re-rating) | Mexico:A | Netherlands:AL | Netherlands:12 (DVD rating) | New Zealand:PG | Norway:11 (DVD rating) | Norway:15 (cinema release) | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Singapore:PG | South Korea:15 (DVD rating) (2001) | South Korea:All (1989) | Spain:T | Sweden:11 | Taiwan:GP | UK:PG | USA:PG | USA:TV-14 (TV rating) | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The boy's name, Jim Graham, is taken from author J.G. Ballard's given name, James Graham Ballard.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: In one scene in the American barracks in the POW camp, one prisoner is heard playing the tune "I Left My Love" on the harmonica. The tune is from the 1959 film The Horse Soldiers (1959) and was composed specifically for that film by songwriter Stan Jones, who also had a cameo in it.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Narrator:[title card] In 1941 China and Japan had been in a state of undeclared war for four years. A Japanese army of occupation was in control of much of the countryside and many towns and cities. In Shanghai thousands of Westerners, protected by the diplomatic security of the International Settlement, continued to live as they had lived since the British came here in the 19th century and built in the image of their own country...
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Lawrence of Arabia (1962)See more »
Soundtrack:
Chopin Mazurka Opus 17 No. 4See more »

FAQ

Jim tells Dr. Rawlins that he's never been to England. How can he be a precocious & proper English boy if he's never been there?
What's with the stadium filled with treasures?
How old is Jamie/Jim supposed to be in this film?
See more »
141 out of 176 people found the following review useful.
Extraordinary film, 19 August 2001
Author: artzau from Sacramento, CA

Reading through the reviews, there were a lot of people who didn't understand this film. This is Spielberg's venture into the realm of art in cinematography. This film is a visual masterpiece and you are swept along from beginning to end. Yes, the tale gets a bit loose in spots and you never know what's going to happen next. But, if you're willing to give up warm and fuzzy for lush visual images and startling leaps of character, you'll see what Spielberg's trying to accomplish. This film makes use of the talents of Miranda Richardson and gives some early exposure to the likes of John Malkovich and Ben Stiller, but young Christian Bale steals the show. The reviewer that commented on the "gothic" effect of the Tai-Pan's going to the costume ball being driven through Shanghai was right on. This film is rife with such scenes and does not disappoint. It's wholly misleading to look for some kind of action story underlying this film. The tale, taken from the book, is straightforward enough: a young boy's boost into manhood through the second world war. The film is full of memorable moments and visually very, very pleasing. As art, it is excellent. That's likely why it wasn't a blockbuster, as say, e.g., Poltergeist, Close Encounters and the Jurassic Park films, were. But, hey. That's the cost of creating art as opposed to crap. And, crap does draw a lot of flies...

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