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

R  |   |  Drama, History  |  14 November 1998 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,189 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 58 user | 56 critic | 25 from

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 overview:
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

14 November 1998 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Emperor and the Assassin  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$1,328,435 (USA) (7 July 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The staging of the battle sequences between the forces of Qin and its enemies, Han and Zhao, also proved to be a major logistical feat. Shot on the Bashan plateau, bordering Inner Mongolia, these dramatic scenes involved the coordination of thousands of horses, chariots, stunt people and extras. Huilui was chosen as the site for the exterior shots of the Zhao countryside, while Shidu, southwest of Beijing, served as the location of Jing Ke's fateful farewell at the Yishui river. See more »


References Throne of Blood (1957) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Astounding acting, photography, story
30 January 2003 | by (deep in the heart of Texas) – See all my reviews

I've read some grumbles about the court scenes. These people betray their ignorance. This production went to simply amazing lengths to recreate all aspects of the period in which the story occurred. Courtly manners are something few people outside the court ever see. While the acting may appear highly stylized, it is, in fact, as close a replication as possible of the behavior of individuals in their particular stations as the director could create. The actor's facial expressions are a marvel, particularly the duplicitous Marquis Changxin and the King's mother.

There are, of course, reflections of both Greek and Shakespearian tragedy in the relationship between the king, his parents and his love. The juxtaposition of the king transforming from good to bad and the assassin from bad to good provides much food for thought on the evolution of an individual's nature. This movie would provide much to ponder in a college course on the humanities.

At the same time, it almost rushes along, even in the slowest scenes heading towards an inexorable denouement. One suspects the involvement of large portions of the troop movements, which were quite awesome. It makes The Lord of the Rings battle scenes pale by comparison. Few directors have the ability to literally field thousands of humans on the field of battle just for art's sake. I recall one scene in which at least 30,000 troops can be seen moving across a huge plain. The logistics for such a shot would have been staggering.

I could go on... but simply, I can't recommend this film highly enough.

30 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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