The Emperor's Club (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  22 November 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 13,776 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 136 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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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rishi 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?


The first scene filmed was where Hundert spoke to Senator Bell as stated in the audio commentary. See more »


When Sedgewick is the last student left in the room finishing a quiz his Biro pen has a top on it, then suddenly it hasn't. 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 Breathless (1960) See more »


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

Captivating and thought provoking
8 October 2007 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

This film is about a history teacher engraving his wisdom and virtues in his students' hearts.

According to my vote history, I watched it in around April 2003 time, and I gave it a 6. I borrowed this DVD again a few days ago from the library, not remembering I have watched it. I thought it could not have been a good film if I could not remember watching it. It was so wrong! I really like the plot of this film. It is so touching and affecting. I felt so drawn to the characters of the film. Mr Hundert's dedication and enormous enthusiasm is infectiously touching. Even Mr Hundert has such high virtues, he still made a mistake. To think that Mr Hundert must have chided himself for 25 years about not letting Martin be in the competition is almost unbearable. This contrasts Sedgewick Bell, a non conformer. He breaks all the rules and never regrets it, maybe except at the end. The two characters create such an interesting parallel, and gives much room for thought. This film touched me a lot. It is captivating and thought provoking. It truly deserves more attention than it gets.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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New Dead Poet's Society? PeterKunze
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