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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
3,807 ( 279)
Won 9 Oscars. Another 49 wins & 18 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:

He was the Lord of Ten Thousand Years, the absolute monarch of China. He was born to rule a world of ancient tradition. Nothing prepared him for our world of change. See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy | China | France

Language:

English | Mandarin | Japanese

Release Date:

15 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Emperor See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing Studios, Beijing, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$149,460, 22 November 1987

Gross USA:

$43,984,230

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,993,508
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (television) | (director's cut)

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

Security was so tight around the shoot that when Peter O'Toole forgot his pass one day, he was denied entrance to the set. See more »

Goofs

When the princess gives birth, you can hear the baby crying, yet when the camera moves across, the baby has a calm expression. See more »

Quotes

Pu Yi, at 15: Where are your ancestors buried?
Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: In Scotland, your majesty.
Pu Yi, at 15: But then, where's your skirt? In your country, men wear short skirts, do they not?
Reginald Fleming 'R.J.' Johnston: No, your majesty, Scotmen do not wear skirts. They wear kilts.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Criterion Collection DVD and Blu-ray releases are re-framed in director of photography Vittorio Storaro's preferred Univisium 2.00:1 format. This was the intended ratio for the film, despite it being commonly projected in 2.39:1 during its theatrical release. See more »


Soundtracks

Kaiser Walzer (Emperor Waltz) op. 437
(1889)
Written by Johann Strauss (as Johann Strauss)
Performed by Berliner Philharmoniker (as The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan
with kind permission of Polydor International GmbH
See more »

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User Reviews

A film like this comes along in 10,000 years
24 November 1999 | by s0250143See all my reviews

Bernardo Bertolucci left a remarkable impression on the Academy with The Last Emperor, taking away nine oscars including one for best film and best director. This film will leave a lasting impression on those who view it as well. Last Emperor provides a strong message through its main character Pu-Yi. Although the film bases its story on the true life accounts of the last emperor of China, Last Emperor shows that life can deal one undesirable circumstances and the way one reacts and handles these circumstances determine one's place in history. Bertolucci's powerful method of storytelling also further enhances the greatness of Last Emperor. The motif of pursuing a forbidden love that remains out of reach presents a tearful message. Who cannot get misty eyed seeing an eight year old Pu-Yi chasing after his beloved nanny or an almost exact similar scene when a much older Pu-Yi chases his insane first wife? Last Emperor will move even the most adamant viewer. "To his majesty, the emperor... Ten thousand years!"


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