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The Last Emperor (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ruocheng Ying, Victor Wong
  • Directors: Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Writers: Bernardo Bertolucci, Enzo Ungari, Henry Pu-yi, Mark Peploe
  • Producers: Franco Giovale, Jeremy Thomas, John Daly
  • Format: Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Nov. 18 2008
  • Run Time: 164 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001EOQCLM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,402 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 12 2012
Format: Blu-ray
First off, Criterion does their usual impeccable job with both the transfer
and the extras on this new disc.

There is some interesting controversy about aspect ratios and cuts with various
releases of the film. The Criterion releases have been reformatted from
the original 2:35 to 2:1, but it was done at the request of, and under the
supervision of cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.

Also, the Criterion BR doesn't have the longer Italian TV cut, but the
2 disc Criterion DVD does.

Then there is the 2 disc Optimum UK DVD set which has the film in
it's original 2:35 theatrical ratio (and a quite nice transfer, if not quite
up to Criterion's quality.) It also contains the longer TV cut, but in a
transfer much weaker than the Criterion DVD.

Now, as for the film itself...

I can understand someone loving "The Last Emperor" (as I do), or being
bored stiff. Visually ravishing, it is an epic film about an empty man,
the last emperor of China Pu Yi.

Raised from birth with no real experience of the outside world, trained
only to fulfill his role as a symbolic figurehead, we watch Pu Yi swept
along by the great tides of history in the 20th century east. Only
after going through ten years 're-education' at the hands of the
Chinese communists does he start to seem connected to the world and to
himself.

The film forces a lot of challenging 're-thinking'.
Read more ›
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By Ross Chapman on July 6 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I had this movie on VHS but watching it on Blu-ray was almost like never having seen it before. I really appreciate the background information that is included in this release. It is also winner of some Oscars including best picture.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
NOT SURE IF IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD MOVIE TO SEE BEFORE WE LEFT FOR CHINA BUT IT BROUGHT BACK GREAT MEMORIES OF THE SITES WE SAW WHILE WE WERE THERE. IT ANSWERED A LOT OF QUESTIONS . HAVE PASSED IT ALONG TO OTHERS THAT ARE TRAVELLING THERE
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 21 2009
Format: Blu-ray
I wish all blu-rays had this feature, but so far Last Emperor is the only disc I own where under Timeline you can add and delete your own bookmarks (utilizing the remote's green & blue buttons). It makes for easy access to your favourite scenes or where you last left off. The epic itself is a huge cinematic achievement and deserved of the additional blu-ray features which also include numerous documentaries and featurettes (over 4 hrs. worth).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joe Comer on March 4 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This film is too aware of the epic proportions of its story. This is a shame because the story is a fascinating one. It tells of Pu Y, who became China's last emperor during the early part of the 20th century. He lived in the Forbidden City, unknowlegable of the world and even the country around him. As a very young child and through his teens he had everything done for him, but then is pitched away when the country becomes involved in war. Not aware of life it becomes an uphill task to accustom himself. The story is incredible and actually excellent material for a mini-series. And, unlike a lot of mini-series would not be boring or stretched beyond interest. There is a lot of material here. But rather than rely on that material, director Bernardo Bertolucci elects to ignore the foundation and depend instead on never letting the audience forget the size of the tale. We are as an audience, therefore, put off everytime the story moves to a new plateau. We are forced to ask questions that are not answered because he attempts to cram too much spectacle into a three-hour movie.Technically, the film is superior. Its costumes, art direction and editing are incomparable. The music score co-written by David Byrne (formerly of the rock band, Talking Heads) is also superb. But it's the cinematography that is really the thing here. If it wasn't for that, the few bare threads of the original story that do come through would have been non-existant, leaving the film as shallow as they come.But the characters are the thing here and they become mere backdrops for Bertolucci's overblown self-awareness. It's not that Pu Y comes across cold and distant as some critics have remarked. And it's certainly not John Lone's very brave performance of said character that creates problems.Read more ›
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By apple on May 16 2011
Format: VHS Tape
I was very interested in learning about the last emperor and so I bought this tape to add to my collection of educational videos. The movie gives you great insights about the Chinese people, those who are new to them, it further allowed me to research more on the topic and watch the archives on You Tube. I would highly recommend this movie especially to teachers who might want to introduce this topic as part of their Asian History class.
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By A Customer on July 5 2004
Format: DVD
I had the misfortune to buy this BEFORE I read the Amazon reviews and discovered that the DVD looked awful-a particular injustice for a film that won Best Picture. It's only 17 years old; there are films from the 30's that look great on DVD! I see though that in the U.K. they released a 2-disc version with commentary and both the original theatrical cut as well as the director's cut. I assume it's also restored and anamorphic and can only hope that we get an American version soon. The movie gets 5 stars, even at 219 minutes. The DVD gets 1 star, so that averages out to a generous 3.
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