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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 5,005 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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Title: The Emperor and the Assassin (1998)

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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 Xianyang palace was reconstructed in its entirety in the city of Dongyang in Zhenjiang province. Much of the film, including the final scene, was shot there. It is now being preserved as a theme park drawing large numbers of tourists. In addition, the capital cities of the other kingdoms featured in the film, Yan Zhao and Han, were constructed as several sights across China. All have been meticulously built to scale with special attention paid to their historical accuracy. See more »

Connections

References Throne of Blood (1957) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Emperor and the Assassin, sure, but don't forget Lady Zhao!
15 October 2000 | by (Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

This is an excellent film. No, it's not Mel Gibson in "Braveheart," but then, it's not trying to be. Actually, "The Emperor and the Assassin" probably has (thankfully) more in common with a Shakespearean production than a Hollywood blockbuster.

In the third century BC, the King of Qin is attempting to unite (in other words "conquer") the seven kingdoms of China. He has already overthrown the Kingdom of Han. Now he needs an excuse to invade the Kingdom of Yan.

This is where the Lady Zhao comes in. She and the King have been friends since childhood. They are obviously very much in love, but cannot marry for political reasons. Together they devise a plot. She will pretend to have fallen into disfavor with the King and escape to Yan. Once there she will convince the Prince of Yan to send an assassin back to kill the King. When the assassination fails, the King will have his excuse to invade Yan.

Once in Yan, however, Lady Zhao begins to reconsider. Hearing and seeing more and more examples of her old childhood friend's ruthlessness, she begins to wonder if the King may need to be assassinated for real.

One sure sign that you're not watching a Hollywood production is the final encounter between the King and the assassin. Unlike a Hollywood movie where the hero and villain are clearly defined and the final outcome already predetermined, this is a fight that could truly go either way.

This is a well crafted and well acted story of a tumultuous time in Chinese history. There is a mixture of both incredible beauty and incredible ugliness. Most beautiful of all, however, is Gong Li as the Lady Zhao. I grow more and more convinced every time I see her that Gong Li is the most beautiful woman in the world.

I must say, however, that she does have one unintentionally funny line in this film. Early on Gong Li asks one of her servants "Do I have a beautiful face?"

Duh!!!


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