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The Emperor and the Assassin (1998)

Jing Ke ci Qin Wang (original title)
Trailer
1:26 | Trailer
In pre-unified China, the King of Qin sends his concubine to a rival kingdom to produce an assassin for a political plot, but as the king's cruelty mounts she finds her loyalty faltering.

Director:

Kaige Chen
7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Li Gong ... Lady Zhao
Fengyi Zhang ... Jing Ke
Zhou Sun ... Dan, Prince of Yan
Xiaohe Lü Xiaohe Lü ... General Fan Yuqi
Zhiwen Wang ... Marquis Changxin
Kaige Chen ... Lu Buwei
Yongfei Gu Yongfei Gu ... Queen Mother
Benshan Zhao ... Gao Jianli
Haifeng Ding Haifeng Ding ... Qin Wuyang
Changjiang Pan ... Prison Official
Xun Zhou ... Blind Girl
Xuejian Li ... Ying Zheng
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Xu Chu Xu Chu ... 10 State warrior
Dong Han Dong Han ... Qin cart driver
Bing Lin Bing Lin ... 10 State warrior
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Storyline

In the 3rd Century BC, Ying Zheng, heir to the Kingdom of Qin, seeks to dominate the remaining six Chinese kingdoms. Ying's strategy is to seem invincible. Ying sends his concubine Zhao to the Han Kingdom as a spy, to enlist an assassin he can conquer. Zhao persuades Jing Ke, but falls in love. Written by <ssrich@cityu.edu.hk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

China | Japan | France

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

14 November 1998 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Emperor and the Assassin See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$47,295, 19 December 1999

Gross USA:

$1,267,239

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,267,239
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | DTS-Stereo | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film went through at lot of reworking and reediting. A 176-minute version was test screened in Japan. A second try shown privately for foreign distributors ran 140 minutes. After a reported 300-or-so changes, a 160-minute cut was shown in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Oct. 9, 1998, the same length as another version when it was shown at the Cannes Film Festival on May 6, 1999. That's four tries. See more »

Alternate Versions

On the Chinese (region 6) DVD edition (anamorphic with 5.1) Zhou-sun's scene, the blind girl pleading for death after the assassin had killed her whole family, is completely replaced by the assassin's verbal depiction of the incident. The end credits, however, did include Zhou-sun. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A compelling epic
16 September 1999 | by allyjackSee all my reviews

This three-hour Chinese epic, set in 220 B.C., may ultimately amount to a familiar theme of an Emperor's idealistic dream of peace through unification mutating into corrupted isolation, and there's nothing inherently challenging about the film, but it's a compelling narrative, crammed with intrigue and passion and betrayal and epic events told in vivid strokes. Even for those not drawn to such historical spectacles for their own sake, it's an astonishing feast for the eyes: the scene depicting the coup attempt of the Marquis is one of the most staggering evocations of physical space and grandeur in memory, and the battle scenes are memorable both in their scope and their immediacy. The title sums up the film's use of compelling contrasts - huge plainland vistas set against intimate horrors; the noblest of motives set against the most degraded; hope turning to dust. If you've never seen a three-hour Chinese epic, this wouldn't be a bad place to start.


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