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The Emperor's Club
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The Emperor's Club (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Ethan Canin (short story "The Palace Thief")
Neil Tolkin (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Emperor's Club on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 November 2002 (USA) See more »
In everyone's life there's that one person who makes all the difference.
An idealistic prep school teacher attempts to redeem an incorrigible student. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Dignified portrait of a principled but very human teacher See more (134 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kevin Kline ... William Hundert

Emile Hirsch ... Sedgewick Bell

Embeth Davidtz ... Elizabeth

Rob Morrow ... James Ellerby

Edward Herrmann ... Headmaster Woodbridge

Harris Yulin ... Senator Bell

Paul Dano ... Martin Blythe
Rishi Mehta ... Deepak Mehta

Jesse Eisenberg ... Louis Masoudi
Gabriel Millman ... Robert Brewster (as Gabe Millman)
Chris Morales ... Eugene Field
Luca Bigini ... Copeland Gray
Michael Coppola ... Russell Hall

Sean Fredricks ... Mr. Harris

Katherine O'Sullivan ... The Nun
Melissa Brown ... Blonde Girl
Sophie Wise ... Brunette
Emily Doubilet ... Redhead (as Emily Dara Doubilet)
Michelle Foody ... Real Redhead
Caitlin O'Heaney ... Mrs. Woodbridge
Charu R. Mehta ... Deepak's Mom
Pamela Wehner ... Senator Bell's Wife
Molly Regan ... Miss Peters

Roger Rees ... Mr. Castle
Helen Carey ... Miss Johnston
Matthew Douglas ... Well Wisher / Good Luck Boy
Charles McConnell ... Third Form Boy
Allan M. Care ... Other Student

Joel Gretsch ... Older Sedgewick Bell

Steven Culp ... Older Martin Blythe

Rahul Khanna ... Older Deepak Mehta

Patrick Dempsey ... Older Louis Masoudi
Jimmy Walsh ... Robert Bell

Elizabeth Hobgood ... Victoria Bell

Purva Bedi ... Anna Mehta

Deirdre Lorenz ... Dr. Kelly Ryan
Anthony Vincent Bova ... Older Robert Brewster
Mark Nichols ... Older Copeland Gray

George F. Miller ... Older Eugene Field (as George Miller)
David C. Hatch ... Older Deibel
Tom Bloom ... Maitre'D
Matthew Clark ... Waiter

James Shanklin ... Valet
Denis Gawley ... Sound Board Mixer
Nick Hagelin ... Martin Blythe the 4th
Henry Glovinsky ... William Simon

Duane McLaughlin ... George Duncan
Jessica Brooks Grant ... Kathryn Scott
Charles Estes ... Howard Hollander
Dominique Deverau ... Tawana Carver

Ben Levin ... Steven Wong
Jase Blankfort ... Alec Matthews
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Tim Realbuto ... Jackson Pheiffer
Peter Charuza ... Julius Ceaser Competition Scene Extra (uncredited)
April Crisafulli ... Faculty Wife (uncredited)
Julie E. Davis ... Faculty Member's Wife (uncredited)

Jovette Elise ... Estate Server (uncredited)
Jason Sean Ellis ... Student (uncredited)

Rick Kain ... School Administrator (uncredited)

Rick Karatas ... Alma Mater Singer #1 (uncredited)
Justin Leader ... Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Hoffman 
Writing credits
Ethan Canin (short story "The Palace Thief")

Neil Tolkin (screenplay)

Produced by
Marc Abraham .... producer
Sean Bailey .... executive producer
Armyan Bernstein .... executive producer
Thomas A. Bliss .... executive producer
Lisa Bruce .... co-producer
Andrew S. Karsch .... producer (as Andy Karsch)
Sidney Kimmel .... executive producer
Cooper Layne .... executive producer
Eric Newman .... executive producer
Michael O'Neill .... co-producer
Original Music by
James Newton Howard 
Cinematography by
Lajos Koltai 
Film Editing by
Harvey Rosenstock 
Casting by
Katharina Eggmann 
Sheila Jaffe 
Georgianne Walken 
Production Design by
Patrizia von Brandenstein 
Art Direction by
Dennis Bradford 
Set Decoration by
George DeTitta Jr. 
Beth Kushnick 
Costume Design by
Cynthia Flynt 
Makeup Department
Milton Buras .... assistant hair stylist
Joseph Farulla .... assistant makeup artist
Leslie Fuller .... makeup department head
Heidi Kulow .... makeup artist
Werner Sherer .... key hair stylist
Production Management
Robert Marty .... post-production supervisor
Lisa Rodgers .... post-production supervisor
Helen Silverberg .... post-production supervisor
Nancy Rae Stone .... executive in charge of production
Fred Styles .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fareshta Ahmadi .... dga trainee
Timothy Donohue .... second assistant director (as Timothy S. Donohue)
Denis Doyle .... additional second assistant director
Takahide Kawakami .... second second assistant director
Alexandra E. Perce .... additional first assistant director (as Alexandra Perce)
Todd Pfeiffer .... first assistant director
Art Department
Joel Barkow .... property master
Liz Bonaventura .... scenic charge (as Elizabeth Bonaventura)
Kevin Brink .... set dresser
Gary Cergol .... graphic artist
Tamar M. Cohn .... scenic artist
Gerald DeTitta .... lead man
Anthony Dimeo .... property master
Anne Donovan .... scenic artist
Donna L. Drinkwater .... set dresser
Tony Gamiello .... set dresser (as Tony S. Gamiello Sr.)
Kalina Ivanov .... storyboard artist
Robert H. Klatt .... set dresser
Eric M. Metzger .... property assistant (as Eric Metzger)
Mark Newell .... on-set dresser
Gennaro Proscia .... construction coordinator
Jeremy Rosenstein .... art department assistant
Cathy Scorsese .... assistant property master (as Catherine Scorsese)
Stephen Siersema .... scenic artist
Nancy Stroud .... scenic artist
Jeff Taisey .... construction foreman
Irapaul Turner .... construction shop manager
John Wolanczyk .... stand-by scenic (as John P. Wolanczyk)
Peter Regnier .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Michael Axinn .... assistant adr editor
Christopher Barnett .... re-recording engineer
David Bell .... assistant adr editor
David Bell .... assistant dialogue editor
David Boulton .... adr mixer
Tim Burby .... assistant adr editor
Tony Eckert .... foley mixer
Thom 'Coach' Ehle .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Sue Fox .... foley editor
Jeff Gomillion .... adr mixer
Chat Gunter .... production sound mixer
Gabriel Guy .... sound mix technician
Lora Hirschberg .... sound re-recording mixer
Tim Holland .... supervising sound editor
Bruce Lacey .... adr editor
Bruce Lacey .... adr supervisor
Bruce Lacey .... dialogue editor
George Leong .... boom operator
Kira Lewis .... sound recordist
Tod A. Maitland .... additional sound mixer (as Tod Maitland)
Frank 'Pepe' Merel .... foley mixer
Alex Raspa .... adr recordist
Philip Rogers .... adr recordist
William Sarokin .... production sound mixer
Timothia Sellers .... utility sound (as Timothea Sellers)
Robert Shoup .... adr editor
Robert Shoup .... dialogue editor
Addison Teague .... sound effects editor
Addison Teague .... supervising assistant sound editor
Dennie Thorpe .... foley artist
Jana Vance .... foley artist
Karen G. Wilson .... adr editor
Karen G. Wilson .... dialogue editor
George Peterson Jr. .... sound re-recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Syd Dutton .... special effects
Bill Traynor .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Steven Fagerquist .... visual effects
Mark Kenaston .... digital artist
Christopher Grandel .... trailer digital effects, Howard Anderson Company (uncredited)
Michael Kory .... digital artist (uncredited)
Jay Carrado .... stunt double
Roy Farfel .... stunt coordinator
Don Hewitt .... stunt rigger
Camera and Electrical Department
Nicole Brait .... electrician
Jerry DeBlau .... gaffer
Craig DiBona .... camera operator
Kenneth Dodd .... best boy electric
Greg Finkel .... first assistant camera: second camera
Bill Floyd .... first assistant camera: second camera
Paul A. Fusco .... rigging electrician
Dejan Georgevich .... camera operator: second camera
George Harrington .... generator operator
William Jones .... dolly grip
Amy Kupferberg .... electrician
Peter Letzelter-Smith .... grip
Sean Malone .... best boy grip
Sal Martorano .... gaffer
Peter McEntyre .... generator operator
A. Lee Morris .... assistant camera
Gary Muller .... first assistant camera
Richard Neumann .... electrician
Douglas Pellegrino .... camera operator: second camera (as Doug Pellegrino)
Kabkeo Phothivongsa .... electrician
James Pollard .... key grip (as James H. Pollard)
Noah Prince .... electrician
Rocco Proscia .... rigging grip
Melvin Pukowsky .... second rigging grip
Sabatino Rea .... key rigging grip
Kevin Reidy .... grip
Lance Rieck .... assistant camera
Richard Suffern .... grip
Demmie Todd .... still photographer
Bobby Vercruse .... key rigging electrician
Lee Vercruse .... rigging electrician
Casting Department
Trevor P. Jenkins .... casting assistant
Anna Maniscalco .... background casting associate
Grant Wilfley .... background casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Elizabeth Feldbauer .... wardrobe supervisor
Irene Feldbauer .... wardrobe assistant
Gail A. Fitzgibbons .... assistant wardrobe supervisor
Anne Gorman .... costume shop supervisor
Barrett Hong .... costumer
Thomas Lee Keller .... assistant costume designer (as Thomas L. Keller)
Jessica T. Sinoway .... costume assistant
Rose Wells .... wardrobe supervisor (as Rosie Wells)
Editorial Department
Elizabeth Dean .... post-production coordinator (as Elizabeth Dionne)
Tim Fox .... assistant editor
Dennis McNeill .... color timer (as Denny McNeill)
Peter Mergus .... associate editor
Dana Mulligan .... assistant editor
Theresa Repola Mohammed .... negative cutter
Music Department
Pete Anthony .... conductor
Jeff Atmajian .... orchestrator
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist
Brad Dechter .... orchestrator
Sandy DeCrescent .... orchestra contractor
Peter Doell .... music recordist (as Pete Doell)
George Doering .... musician
Mark Eshelman .... scoring crew
Mark Graham .... music librarian
James T. Hill .... electronic scoring mixer
James Newton Howard .... orchestrator
James Newton Howard .... score producer
Robin Lee .... music editor
Jason Lloyd .... scoring crew
Shawn Murphy .... scoring mixer
David Olson .... music editor
Steven L. Smith .... music preparation
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn
Robin Urdang .... music supervisor
Pat Weber .... scoring technician
Jim Weidman .... supervising music editor
Transportation Department
Ed Battista .... transportation co-captain (as Edward Battista)
Jim Buckman .... transportation captain (as James S. Buckman)
Other crew
Peter Anders .... caterer
Alexis Arnold .... production office coordinator
Mark Barclay .... assistant: Thomas A. Bliss
Denver Beattie .... director's assistant: Michael Hoffman
David Brotsky .... location scout
Al Cerullo .... helicopter pilot
Susan Chun .... production office assistant
Paul Codiga .... location assistant
Robyn J. Davis .... production coordinator
Richard Devinki .... production services manager: Beacon
Gregory Dunn .... production assistant
Emily Engler .... assistant: Ms. Stone
Andrew Fiero .... production assistant
David Garcia .... production office assistant
Jule Ann Jappe .... location scout (as Jule Jappe)
Arabella Johannes .... assistant: Mr. Bernstein
Todd Judson .... production office assistant
Kenneth M. Kroll .... production accountant
Connie Kunz .... post-production accountant
Jessica Lacy .... production assistant
Chiara Mazzella .... set intern
Hillary Meyer .... payroll accountant
Robert Nickson .... production consultant
Michael K. Reynolds .... caterer
Marsha Robertson .... unit publicist
Jeff Robinson .... office intern
Tanya Sakolsky .... assistant: Mr. Kline and Mr. Karsch
Betsy Shankin-Morehouse .... assistant location manager (as Betsy Shankin)
Raygun Sharpadero .... accounting clerk
Julie Solomon .... location scout
Robin Squibb .... script supervisor
David Steiner .... location coordinator
Susan Strine .... assistant accountant (as Susan L. Strine)
Anna Strout .... assistant: Ms. Bruce
Anita Sum .... additional production coordinator
Wendy Taylor .... location assistant
Irapaul Turner .... shop manager
Rose Viggiano .... location manager
Catherine Wheatley .... assistant: Marc Abraham
Stacey Truett White .... production secretary
Jaime Wilson .... assistant production coordinator
Alex Bowen .... adr voice (uncredited)
Matt Hedge .... adr artist (uncredited)
Robert Nickson .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content
Argentina:108 min | Canada:109 min (Toronto International Film Festival) | USA:109 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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 »
Continuity: 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...
See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Great Escape (1963)See more »
Funk 49See more »


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26 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
Dignified portrait of a principled but very human teacher, 26 April 2006
Author: roghache from Canada

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.

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