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The Emperor's New Clothes (1987)

In Europe several several centuries ago, a group of prisoners about to be executed are freed as part of the celebration of the upcoming marriage of the emperor's daughter, Princess Gilda, ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Credited cast:
Prime Minister
The Tailor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Princess Gilda
Susan Berlin ...
Lady Christine
The Tailor's Nephew
Julian Chagrin ...
Duke (as Julian Joy Chagrin)
Yehuda Efroni ...
Head Guard
Eli Gorenstein ...
Hiccoughing Man
Danny Segev ...
Prince Nino


In Europe several several centuries ago, a group of prisoners about to be executed are freed as part of the celebration of the upcoming marriage of the emperor's daughter, Princess Gilda, to a very rich prince from another country. Among these newly free men are an uncle-and-nephew con artist team, who continue their usual work to the point where they end up in the emperor's own palace, posing as tailors. Taking advantage of the emperor's extreme love for new and newer clothing as a symbol of his wealth, the fake tailors get him to hire them to make clothes (in time for the wedding) that are invisible to all who are either unfit for their position, or very stupid. Of course, they wouldn't make anything at all, but instead steal all of the material (many jewels) and leave the emperor and all the people thinking that they are unfit or stupid. Things start to get more difficult as neither the emperor nor Gilda like the prince she is engaged to, she and the nephew fall in love, the nephew... Written by Pav

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

emperor | tailor | prince | love | princess | See All (21) »


Cannon Movie Tales:Lavish, Feature length new versions of the world's best loved storybook classics.


Comedy | Family | Musical


G | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cannon Movie Tales: The Emperor's New Clothes  »

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Did You Know?


The Emperor: How do you spin a thread out of a solid diamond?
Henry Dispenser: Ah! That is a family secret!
See more »


Version of Des Kaisers neue Kleider (2010) See more »


Music by Stephen Lawrence
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Performed by Robert Morse, Jason Carter, and Eli Gorenstein (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

My least favourite Cannon Movie Tale by quite some way
29 July 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A shame really because some of them like Hansel and Gretel and Beauty and the Beast are very good, and most of them are well above decent though with some limitations. Sadly Cannon's version of The Emperor's New Clothes is not among their best work and is lacking in many areas, that the original story has never been one of my personal favourites in the first place may have a little to do with it but this does nothing to improve it.

The Emperor's New Clothes has a few things that make it bearable viewing. The costumes are splendidly over-the-top and colourful, with Cannon Movie Tales the costumes are often where the low budget is the most obvious but they're not as tacky as they could have been here. The photography is rustic and very nicely done, and the incidental score is characterful and typically whimsical.

However, the low budget does show, with some drab and recycled set designs and some scenes being lit in a dim, faded way. Of the Cannon Movie Tales, The Emperor's New Clothes despite having some good talent is one of the worst-acted, with Sid Caesar mumbling his way through the film like a zombie and on the other side of the spectrum Clive Revill mugging embarrassingly. Robert Morse despite having one of the best singing voices of the cast is charmless here and also does his fair share of mugging. Jason Carter and Lysette Anthony are attractive but bland and overwrought lovers. The songs are pretty poorly written and some of the most forgettable of any of Cannon Movie Tales' films, the love duet Is This a Love Song faring the worst.

Regarding the writing, it is never very funny or interesting, the satiric edge of the story is completely lost and favoured by knockabout slapstick that gets very juvenile and tedious and a dull, cheesily written and overwroughtly acted romantic subplot. A few of the Cannon Movie Tales films were disadvantaged by trying to pad out short stories not really suited for feature length, and The Emperor's New Clothes is the worst case, with the storytelling being dull, muddled and somewhat bloated from trying to cram in a substantial amount of material that added little and wasn't engaging enough. The ending is also rushed and too convenient, and both the pace and direction are as flat as a lead balloon.

In conclusion, has a few good points but is by quite some way Cannon Movie Tales' weakest. 3/10 Bethany Cox

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