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Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor won nine Academy Awards®, unexpectedly sweeping every category in which it was nominated quite a feat for a challenging, multilayered epic directed by an Italian and starring an international cast. Yet the power and scope of the film was, and remains, undeniable the life of Emperor Pu Yi, who took the throne at age three, in 1908, before witnessing decades of cultural and political upheaval, within and without the walls of the Forbidden City. Recreating Ching-dynasty China with astonishing detail and unparalleled craftsmanship by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti, The Last Emperor is also an intimate character study of one man reconciling personal responsibility and political legacy.
Bernardo Bertolucci does the nearly impossible with this sweeping, grand epic that tells a very personal tale. The story is a dramatic history of Pu Yi, the last of the emperors of China. It follows his life from its elite beginnings in the Forbidden City, where he was crowned at age three and worshipped by half a billion people. He was later forced to abdicate and, unable to fend for himself in the outside world, became a dissolute and exploited shell of a man. He died in obscurity, living as a peasant in the People's Republic. We never really warm up to John Lone in the title role, but this movie focuses more on visuals than characterization anyway. Filmed in the Forbidden City, it is spectacularly beautiful, filling the screen with saturated colors and exquisite detail. It won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. --Rochelle O'Gorman
It's no wonder it won so many Academy Awards ! A must see film for anyone with even the slightest interest in China's history.Published 3 months ago by Gregory C.
beautifully filmed (recreating the Chinese Royal Palace); interesting story and well actedPublished 7 months ago by Sandra
A great cinematographic achievement. Immersive. A holistic movie experience.Published 12 months ago by jay
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. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ross Chapman
Our guide in China told us that this filmw was partially filmed in the Forbidden City so we thought we'd have a look at it. Read morePublished on June 7 2013 by Heidi Van Alstyne
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. Read morePublished on April 29 2013 by GAIL CATHERWOOD
I was very interested in learning about the last emperor and so I bought this tape to add to my collection of educational videos. Read morePublished on May 16 2011 by apple
Although this brand new xfer from criterion, has been approved by the original cinematographer, vittorio storaro, he has gone and re-framed (as well as zoomed) the entire film to... Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2008 by Paul Shikata
To actual believe that the Rape of Nanjing was overstated or did not occur is equivalent to the Germans saying the Holocaust never occured. Read morePublished on May 5 2005 by Peter