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The Emperor and the Assassin (1998)
"Jing Ke ci Qin Wang" (original title)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,976 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 58 user | 57 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

In pre-unified China, the King of Qin sends his concubine to a rival kingdom to produce an assassin for a political plot, but as the king's cruelty mounts she finds her loyalty faltering.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Fengyi Zhang ...
...
Dan, Prince of Yan
Xiaohe Lü ...
General Fan Yuqi
Zhiwen Wang ...
Marquis Changxin
...
Yongfei Gu ...
Queen Mother
...
Haifeng Ding ...
Qin Wuyang
Changjiang Pan ...
Prison Official
...
Blind Girl
...
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Storyline

In the 3rd Century BC, Ying Zheng, heir to the Kingdom of Qin, seeks to dominate the remaining six Chinese kingdoms. Ying's strategy is to seem invincible. Ying sends his concubine Zhao to the Han Kingdom as a spy, to enlist an assassin he can conquer. Zhao persuades Jing Ke, but falls in love. Written by <ssrich@cityu.edu.hk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | concubine | death | murder | temple | See All (38) »

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

14 November 1998 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Emperor and the Assassin  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$47,295 (USA) (17 December 1999)

Gross:

$1,328,435 (USA) (7 July 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The task of reproducing the costumes for the production was undertaken by the renowned designer, Mo Xiaomin, whose work is synonymous with the term 'costume design as art'. Mo Xiaomin spent two and a half years visiting historical ruins, collecting vast amounts of information and reading over 100 specialized texts before officially accepting Chen Kaige's offer to create the costumes for the movie. During the early planning stages, there were continuous consultations with the director and thousands of preliminary sketches made before Mo decided on his final 400 designs. The film's costumes are the culmination of four years of continuous labor and the pinnacle of Mo Xiaomin's celebrated twenty year career as a designer. See more »

Connections

References Throne of Blood (1957) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Historic Epic that blows away "Patriot" or "Gladiator"
10 December 2000 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

After seeing dressed up action films, like the two mentioned above, Emperor and the Assassin was a godsend. This film was such a marvelous blend of action, intrigue, and personality, and I'm sure I'll see it again and again in years to come.

Some of the complaints about the movie have been the golden/brown tint and the quick, disorienting editing. However, I loved both of these qualities in the movie, though the editing did take some time to get used to. A great example of it, is when we're introduced to Jing Ke, the assassin. He is offered an assignment for five thousand, and we see a close up of his face as he demands ten thousand. The next shot shows him with sword drawn, in the house of his victims. That whole introduction to the assassin was marvelously edited, in my opinion. You have to realize that in order to fit the epic plot into just under three hours, a lot of tiny details needed to be cut out. The quick editing also makes the movie seem much shorter than it really is.

Someone said that the swordfighting in the movie (what little of it there was) seemed like high school drama, but I strongly disagree. Most of the action is captured in a few shots, making it seem much more realistic. In so many american films, we see a a flash of a dozen close ups, without getting a feel for what is even happening! Also, the constant use of slow motion in many movies gets so old. By having the fighting in this movie fast and furious, it is much more affecting.

I won't give away the ending, but it was really suspenseful and surprising. I had no idea what would happen (being unfamiliar with Chinese history helped), and was on the edge of my seat! So, to conclude, if you like sweeping historical epics, make sure to see this! I really like the films of Kurosawa, and saw some similarities here, so also if you like his movies, see this!!


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