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The Last Emperor (1987)

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The story of the final Emperor of China.

Writers:

Mark Peploe (screenplay), Bernardo Bertolucci (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,277 ( 43)
Won 9 Oscars. Another 48 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Lone ... Pu Yi - Adult
Joan Chen ... Wan Jung
Peter O'Toole ... Reginald 'R. J.' Johnston
Ruocheng Ying Ruocheng Ying ... The Governor (as Ying Ruocheng)
Victor Wong ... Chen Pao Shen
Dennis Dun ... Big Li
Ryuichi Sakamoto ... Amakasu (as Ryûichi Sakamoto)
Maggie Han ... Eastern Jewel
Ric Young ... Interrogator
Vivian Wu ... Wen Hsiu (as Wu Jun Mei)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ... Chang (as Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa)
Jade Go Jade Go ... Ar Mo
Fumihiko Ikeda Fumihiko Ikeda ... Yoshioka
Richard Vuu ... Pu Yi - 3 Years
Tsou Tijger Tsou Tijger ... Pu Yi - 8 Years (as Tijger Tsou)
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Storyline

This sweeping account of the life of Pu-Yi, the last emperor of China, follows the leader's tumultuous reign. After being captured by the Red Army as a war criminal in 1950, Pu-Yi recalls his childhood from prison. He remembers his lavish youth in the Forbidden City, where he was afforded every luxury but unfortunately sheltered from the outside world and complex political situation surrounding him. As revolution sweeps through China, the world Pu-Yi knew is dramatically upended. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

1500 slaves. 353,260,000 royal subjects. Warlords. Concubines. And 2 wives. He was the loneliest boy in the world. See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy | China | France | USA

Language:

English | Mandarin | Japanese

Release Date:

15 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El último emperador See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing Studios, Beijing, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$149,460, 20 November 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$43,984,230
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (television)

Sound Mix:

Dolby (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first film in Bernardo Bertolucci's "oriental trilogy", followed by The Sheltering Sky (1990) and Little Buddha (1993). See more »

Goofs

The tour guide at the end of the film says that Pu Yi was 3 years old at his coronation. Puyi was born Feb. 7, 1906 and invested Nov. 14, 1908, aged 2 years 10 months. However, the guide was likely using the Chinese age system, in which a person is automatically aged "1" when born. See more »

Quotes

Pu Yi, at 15: Who is this George Washington?
Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: A famous American, your majesty. A revolutionary general, the first American president.
Pu Yi, at 15: Ah, like Mr. Lenin in Russia?
Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: Not quite.
Pu Yi, at 15: Does he have a car?
Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: He lived a long time ago, your majesty.
Pu Yi, at 15: *I* want a car.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The theatrical version runs 163 minutes. A 218 minute version was released in the US in 1998 under the mistaken title of the "Director's Cut". It was known by this erroneous title until the 2008 Criterion DVD and Blu-ray Disc came out. Bertolucci and DP Vittorio Storaro made it clear while working on the DVD and BD that the shorter theatrical version is without doubt the director's cut. The 218 minute version was an early cut meant only to be aired as a four-part television mini-series by the Italian television network that funded the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Oprah Winfrey Show: Summer Movie Reviews (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

China Boy
(1922) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Dick Winfree
Music by Phil Boutelje
played by the jazz band after Pu Yi finishes singing "Am I Blue"
See more »

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User Reviews

An Example of Quantity and Quality Combining to Make an Unforgettable Film
26 September 2000 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

"The Last Emperor" is a near perfect film. It was nominated for nine Oscars in 1987 and it won nine (including the Best Picture Oscar). The movie is about the life of Pu Yi (John Lone), China's last emperor. In spite of becoming emperor at the age of three, Yi's reign was more of a burden than anything else. Yi would ultimately end up living an unsavory life of imprisonment which is heartrending to the viewer. "The Last Emperor" is visually stunning. The minute details are amazing. However, the story stands up high as well. Historically accurate for the most part, "The Last Emperor" is easily one of the top 10 films of the 1980s and overall an exceptional achievement in every cinematic department known to man. 5 stars out of 5.


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