6.5/10
13,097
57 user 82 critic

Emperor (2012)

PG-13 | | Drama, History, War | 27 July 2013 (Japan)
Trailer
2:24 | Trailer
As the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, General Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. Influencing his ruling is his quest to find Aya, an exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S.

Director:

Peter Webber

Writers:

Vera Blasi (screenplay), David Klass (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Fox ... General Bonner Fellers
Tommy Lee Jones ... General Douglas MacArthur
Eriko Hatsune ... Aya Shimada
Toshiyuki Nishida Toshiyuki Nishida ... General Kajima
Masayoshi Haneda ... Takahashi
Kaori Momoi ... Mitsuko Kajima
Colin Moy ... General Richter
Masatoshi Nakamura Masatoshi Nakamura ... Prince Konoe
Masatô Ibu ... Koichi Kido
Isao Natsuyagi ... Teizaburo Sekiya
Takatarô Kataoka Takatarô Kataoka ... Emperor Hirohito
Aaron Jackson ... Lt Col. Rogers
Nic Sampson ... Lieutenant Red
Shôhei Hino Shôhei Hino ... Hideki Tojo
Will Wallace ... CIC Commander
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Storyline

A story of love and understanding set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. On the staff of General Douglas MacArthur (Jones), the de facto ruler of Japan as Supreme Commander of the occupying forces, a leading Japanese expert, General Bonner Fellers (Fox) is charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: should Emperor Hirohito be tried and hanged as a war criminal? Interwoven is the story of Fellers' love affair with Aya, a Japanese exchange student he had met years previously in the U.S. Memories of Aya and his quest to find her in the ravaged post-war landscape help Fellers to discover both his wisdom and his humanity and enable him to come to the momentous decision that changed the course of history and the future of two nations. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Japan 1945: General Douglas MacArthur was given a mission to decide the fate of a nation, the guilt of a leader, and the true price of peace.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent content, brief strong language and smoking (historical) | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The romantic story between Fellers and Aya was entirely fictional for the film. Bonner F. Fellers was married in 1925 to Dorothy Dysart who accompanied him twice on his posting to the Phillipines, and she also went with him to China and Japan. See more »

Goofs

In the opening sequence, they show a B-29 departing to deliver an atomic bomb (incorrectly shown as Fat Man, the Hiroshima bomb was in fact Little Boy), and the aircraft is marked with "A 24" on the vertical stabilizer. The Enola Gay had a large "R" in a circle on the vertical stabilizer, and the number "82" written on the aft portion of the fuselage. See more »

Quotes

Aya Shimada: [Noticing Bonner Fellers looking at a propaganda pamphlet on her shelf] The Army is teaching kids to hate foreigners. Those pamphlets on the shelf - they hand them out everywhere. I hate what it's doing to people.
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User Reviews

 
The Emperor Strikes Back
30 July 2013 | by SteveMierzejewskiSee all my reviews

I thought I might be the only one who found this film interesting since I spent 7 years in Japan and happened to be there when Emperor Hirohito died. At that time, there was a renewed discussion of how much he was responsible for beginning World War II. In the end, it seemed he was more or less strong-armed into the war by right wing politicians. True, he could be blamed for being weak-willed, but he did not have the mental constitution to be an emperor in the first place. If he could have chosen, he would have been a marine biologist, as marine biology was his hobby and passion. There was no more confusing and cathartic time in Japanese history than when MacArthur and the American military came in to occupy Japan. The entire society had to re-evaluate itself on all levels. How could they, the greatest people in the world, be conquered by such an uncultured civilization? This question persists until the present day.

It was not clear at the beginning of this film whether it was a true story or a story based around true events. If the fact that it was a true story had been made clearer, it would have been more compelling. Nonetheless, it did capture most of the turbulent elements of that time. The love affair, that parallels this story is a good one and one that exposes the prejudice that existed against any Japanese woman who dared marry outside her culture. Eriko Hatsune was perfect in the role of an intelligent woman caught between tradition and emotion. Unfortunately, Matthew Foxx (General Bonner Fellers) acted as if he had been hit by a tranquilizer dart. Tommy Lee Jones overacted the role of MacArthur and was equally unconvincing.

Be warned. This is not an action movie,though a few action scenes exist. This is mainly a movie based on philosophic discussions, psychology, and cultural misunderstandings. Still, it offers a good view of an important time in world history.


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Details

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

27 July 2013 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Emperor See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,014,099, 10 March 2013

Gross USA:

$3,346,265

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,858,240
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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