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The last emperor

Call Number



Director-approved special ed. ; widescreen version.


English, Chinese or Japanese dialogue; English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired.


John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ying Ruocheng, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun, Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Publication Information

[Irvington, N.Y.] : Criterion Collection, [2008]


Title from container.

Originally released as a motion picture in 1987.

The accompanying booklet includes a David Thomson essay, interviews with the production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti and actor Ying Ruocheng, a reminiscence by Bertolucci, and an essay and production diary extracts from Fabien S. Gerard.

Special features: Disc one: All-new restored 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 ; Disc two: All-new, restored high-definition digital transfer ; Disc three: "The Italian traveler, Bernardo Bertolucci:" a 53-minute film; video images taken by Bertolucci while on preproduction in China; "The Chinese adventure of Bernardo Bertolucci:" a 51-minute documentary; a new 45-minute documentary featuring Storaro, editor Gabriella Cristiana, costume designer James Acheson, and art director Gianni Silvestri ; Disc four: A 66-minute BBC documentary exploring Bertolucci's creative process and the making of The last emperor; a 30-minute interview with Bertolucci from 1989; a new interview with composer David Byrne; a new interview with cultural historian Ian Buruma examining the period of the film.

Pu Yi is the last of the Emperor of China who from his lofty birth and brief reign in the Forbidden City was the object of worship by half a billion people. Pu Yi's childhood is revealed, along with the time he spent imprisoned in the Forbidden City, his term as the emperor of Japan's Manchuguo, and his eventual release back to public life where he spent his final years as a gardener at the Botanical Gardens of Peking.


  • Disc one: The theatrical version (165 min.)
  • Disc two. The television version (218 min.)
  • Disc three. Supplements, part 1
  • Disc four. Supplements, part 2.
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