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The Last Emperor (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  15 April 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 66,021 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 131 user | 74 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

The story of the final Emperor of China.


(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Won 9 Oscars. Another 43 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruocheng Ying ...
The Governor (as Ying Ruocheng)
Dennis Dun ...
Amakasu (as Ryûichi Sakamoto)
Maggie Han ...
Wen Hsiu (as Wu Jun Mei)
Chang (as Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa)
Jade Go ...
Fumihiko Ikeda ...
Richard Vuu ...
Tsou Tijger ...
Pu Yi - 8 Years (as Tijger Tsou)


A dramatic history of Pu Yi, the last of the Emperors of China, from his lofty birth and brief reign in the Forbidden City, the object of worship by half a billion people; through his abdication, his decline and dissolute lifestyle; his exploitation by the invading Japanese, and finally to his obscure existence as just another peasant worker in the People's Republic. Written by Martin H. Booda <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He was the Lord of Ten Thousand Years, the absolute monarch of China. He was born to rule a world of ancient tradition. Nothing prepared him for our world of change.


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

15 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El último emperador  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$21,105 (USA) (27 November 1998)


$43,984,230 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (television)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The real Reginald Johnston spoke fluent Chinese and was extremely well versed in the history of China, as well as its poetry. In the film, he and Pu Yi speak English to each other. See more »


When the princess gives birth, you can hear the baby crying, yet when the camera moves across, the baby has a calm expression. See more »


Chen Pao Shen: [as Puyi is heading off to become the Emperor of Manchukuo] If you go you betray your country!
Emperor Pu Yi: [pause, at a distance] Which country?
See more »


Referenced in The Oprah Winfrey Show: Summer Movie Reviews (1996) See more »


Kaiser Walzer (Emperor Waltz) op. 437
Written by Johann Strauss (as Johann Strauss)
Performed by Berliner Philharmoniker (as The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan
with kind permission of Polydor International GmbH
See more »

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User Reviews

I love this movie
22 May 2003 | by (holland) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie at the cinema when I was 17 years old. I was completely overwhelmed by the movie (I already had a fascination for China) that I decided to visit china in 1992 just to see the forbidden palace (and the rest of China of course).

The music in the movie is brilliant, the cinematography outstanding, the story very moving (the end of the movie broke my heart).

Don´t expect an action-packed or high paced movie and be ready to sit through 3+ hours. If you´re all that, it might be worth a look for you as well:)

33 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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