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The Last Emperor

Biopic about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China

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A Hollywood look at the last Manchurian Emperor of China.

  • May 7, 2009
  • by
The Last Emperor is a western look at the fall of the Manchurian Dynasty, the last piece if ancient China. The Manchu's emperor would later become a prisoner of his own environment. In the latter years of his life, he would remain ignorant of the warlord period and his corruption of "power" when he would become a glorified puppet of the Japanese Empire. After the end of World War II, the Emperor Pu Yi would later become a prisoner of war in a Chinese "re-education" center. He would have to answer for his crimes and be reformed so he could live in a new society.

Pu Yi is the ultimate survivor and has managed to escape with his life on several times. He has watched those around him die and sacrifice themselves just so he could live another day. Eventually, Pu Yi learns to live with others and renounce his privilege life and become a comrade of brothers within Mao's China. One thing that I didn't like about this movie (besides playing around with the facts) was most of the actors spoke in thick accents and broken English. To make it as realistic as possible they should have used sub-titles and have the actors speak in their native tongues.

I would also like to recommend the Hong Kong production of Yoshiro Kawashima. She was the last crowned Princess of Manchuria who's life revolved around the activities of Pu Yi. But she wasn't as lucky as Emperor Pu Yi (or was she?).

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About the reviewer
Joseph Ulibas ()
Ranked #30
I have been working on my web series Fine Feather Friends.
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About this movie


Based upon the life of the last Manchurian Emperor of China.

The film won nine Academy Awards.
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Genre: Drama
Release Date: November 18, 1987
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Bernardo Bertolucci
Runtime: 160 Minutes
Studio: Columbia Pictures
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