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The Emperor's Shadow (1996)

Qin song (original title)
Epic drama about China's first emperor (221 BC) who struggles to make his childhood best friend, now China's greatest composer, succumb to his will and compose a grand anthem to his ... See full summary »

Director:

Xiaowen Zhou

Writer:

Wei Lu
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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Wen Jiang ... Ying Zheng
You Ge ... Gao Jianli
Qing Xu ... Ying Yueyang
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chung Chang Chung Chang
Han Chin
Guoqiang Dai Guoqiang Dai ... Wang Jian
Zhijun Ge Zhijun Ge ... Zhao Gao
Baojiang Hou Baojiang Hou
Mengyong Li Mengyong Li ... Jing Ke
Yu Liang Yu Liang
Kang Ma Kang Ma
Wen Mei Wen Mei
Guoqiang Qiu Guoqiang Qiu ... Wang Jian
Yaoxuan Shu Yaoxuan Shu ... Xu Fu
Ming Tien ... young Ying Zheng
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Storyline

Epic drama about China's first emperor (221 BC) who struggles to make his childhood best friend, now China's greatest composer, succumb to his will and compose a grand anthem to his exploits. Written by <fromhell@netwiz.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

31 October 1996 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

The Emperor's Shadow See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,129, 20 December 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$71,906, 20 December 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Xi'an Film Studio See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in The Emperor and the Assassin (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tremendous, complex, historical epic
12 May 1999 | by red-74See all my reviews

Don't be misled by ANY of the US critics who reviewed this remarkable movie. The Emperor's Shadow's (Qin Song) opening sequence-anything but subtle with hundreds of enormous bells being sacrificed to a thundering cataract of water and river foam--and the dying Emperor's last pronouncement are a perfect preamble for what follows.

And pay no attention to the cursory plot summaries--far more is involved here than a simple stubborn musician who seduces the Emperor's favorite daughter and refuses to compose a national anthem. Word play, puns and verbal sparring are very important in the film (e.g. the instrument the musician plays is a qin; the Emperor is head of the Qin dynasty); and the love/hate; cat and mouse; art vs politics; peace vs war; pacifism vs force themes embodied in the relationship between the Emperor and the musician is one of the most fascinating interpersonal conundrums since Henry II and Thomas Becket.

The fact that this extraordinary film did not make the rounds of all US art houses is a tragedy. The scope, the grandure, the uniformly excellent performances, the stunning cinematography add up to a unique and unusually compelling experience.

The Emperor's Shadow may also be one of your very last chances to witness a true epic--there are no computer generated masses here--each one of those thousands and thousands of soldiers is a real human being.

The Emperor's Shadow is a misunderstood, over-looked, underestimated masterpiece.


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