The Last Emperor (Criterion Collection)

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Important Made in USA Origin Disclaimer: For certain items sold by Walmart on Walmart.com, the displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information. For updated, accurate country of origin data, it is recommended that you rely on product packaging or manufacturer information.

The Last Emperor is the true story of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi, the last ruler of the Chinese Ching Dynasty. Told in flashback, the film covers the years 1908 to 1967. We first see the three-year-old Pu Yi being installed in the Forbidden City by ruthless, dying dowager Empress Tzu-Hsui (Lisa Lu). Though he'd prefer to lark about like other boys, the infant emperor is cossetted and cajoled into accepting the responsibilities and privileges of his office. In 1912, the young emperor (Tijer Tsou) forced to abdicate when China is declared a republic, is a prisoner in his own palace, "protected" from the outside world. Fascinated by the worldliness of his Scottish tutor (Peter O'Toole), Pu Yi plots an escape from his cocoon by means of marriage. He selects Manchu descendant Wan Jung (Joan Chen), who likewise is anxious to experience the 20th century rather than be locked into the past by tradition. Played as an adult by John Lone, Pu Yi puts into effect several social reforms, and also clears the palace of the corrupt eunuchs who've been shielding him from life. In 1924, an invading warlord expels the denizens of the Forbidden City, allowing Pu Yi to "westernize" himself by embracing popular music and the latest dances as a guest of the Japanese Concession in Tientsin. Six years later, his power all but gone, Pu Yi escapes to Manchuria, where he unwittingly becomes a political pawn for the now-militant Japanese government. Humiliating his faithful wife, Pu Yi falls into bad romantic company, carrying on affairs with a variety of parasitic females. During World War II, the Japanese force Pu Yi to sign a series of documents which endorse their despotic military activities. At war's end, the emperor is taken prisoner by the Russians; while incarcerated, he is forced to fend for himself without servants at his beck and call for the first time. He is finally released in 1959 and displayed publicly as proof of the efficacy of Communist re-education. We last see him in 1967, the year of his death; now employed by the State as a gardener, Pu Yi makes one last visit to the Forbidden City...as a tourist. Bernardo Bertolucci's first film after a six-year self-imposed exile, The Last Emperor was released in two separate versions: the 160-minute theatrical release, and a 4-hour TV miniseries. Lensed on location, the film won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi.

Restored High-Definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, , Audio Commentary featuring Director Bernardo Bertolucci, Producer Jeremy Thomas, Screenwriter Mark Peploe, and Composer-actor Ryuichi Sakamoto, , Theatrical Trailer, Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Thomson.

Specifications

Color: Other
Original Languages: English
Duration: 165
Actors: Joan Chen, Dennis Dun, Jade Go, Constantine Gregory, Maggie Han, Fumihiko Ikeda, John Lone, Lisa Lu, Peter O'Toole, Ying Ruocheng, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Tiger Tsou, Richard Vuu, Vivian Wu, Chen Kaige, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yang Baozong, Wang Biao, Xu Chunqing, Zhang Daxing, Liang Dong, Li Fusheng, Fan Guang, Wu Hai, Yang Hongchang, Luo Hongnia
Condition: New
Studio & Production Company: Phase 4 Films
Record Label: Criterion
Digital Video Formats: DVD
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H): 0.50 x 5.50 x 7.44 Inches
Release Date: 11/18/2008
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Customer Reviews | 1 review | 4 out of 5

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One of my favorite movies!
1/6/2016

Customer review by SilentWolf

4.0 stars 1/6/2016 by SilentWolf
by SilentWolf

I've been saving up for this movie for a long time. It has been one of my favorites ever since I was a child. The story of the last emperor of China, Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi, is very compelling. After being crowned at just 3yo and living in the most turbulent time in Chinese history, his life is one that just begged to be made into a movie. This one was done magnificently! Being filmed on location in The Forbidden City gave it an authenticity rarely seen. I can see why it won 9 Oscars! The only downside I found to this particular purchase was that I was under the impression that it was the "director's cut", the long version with the scene where Ar Mo tells 3yo Pu Yi the story of how she became his wet nurse.

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Customer Reviews | 1 review | 4 out of 5

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