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The Last Emperor (1987) Poster

Quotes

Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: Words are important.

Pu Yi, at 15: Why are words important?

Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: If you cannot say what you mean, your majesty, you will never mean what you say and a gentleman should always mean what he says.

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.

Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: The Emperor has been a prisoner in his own palace since the day that he was crowned, and has remained a prisoner since he abdicated. But now he's growing up, he may wonder why he's the only person in China who may not walk out of his own front door. I think the Emperor is the loneliest boy on Earth.

The Governor: [Confronting Puyi in the prison gardens, where Puyi works alone] Perhaps you think we're here to teach men to lie in a new way?

The Governor: [Puyi continues working as if trying to ignore the Governor] Why did you sign every accusation made against you? I didn't stop you from killing yourself to see you like this! Someone who will sign anything to please his enemies... to please me!

The Governor: [Puyi continues working] You knew about a lot of things in Manchukuo... even the secret agreements. But you couldn't possibly have known about the Japanese biological warfare experiments in Harbin! Could you? So why did you sign these papers?

Emperor Pu Yi: I was responsible for everything.

The Governor: You are responsible for what you do! All your life you thought you were better than everyone else. Now you think you're the worst of all!

Emperor Pu Yi: [sighs] Why can you not leave me alone? You saved my life to make me a puppet in your own play. You saved me because I am useful to you.

The Governor: Is that so terrible? To be useful?

Pu Yi, at 15: Where are your ancestors buried?

Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: In Scotland, your majesty.

Pu Yi, at 15: But then, where's your skirt? In your country, men wear short skirts, do they not?

Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: No, your majesty, Scotmen do not wear skirts. They wear kilts.

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Pu Yi, at 15: Is it true, Mr. Johnston, that many people out there have had their heads cut off?

Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: It is true, your majesty. Many heads have been chopped off. It does stop them thinking.

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Pu Yi, at 15: [in heavily accented English] I know that you know that I know that you know that that is a dialogue between Confucius and Chuang Tzu.

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The Governor: [bidding farewell to Pu Yi as he is released from reform camp] You see, I will end up living in prison longer than you!

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The Governor: [setting a recurring theme of imprisonment throughout the film] Open the door! Open the door! Open the door!... Open the door!

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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?

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Emperor Pu Yi: This isn't a school; it's a prison. A real prison.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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