The Last Emperor

The Last Emperor

Bernardo Bertolucci (1987)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This majestic epic from director Bernardo Bertolucci was the first western production to be allowed to film inside the Forbidden City and the winner of nine Oscars. It is one of the most visually arresting pictures of recent years, with Ferdinando Scarfiotti's design beautifully juxtaposing the pre- and post-revolutionary Chinese worlds, and the red and yellow trappings of the simple uniforms of Mao's republic stunningly captured by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro. However, the glorious images distance the viewer from the momentous events that overtook 20th-century China and, in spite of a multifaceted performance from John Lone, Emperor Pu Yi remains a stranger, even at the end of the film.


Oscar-winning fact-based epic drama, following the life of Pu Yi, China's last emperor. Ascending to the throne at the age of three, he becomes an object of veneration for billions while remaining imprisoned within the Forbidden City. As the outside world changes around him, he is driven from his home, becoming a political pawn of the Japanese government and ultimately an ordinary citizen in the people's republic. Starring John Lone. Peter O'Toole and Joan Chen.

Cast & Crew

Aisin-Gioro "Henry" Pu Yi, as an adult John Lone
Elizabeth Joan Chen
Reginald Johnston, "RJ" Peter O'Toole
Governor Ying Ruocheng
Chen Pao Shen Victor Wong (2)
Big Li Dennis Dun
Masahiko Amakasu Ryuichi Sakamoto
Eastern Jewel Maggie Han
Interrogator Ric Young
Wen Hsiu Wu Jun Mei
Chang Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Ar Mo Jade Go
Pu Yi, aged 3 Richard Vuu
Pu Yi, aged 8 Tijger Tsou
Pu Yi, aged 15 Wu Tao
Director Bernardo Bertolucci
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Optimum ReleasingGuidance: Contains some violence, swearing and brief nudity.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 12 Mar 2004