7.8/10
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The Last Emperor (1987)

The story of the final Emperor of China.

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,753 ( 253)

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Won 9 Oscars. Another 47 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ruocheng Ying ...
The Governor (as Ying Ruocheng)
...
Dennis Dun ...
Big Li
...
Amakasu (as Ryûichi Sakamoto)
Maggie Han ...
Eastern Jewel
...
Interrogator
...
Wen Hsiu (as Wu Jun Mei)
...
Chang (as Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa)
Jade Go ...
Ar Mo
Fumihiko Ikeda ...
Yoshioka
...
Tsou Tijger ...
Pu Yi - 8 Years (as Tijger Tsou)
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Storyline

This sweeping account of the life of Pu-Yi, the last emperor of China, follows the leader's tumultuous reign. After being captured by the Red Army as a war criminal in 1950, Pu-Yi recalls his childhood from prison. He remembers his lavish youth in the Forbidden City, where he was afforded every luxury but unfortunately sheltered from the outside world and complex political situation surrounding him. As revolution sweeps through China, the world Pu-Yi knew is dramatically upended. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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.


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | | |

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

15 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El último emperador  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$149,460, 20 November 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$43,984,230
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (television)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bernardo Bertolucci proposed the film to the Chinese government as one of two possible projects - the other was "La Condition Humaine" by André Malraux. The Chinese preferred this project, and made no restrictions on the content. See more »

Goofs

When Johnston is about to board a ship to England in 1931, a ticket office window is seen in the background with opening and closing times given in simplified Chinese characters. China only switched to simplified characters after the Communists came to power in 1949, with a drive to improve literacy. At the time this scene takes place, traditional full-form characters would have been used. See more »

Quotes

Pu Yi, at 15: Who is this George Washington?
Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: A famous American, your majesty. A revolutionary general, the first American president.
Pu Yi, at 15: Ah, like Mr. Lenin in Russia?
Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: Not quite.
Pu Yi, at 15: Does he have a car?
Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: He lived a long time ago, your majesty.
Pu Yi, at 15: *I* want a car.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Writing with Light: Vittorio Storaro (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Am I Blue
(1929)
Music by Harry Akst
Lyrics Grant Clarke
Sung by John Lone as Pu Yi
Published by Feldman Music
c/o EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Oriental paradise that is wonderfully mastered to the screen.
21 March 1999 | by See all my reviews

I guess I'm the only one who watched this from a worn out-of-print VHS copy. No matter what the quality, THE LAST EMPEROR is arguably among the best of the foreign pictures. The sights and sounds of The Forbidden City are sharp and beautifully screened right on with the provocative events that unfold the coming-of-age life of Pu Yi. It has plentiful moments including his romantic affairs with concubines and how he learns the way of the world as a child. His chronicle of a young emperor boy paints a colorful picture for the first half, only leading to more conflicting matters later, which is the most exciting part. Don't expect to see heads getting chopped off, like I thought would happen (unless you have the longer DVD version), but the intensity of the talk surrounding it sounds horrifying and true. Nevertheless, the dialogue is clearly mystical. Every minute is a feel-good breeze through crafty cinematic art, but it ends too fast, and the narration from Pu Yi in his prison term could use a lot more detailing. Maybe I'll stick around longer and wait to see the Director's Cut which has more. Definitely a winning treat not to be missed for foreign movie lovers and collectors of premium filmfare.


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