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
Because no private automobiles were permitted, even Peter O'Toole was limited to the use of a bicycle for personal transportation. See more »
In numerous scenes taking place before the establishment of the People's Republic of China writings in simplified Chinese characters can be seen. However, these were only introduced in 1949. During the Qing dynasty much more elaborate traditional characters would have been in use. See more »
[bidding farewell to Pu Yi as he is released from reform camp]
You see, I will end up living in prison longer than you!
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When first released on VHS in the US, the 218 minute cut was mistakenly used (on 2 VHS tapes). It was immediately pulled and original copies of this are extremely rare and highly collectible. It was replaced by the 163 minute theatrical cut on a single VHS tape. It wasn't until 1998 that the 218 minute cut was finally released on VHS (as a 2-tape set). See more »
An Example of Quantity and Quality Combining to Make an Unforgettable Film
"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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