6.5/10
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47 user 82 critic

Emperor (2012)

PG-13 | | Drama, History | 27 July 2013 (Japan)
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As the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, General Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. Influencing his ruling is his quest to find Aya, an exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Toshiyuki Nishida ...
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Mitsuko Kajima
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Masatoshi Nakamura ...
Masatô Ibu ...
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Takatarô Kataoka ...
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Lt Col. Rogers
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Shôhei Hino ...
Hideki Tojo
...
CIC Commander
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Storyline

A story of love and understanding set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. On the staff of General Douglas MacArthur (Jones), the de facto ruler of Japan as Supreme Commander of the occupying forces, a leading Japanese expert, General Bonner Fellers (Fox) is charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: should Emperor Hirohito be tried and hanged as a war criminal? Interwoven is the story of Fellers' love affair with Aya, a Japanese exchange student he had met years previously in the U.S. Memories of Aya and his quest to find her in the ravaged post-war landscape help Fellers to discover both his wisdom and his humanity and enable him to come to the momentous decision that changed the course of history and the future of two nations. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Japan 1945: General Douglas MacArthur was given a mission to decide the fate of a nation, the guilt of a leader, and the true price of peace.

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent content, brief strong language and smoking (historical) | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

27 July 2013 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Imperador  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,014,099, 10 March 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,345,315, 9 June 2013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,346,265, 13 September 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The U.S. troops seen in the film, are from the 11th Airborne Division, and from the 1st Cavalry Division. These divisions were indeed the first U.S. Army units in Tokyo, and their appearance is entirely correct. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film, a summary of the main characters states that General Fellers was demoted to Colonel by Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower in fact had nothing to do with Fellers's reduction in rank - this was an administrative reduction at the end of World War II when over 200 Brigadier Generals holding temporary rank were reduced to the permanent rank of Colonel. The reduction was not punitive, nor unexpected, and quite normal for the demobilization procedures of the time. See more »

Quotes

General Bonner Fellers: Revenge is not the same thing as justice.
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User Reviews

 
Very interesting story about General Fellers who is given the impossible task to investigate the Emperor's role in the lead-up to war,
3 May 2014 | by See all my reviews

This nice movie tells a fictionalized account based on the actual life story of US Army Brigadier General Bonner Frank Fellers who served under General Douglas MacArthur . On the staff of General Douglas MacArthur (Tommy lee Jones), the de facto ruler of Japan as Supreme Commander of the occupying forces, a leading Japanese expert, General Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox) is charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: should Emperor Hirohito be tried and hanged as a war criminal? Interwoven is the story of Fellers' love affair with Aya (Eriko Hatsune), a Japanese exchange student he had met years previously in the U.S. Memories of Aya and his quest to find her in the ravaged post-war landscape help Fellers to discover both his wisdom and his humanity and enable him to come to the momentous decision that changed the course of history and the future of two nations.

This is a good drama war with emotion , suspense , thrills , culture clashes , and historical events . The picture contains a marvelous story of love and understanding set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. Excellent cast gives good acting as Fox who plays Bonner Fellers, a general who's sent to Japan to decide if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged for war crimes ; starring alongside him is Eriko Hatsune as Aya Shimada, a woman Fellers romanced years earlier, and Tommy Lee Jones as legendary Us military figure General Douglas MacArthur. The movie displays a colorful as well as adequate photography by Stuart Dryburgh . Emotive and evocative musical score by Alex Heffes . The flick was professionally directed by Peter Webber (Hannibal , The girl with a pearl earring). This true life story was one worthy of big-screen treatment .

The picture is well based on true events , these are the followings : After the war, Fellers played a major role in the occupation of Japan. Among his duties was liaison between HQ and the Imperial Household. Soon after occupation began, General Fellers wrote several influential memoranda concerning why it would be advantageous for the occupation, reconstruction of Japan, and U.S. long range interests to keep the Emperor in place if he was not clearly responsible for war crimes. He met with the major defendants of the Tokyo tribunal. In their research and analysis of events and considerable controversy about the time period, according to historians Herbert Bix and John W. Dower, Fellers—under an assignment by the code name "Operation Blacklist"—allowed them to coordinate their stories to exonerate Emperor Hirohito and all members of his family. This was at the direction of MacArthur, now head of SCAP, who had decided that there was to be no criminal prosecution of the Emperor and his family. He will question the accused Class -A War Criminals such as Wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, Former Prime Minister Konoe, and Koichi Kido while confronting prejudice from a resentful populace and other American soldiers. General Fellers, who came from a Religious Society of Friends family (commonly known as Quakers) and attended the Quaker-affiliated Earlham College, was instrumental in the selection of Elizabeth Vining, an American Quaker educator, as tutor to the Emperor's children. Ms. Vining was followed after 4 years by another Quaker educator, Esther Rhoads.In 1971, Emperor Hirohito conferred on Fellers the Second Order of the Sacred Treasure "in recognition of your long-standing contribution to promoting friendship between Japan and the United States."


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