MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 322 this week

The Emperor's Club (2002)

 -  Drama  -  22 November 2002 (USA)
6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 12,543 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 133 user | 84 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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

Director:

Writers:

(short story "The Palace Thief"), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 30 Aug 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 18 Nov 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 03 Jan 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 16 Jun 2013
 
a list of 47 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Emperor's Club (2002)

The Emperor's Club (2002) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Emperor's Club.

User Polls

2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to a love of poetry and to seize the day.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Will Hunting, a janitor at MIT, has a gift for mathematics but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck
The Help (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Director: Tate Taylor
Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
Philadelphia (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When a man with AIDS is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.

Director: George Clooney
Stars: Paul Giamatti, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman
I Am Sam (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A mentally retarded man fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter, and in the process teaches his cold-hearted lawyer the value of love and family.

Director: Jessie Nelson
Stars: Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning
Gran Torino (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Christopher Carley
Rain Man (1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino
Seven Pounds (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man with a fateful secret embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers.

Director: Gabriele Muccino
Stars: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson
Proof (2005)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students who wants to search through his papers and her estranged sister who shows up to help settle his affairs.

Director: John Madden
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Hope Davis
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A defense attorney has a crisis of conscience when he represents a wealthy client who has a foolproof plan to beat the system.

Director: Brad Furman
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe
Awakenings (1990)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years ago have been catatonic ever since, but now a new drug offers the prospect of reviving them.

Director: Penny Marshall
Stars: Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner
Edit

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
...
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Kevin Kline's character, William Hundert, is modeled after Robert Nowe, a classical history teacher at Town School for Boys in San Francisco, who inspired the short story on which the film is based. See more »

Goofs

The boys are studying Latin using the first book of the Cambridge Latin course. The edition they are using is the third edition in hardcover, which wasn't released until 1988. 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, Dale Peters
Performed by James Gang
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Dignified portrait of a principled but very human teacher
26 April 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Perhaps teacher movies should be judged on their own merits, but it's human nature to compare. Although I also love Dead Poet's Society, I consider The Emperor's Club one of the most compelling movies I have ever seen. The two are actually worlds apart, with Emperor's Club definitely a more cerebral film. Dead Poets seems more student oriented (students shun conformity as a result of teacher impact) and Emperor's Club more teacher focused (teacher struggles to inspire challenging student and is faced with difficult choices). Also, they have very distinct themes, with Dead Poets focusing more on individuality and 'seizing the day', while Emperor's Club revolves around character and ethics. Unlike Dead Poets (and also Mona Lisa Smile), the Emperor's Club teacher has no controversial subject matter or approaches, just relatively traditional (though passionate & effective) teaching methods.

The story depicts Mr. Hundert, a highly respected and idealistic Classics professor at an ivy covered, prestigious boys' prep school, St. Benedict's. He tries to impart a passion for Greek & Roman history to his relatively motivated students, while also conveying the importance of principles and contribution to society. All passes smoothly until the arrival of Sedgewick Bell, the obnoxious and rebellious son of a slimy Senator (who neglects his 'nuisance' offspring and exhibits an unfortunate tendency to profanity). A battle of wills ensues between teacher and student, as Sedgewick not only disrupts the class himself but inspires rowdy disrespect among his classmates. Mr. Hundert sees the vast potential in this antagonistic student and makes every effort to motivate Sedgewick to apply himself to his studies and also to exhibit personal integrity. In the process, Mr. Hundert, himself a dedicated teacher with great integrity, neglects his other students to focus on the one. He illegitimately enables Sedgewick to participate as a finalist in the school's annual Mr. Julius Caesar Contest, secretly passing over the truly deserving student, Martin Blythe. A reunion 25 years later will depict the impact of this teacher's flawed choices on his former student's character and whether or not past injustices can finally be righted.

I don't want to give the outcome away, but this reunion provides a fascinating portrait of Mr. Hundert's students as grown men. We can examine the world's view of their success versus our own, witnessing their career choices, their wives & families, and especially their character traits...whether contributory and noble or self absorbed and dishonourable. Compelling glimpses of two of these student's offspring, Robert Bell and Martin Blythe IV, prove to be incredibly revealing.

Kevin Kline, an under rated actor, is masterfully convincing in the role of the scholarly, dignified, and conflicted Mr. Hundert, and his 25 year aging process seems well depicted. Also, the roles of the boys Martin, Louis, Deepak, and of course the unpleasant Sedgewick are all well cast, as well as their older versions.

This is not simply another great film about an extraordinary teacher who has a profound impact upon his students. What distinguishes this movie from the rest is that Mr. Hundert, though a wonderfully dedicated and moral teacher, is himself flawed and compromises his own principles. In some respects, this actually makes him a much more three dimensional, realistic, and compelling character than such previous exemplary teachers as Mr. Chips (Good Bye, Mr. Chips), Mr. Keating (Dead Poets Society), and Mr. Holland (Mr. Holland's Opus). The theme here revolves not only around Mr. Hundert's impact on the boys but also his inner conflict, actually more significant than any external struggle with the rabble rousing Sedgewick or the misguided system that focuses more on fund raising than academic excellence. The film makes the point that sometimes the moral choice is not always clear cut, that crossing an unethical boundary can appear all too justifiable, and that one unprincipled decision may lead to another. There is a subtly conveyed sense as to the extent that Mr. Hundert's unethical decisions have haunted him during the intervening decades and possibly even affected his subsequent career path, as he is passed over for the Headmaster's position and begins to question his own value as an educator.

The little sub plot is actually quite engaging (not irrelevant, as some claim) that portrays the potential romance between Mr. Hundert and Elizabeth, a lovely but married fellow teacher. Its purpose is to give another indication of Mr. Hundert's character and integrity, this time revealed through his personal life. Although these two are obviously close kindred spirits with a mutual attraction, he makes no attempt to move beyond platonic friendship. His emotional but restrained response is well conveyed when Elizabeth announces that she is moving to England with her husband, who has obtained a position at Oxford.

Personally, I found all the Greek & Roman History class scenes quite engaging and enjoyed the competition with its trio of toga clad contestants. It all made me wish I was a student myself in Mr. Hundert's Classics class, surrounded by all those busts of Cicero, Socrates, Plato, and Caesar.

The Emperor's Club is a unique, intelligent, and thought provoking film that contrasts society's misguided values with the truly meaningful and important. Very few movies today deal with ethical issues, but this one explores such moral matters as teacher favouritism, bending the rules, and cheating. It prompts discussion, encouraging the viewer to question his own views of right and wrong in these situations. The movie also challenges our thinking as to exactly what does constitute teacher success, as we watch Mr Hundert come to grips with his own personal definition. The quiet ending may be less intense and dramatic than Dead Poets Society, but is equally moving and powerful. As a former teacher myself, my hat goes off to Mr. Hundert. Although very human and with some lessons to learn himself, this dedicated teacher serves as an inspirational role model for viewers of this film as well as for his students.


25 of 28 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
Should Hundert have been so very straight? threeoranges
STOP comparing 'Emperor's Club' to 'Dead Poets Society'! dee-travis
New Dead Poet's Society? PeterKunze
Absolutely one of the worst films I have ever seen. colonelforbin5
Discuss The Emperor's Club (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?