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The Emperor's Club (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  22 November 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 13,671 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 135 user | 83 critic | 32 from

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



(short story "The Palace Thief"), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Ellerby
Senator Bell
Martin Blythe
Rishi Mehta ...
Deepak Mehta
Gabriel Millman ...
Robert Brewster (as Gabe Millman)
Chris Morales ...
Eugene Field
Luca Bigini ...
Copeland Gray
Michael Coppola ...
Russell Hall
Mr. Harris
The Nun


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


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



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Palace Thief  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ethan Canin, author of "The Palace Thief" (upon which the movie is based) appears as one of the Board members around the table during Hundert's meeting with the school's board of directors. He is seated on the Headmaster's right during the meeting. See more »


When the girls are removing their shirts to go skinny dipping, a Victoria's Secret Body by Victoria bra is revealed, a bra from the time the film was made, not the time period it was set in. See more »


[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 »


References Contempt (1963) See more »


Funk 49
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User Reviews

Splendid and agreeable movie about the relationship between a professor and student
12 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

The movie deals with a good and idealist teacher ( Kevin Kline ) of Roman classic history and his relationship to a roguish and rebel pupil( Emile Hirsch ) in a high class prep school . The professor tries to redeem him but the continuous challenge makes that the incorrigible student ( besides he is a senator's son : Harris Yulin ) results to be more and less difficult or impossible to dominate him . Meanwhile the starring falls in love with an attractive though married teacher ( Embeth Davidtz ) and has problems with the college director ( Edward Herrmann ).

The picture is based on a Ethan Canin's book titled ¨ Palace thief ¨. The story is narrated with sensitivity and intelligence and are treated ethic and moral issues developed in great sense of ductility and fairness . The professor will have to face on the truth that can be manipulated o phony . The motion picture takes part of the school genre whose maxim representation turns out to be the prestigious ¨ Dead poet society ¨ by Peter Weir . The film is displayed throughout among past and present time where we find the same characters though twenty five years later , except Kevin Kline the actors are different . The actors' interpretation is excellent as Kevin Kline as mature and old professor hands perfectly the role , Emile Hirsch as the rascal young is top notch and Embeth Davidtz is wonderful and enjoyable . James Newton Howard's musical score is sensitive and touching . The story is well directed by Michael Hoffman . Rating : Above average , well worth watching.

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Message Boards

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Let's compare teacher movies roghache
STOP comparing 'Emperor's Club' to 'Dead Poets Society'! dee-travis
Why was The Emperor's Club not nominated for Academy Awards? Haukdal
Should Hundert have been so very straight? threeoranges
Why it didnt succeed !? didi0074
New Dead Poet's Society? PeterKunze
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