The Last Emperor (1987)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

China/Italy/United Kingdom/France, 1987.  , Hemdale, Yanco Films Limited, , Screenframe, AAA Soprofilms.  Screenplay by Bernardo Bertolucci, , collaboration with , based on the autobiography From Emperor To Citizen, The Autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

The life of the last emperor of China before the Cultural Revolution is told in this stunningly beautiful epic by Bernardo Bertolucci. It goes from his days in the royal palace through to his teenage life in the snazzy China of the 1930s, detailing just how much of a prisoner he was to the life he was born into. Peter O’Toole co-stars as the western tutor to the adult emperor (). Bertolucci’s epic is dazzling for the eye and ear, though the pacing leaves something to be desired and the running time can take its toll on your patience (the director’s cut even more so).

The Criterion Collection:  #422

Academy Awards:  Best Picture; Best Director (Bernardo Bertolucci); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Art Direction; Best Costume Design; Best Film Editing; Best Sound; Best Original Score

European Film Award:  Special Prize of the Jury

Golden Globe Awards:  Best Picture-Drama; Best Director (Bernardo Bertolucci); Best Screenplay; Best Original Score
Nomination: Best Actor-Drama (John Lone)


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