Columbia Pictures | Release Date: December 18, 1987
8.1
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Universal acclaim based on 65 Ratings
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8
RegOzApr 6, 2012
Beautiful indeed not easy to forget. At times a bit slow, but still a great piece. I believe people should watch it at least once in their life. I will give it a 8.5 if that was possible to do here.
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9
ConnKonNov 24, 2013
9 Oscars for a reason. It's a classic, yet for some reason not very appreciated anymore. This isn't just a story, this is a beautiful achievement in filming a story as accurate as possible. This is the first film footage of inside the9 Oscars for a reason. It's a classic, yet for some reason not very appreciated anymore. This isn't just a story, this is a beautiful achievement in filming a story as accurate as possible. This is the first film footage of inside the Forbidden City, wow. Expand
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8
SpangleMar 9, 2014
Now this is an epic. The film has a regal air about it as it tells the story of Puyi, the last Emperor or China. At the end of the day, it is clear as day why this one won the Oscars it won and just how deserving it truly was. The filmNow this is an epic. The film has a regal air about it as it tells the story of Puyi, the last Emperor or China. At the end of the day, it is clear as day why this one won the Oscars it won and just how deserving it truly was. The film sympathetically portrays the final Emperor as we cannot help but look at him as a man who was revered as a small child, but as time went on, his power becomes less-and-less, before he completely loses all of it. What really makes this film work is the acting. The performance by John Lone as the adult Puyi, as well as the child actors who portray Puyi in his younger years is marvelous, as is the supporting work turned in by Peter O'Toole. On top of this, the sets throughout were top-notch and really oozed of that time period and really captured the essence of the era depicted.

On the negative side of things, the film can be hard to follow at times, what with flash forward storytelling that is utilized. You kind of have to re-adjust to the storyline, as well as who the characters are, since there are quite a bit of them. The other complaint I have is certainly the length. While I watched the two hour and 40 minute version, it still felt a little on the long side, especially considering that there was no real...action or drama that gripped you enough for it to warrant being as long as it is.
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7
amheretojudgeJul 4, 2018
a brief and rigid reign..

The Last Emperor 3 And A Half Out Of 5 The Last Emperor is a character driven biography about the Last Emperor of China and his journey on adapting and facing the evolving reality. The passion and enthusiasm
a brief and rigid reign..

The Last Emperor

3 And A Half Out Of 5

The Last Emperor is a character driven biography about the Last Emperor of China and his journey on adapting and facing the evolving reality. The passion and enthusiasm towards the project is clearly visible which also pays off as the craft touches the audience within first few minutes which clearly shows how explicitly and beautifully the project is created. It is rich on technical aspects like background score, production design, cinematography, costume design, sound department, art design and editing. The writing is strong and creates the anticipated among the viewers and sets the energy of the cinema with a perfect amount of tense and glorious as it can aspire to be. The screenplay by Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci is elaborated and not over-stretched which is essential for the writers to be aware of, which helps them filter out dull inessential sequences easily. Bernardo Bertolucci; the director, has done a tremendous work on executing the script and not lose the grip on any frame of it, which seems possible considering the runtime of the feature. Each and every actor linked to the feature has given its all in, since being aware of the opportunity and it is communicated swiftly with the audience. The Last Emperor is a brief and rigid reign whose journey is depicted with all passion; all love; all heart.
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8
TrailesqueApr 10, 2017
Was this the last epic? They don't seem to make them like this anymore. It is a visually sumptuous (hats off to Bertolucci) presentation of the mostly sad tale of the last emperor of China. Put on the throne at age 3 or so as the result ofWas this the last epic? They don't seem to make them like this anymore. It is a visually sumptuous (hats off to Bertolucci) presentation of the mostly sad tale of the last emperor of China. Put on the throne at age 3 or so as the result of political maneuvering, he became up a lost figure in the upheavals of 21st century China. He ended up working as a gardener in the royal palace complex (now a museum) that he once ruled over. The story is interesting, but we never feel close Pu Yi, except for during his childhood. This movie made me want to see the Forbidden City for myself, and I finally did - it is amazing! Expand
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7
FilipeNetoMay 20, 2018
This film tells the life of the last Chinese emperor, Pu Yi. Crowned as a baby, he lived a life of limitless luxury but was eventually expelled from his throne by the revolution of 1911. Imprisoned in his palace like a bird in a golden cage,This film tells the life of the last Chinese emperor, Pu Yi. Crowned as a baby, he lived a life of limitless luxury but was eventually expelled from his throne by the revolution of 1911. Imprisoned in his palace like a bird in a golden cage, he saw the decay of his country and the dramatic changes of Republican China from the inside of the Forbidden City. Expelled by the Communists years later, he spent a good part of his life trying to regain his throne, and the rest of it imprisoned in Chinese reeducation camps that transformed him into an ordinary man. There is undoubtedly a poetic beauty in the transformation of the main character, and the film can make us feel the changes in his personality, as well as the changes of his former empire. The film suggests several things about him and the imperial family that I do not know if they are truth, like the apparent lesbianism of one of the emperor's wives and their use of drugs. Bernardo Bertolucci is a director that I normally do not appreciate, but I recognize in this film many qualities. The actors did a very regular and interesting performance. John Lone was perfect in the role of the emperor, but even brighter was Peter O'Toole, in a role that, otherwise, with another actor, could be overly subdued. The film's set-ups are glamorous and go a long way toward creating a Hollywood-era epic movie feel. Nevertheless, the comparison of this film as "Seven Years in Tibet", by context, time and closeness, is more pertinent than with any other film. Expand
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10
Reagan0Oct 12, 2015
This is my favorite movie ever. It took me a while to wrap my head around it but it has everything.

I don't even know if I can go into it all but I'll try. It's one of the best historical dramas because it's profoundly truthful and
This is my favorite movie ever. It took me a while to wrap my head around it but it has everything.

I don't even know if I can go into it all but I'll try. It's one of the best historical dramas because it's profoundly truthful and accurate. Because of that I feel for every moment the film focuses on. It all surrounds a single character - Puyi, the last emperor of China, as he grows up. Reigning over his own ancient world as a teenager, utterly confused as a young adult as to why he no longer has it, going through a magnanimous crisis as a middle-aged man, and finally coming to peace with reality as an elderly man. The ending of the movie is so beautifully symbolic and captivating of China that I dare not spoil it.

It has my favorite film scorer in the world, Ryuichi Sakamoto, at his very finest work. It is a historic film in that it's the first western film to EVER film inside the Forbidden City, and it is done with such spectacle. You believe that complex is at least 5x bigger than it probably is. It explores every corridor.

Truthfully, every single person in the world needs to see this film. It is the most honest drama I have seen. It portrays perhaps the most difficult topic in the entire world - China in the 20th century. Chinese people refer to it often as "the Century of Shame", and that is what it is. Constant political turmoil and lies define the entire nation, and the reason they are developing out of it now is because of an evil dictatorship at the helm, the Communist Party.

This film takes no **** when dealing with the Communist Party of China. It doesn't part their definition to make their country or their government look better. It portrays them exactly how they are – blind, naive, over-powerful and murderous, and only to be reasoned with because they "won the war", even though they really didn't as much as the much cleaner (though certainly not flawless) Nationalist government did. The Chinese government is very corrupt and loves spreading that corruption to other places for primitive causes. But political rant over, I don't want to tarnish the ending of this review too much.

One thing I forgot to mention - the entire story of Puyi losing power at a young age? That's a metaphor for modern life. It is what everyone seems to live like and what everyone aspires to live like in their late age. You always lose grip of your life as a teenager. You always lose the fundamentals that you had as a child in your own adult ego. Your life always slips away from your control at some point, and it takes forever to get back. You always hope that you get it back. Sometimes it doesn't even. When it does it is beautiful like this film.

TL, DR? Beautifully accurate, heartbreakingly dramatic, and one of the quintessential films you should see before you turn 20. My favorite in the world.
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9
LeonardoP.Apr 11, 2008
It is an unforgivable movie. It has a lot of captivating moments. Congratulations to Bernardo Bertolucci. I really recommend this movie.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
6
BroyaxJul 19, 2017
Je m'attendais à pire, à bien pire dans le genre de la fresque désuète d'un empereur devenu pacotille et d'un Empire du Milieu en proie aux divisions qui a basculé dans le communisme, que dis-je, pire encore, le maoïsme ! en effet et contreJe m'attendais à pire, à bien pire dans le genre de la fresque désuète d'un empereur devenu pacotille et d'un Empire du Milieu en proie aux divisions qui a basculé dans le communisme, que dis-je, pire encore, le maoïsme ! en effet et contre toute attente, ça se laisse suivre plutôt agréablement, la mise en scène très carrée agissant de concert avec le décorum majestueux des costumes et de la Cité Interdite.

Cependant, ce n'est certainement pas le Docteur Jivago malgré l'efficacité indéniable de l'ambiance "fin de règne" et de l'opposition entre les deux états du "Fils du Ciel" aux 100 000 larbins (et deux épouses !) puis du misérable prisonnier dans la phase obligatoire d'auto-critique devant des cocos très vindicatifs. Il faut dire que nous ne sommes pas dans le romantisme ici mais plutôt dans une gentille nostalgie, laquelle ne cache pas la collaboration de l'Empereur avec un autre Empire, celui du Soleil Levant...

A cet égard, je ne connais pas les détails et aboutissants mais il semble que Bertolucci tente de dédouaner le personnage du Dernier Empereur, en le montrant davantage comme un pantin naïf que comme un collabo très actif et forcené, voire totalement opportuniste et égoïste.

A noter un petit rôle pour Peter O'Toole -toujours aussi grandiose- à côté duquel le reste de la distribution ne démérite pas, loin de là même : John Lone et Joan Chen -entre autres- se révèlent excellents.

Finalement, le plus gros problème du film reste sa longueur exagérée et comme un manque de personnalité de ce dernier Empereur qu'on a du mal à cerner. Mais peut-être était-ce en vérité le lot de l'infortuné bonhomme qui s'est trouvé au mauvais endroit au mauvais moment...
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10
MrRicksturJan 30, 2020
Easily one of the greatest, if not the greatest movie I've ever seen. Everything from the music, the cinematography, the visuals, production design, characters, story, symbolism, etc. I really can't think of anything bad to say about thisEasily one of the greatest, if not the greatest movie I've ever seen. Everything from the music, the cinematography, the visuals, production design, characters, story, symbolism, etc. I really can't think of anything bad to say about this film. Plus it had, in my opinion, one of the greatest ending scenes in movie history. Expand
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10
Dylan01pd2021May 30, 2016
The Last Emperor is based on Aisin Gioro Puyi who was the 12th and final emperor in the Qing Dynasty and imperial China. Through Puyi's autobiography, Bernardo Bertolucci has crafted an incredibly thematic film dealing with both deception,The Last Emperor is based on Aisin Gioro Puyi who was the 12th and final emperor in the Qing Dynasty and imperial China. Through Puyi's autobiography, Bernardo Bertolucci has crafted an incredibly thematic film dealing with both deception, fear, and imminent loneliness that is felt by the child emperor Puyi. Having been a huge fan of Puyi's autobiography "From Emperor To Citizen," I was unsure how dutifully the movie would play to the incredibly well written book. Rest assured, the movie is brilliant and perfectly pays homage to 末代皇帝 (Henry Puyi) while at the same time captivating the audience with his quite saddening story. By far, the most exceptional part of this film must be its absolutely stunning soundtrack and orchestral score. It's moody and very much sets the tone and theme of The Last Emperor while utilizing both foreign and traditional Chinese instruments. It's art direction is also quite impressive giving a nearly perfect representation of Chinese architecture and wall design. Throughout the movie, you can see this through the 双喜 (double happiness) in the beginning and the use of the 大字报 towards the end of the film. But most importantly, the film delivers with content being a nearly spot on representation of China from start to finish. However, if their is one thing to tweak about this film is the immediate death of empress dowager 慈溪 (Cixi/Tsu Hsi) which diverts from historical knowledge given that 慈禧太后 died after she placed Puyi as emperor in an imperial edict. Overall, this movie is absolutely fantastic and totally deserves a ten out of ten. With a moving protagonist, great art direction, and music to add on to this already impressive story, it's no wonder why it has won so many academy awards back in 1987. Expand
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10
gApr 1, 2018
The first time I had heard about this was on Best Picture Winners from the Academy Awards. I was so amazed at some films that won but this deserves to win from 1987. The first time I watched this, I was blown away by its historical feelThe first time I had heard about this was on Best Picture Winners from the Academy Awards. I was so amazed at some films that won but this deserves to win from 1987. The first time I watched this, I was blown away by its historical feel because I never learned anything about Chinese history throughout my History lessons in both primary and secondary school and that really pissed me off. So I started to watch documentaries on Chinese history and this was one of them. Puyi, the final Emperor of China. I was very amazed about this film because it really felt true to me and I didn't know all this happened in early 20th Century China, over a whole century ago. It hooked onto me on how the film was made but it was made by mostly the Italians but a British produced film. I became shocked that this was the first ever film to ever be filmed inside the Forbidden City. All of it became true because of how this one person was a prisoner throughout his life and that grabbed me on the edge of my seat every time I watch this Best Picture of 1987 and it deserves more respect because it is very interesting, fantastically directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. Highly recommend this film.

10/10.
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9
DeanomiteFeb 19, 2020
Fascinating for so many reasons. First, that they were allowed to film not only in China but in the forbidden city. Then, they were allowed to film a sensitive political story. Then it won 9 oscars, a movie about China filmed in China,Fascinating for so many reasons. First, that they were allowed to film not only in China but in the forbidden city. Then, they were allowed to film a sensitive political story. Then it won 9 oscars, a movie about China filmed in China, with all Asian actors, essentially a Chinese movie. The photography is amazing, done by Vittaro Storaro, who did Apocalypse Now among others. Then consider that this moment captures when China went form a 5000 year old empire to a communist republic essentially overnight, which is all true. It is amazing. The movie openly criticizes the republic for being corrupt, yet they were allowed to film in the country, wow. I don't think they captured the personality of the guy very well, a lot of stuff just happened to him and he clung to the past, but it's hard to imagine anyone else being much different. Expand
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9
MasadaAug 18, 2019
The only thing wrong with this movie is that it should not have been made in English. Besides that, it is filled with colour symbolism, amazing camera work with a story of epic proportions.
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