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The Emperor's Club (2002)

 -  Drama  -  22 November 2002 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 12,804 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 134 user | 84 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

An idealistic prep school teacher attempts to redeem an incorrigible student.

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(short story "The Palace Thief"), (screenplay)
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Airs Wed. Oct. 29, 10:30 AM on HBO

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sedgewick Bell
...
Elizabeth
...
James Ellerby
...
Headmaster Woodbridge
...
Senator Bell
...
Martin Blythe
Rishi Mehta ...
Deepak Mehta
...
Louis Masoudi
Gabriel Millman ...
Robert Brewster (as Gabe Millman)
Chris Morales ...
Eugene Field
Luca Bigini ...
Copeland Gray
Michael Coppola ...
Russell Hall
...
Mr. Harris
...
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Storyline

William Hundert is a passionate and principled Classics professor who finds his tightly-controlled world shaken and inexorably altered when a new student, Sedgewick Bell, walks into his classroom. What begins as a fierce battle of wills gives way to a close student-teacher relationship, but results in a life lesson for Hundert that will still haunt him a quarter of a century later. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In everyone's life there's that one person who makes all the difference.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Palace Thief  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,846,780 (USA) (22 November 2002)

Gross:

$14,060,950 (USA) (24 January 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

St. Benedict's two mottos, "Non sibi" and "Finis origine pendet" are actually two mottos of Phillips Academy Andover. See more »

Goofs

When the students are caught on the brink of skinny-dipping, one of the nuns is wearing a wimple (traditional headgear and veil) together with a habit that has an above-the-knee skirt. You would never see a nun wearing such a combination. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Valet: Is everything okay, sir?
William Hundert: Fine, thank you. Here.
[reaches into his pocket]
William Hundert: Let me, uh...
Valet: That's not necessary, sir.
[walks away]
William Hundert: [narrating] As I've gotten older, I realize I'm certain of only two things. Days that begin with rowing on a lake are better than days that do not. Second, a man's character is his fate. And as a student of history, I find this hard to refute. For most of us our stories can be written long before we die. There are exceptions among the great men of history, ...
See more »

Connections

References The Great Escape (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Funk 49
Written by Jim Fox, Joe Walsh, and Dale Peters
Performed by James Gang
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Good luck finding a teacher like this in real life!
14 August 2005 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

I can't help feel bit jealous when ever I see Private Schools in movies. My high school was unfortunately full of teachers who didn't give half a goddamn about you. And it was/is one of the most respected (read pretentious) in the country. I never learned one single thing that was actually of use to me and I believe going to such a place is mostly responsible for turning me into the faithless cynic that I am now.

In this movie Kevin Kline (a seriously underused actor) plays a history teacher who is dedicated to making sure his students grow up to be fine and morally sound, upstanding people. They all get along until Sedgewick Bell (Emile Hirsh)the hell-raising son of an arrogant Governor arrives in class. His grades are terrible but Mr. Hundert sees intelligence in the boy and struggles to push him in the right direction at the expense of the rest of the class who actually want and care for education. Over the years he comes to regret his mistakes but sees a chance to put things right again with a reunion of all his former students organised by Sedgewick who appears to want to put things right.

There are loads of Student/Teacher movies out there but what separates The Emperor's Club from the likes of Dead Poet's Society and Mr. Holland's Opus is that Mr. Hundert's teaching is never in doubt. But he is flawed. Kevin Kline is so good in the role that for most of the film I thought I was watching a real person and not a character. And doesn't he sound like Niles from Frasier?

I do wish I went to somewhere like St. Benedicts or at least had a teacher like Mr. Hundert. It seems that teachers who really care only exist in the movies As are students who are willing to learn. Or perhaps it's just my bad non-education that skews my opinion. Still, I know good movies when I see one and The Emperor's Club get's my recommendation if you're sick of Hollywood, massive budgets, overblown SFX and intrusive marketing and just want a good character drama.


35 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Let's compare teacher movies roghache
Why was The Emperor's Club not nominated for Academy Awards? Haukdal
STOP comparing 'Emperor's Club' to 'Dead Poets Society'! dee-travis
Should Hundert have been so very straight? threeoranges
New Dead Poet's Society? PeterKunze
Absolutely one of the worst films I have ever seen. colonelforbin5
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