The Last Emperor

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The Last Emperor is a 1987 biopic about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, whose autobiography was the basis for the screenplay written by Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci. Independently produced by Jeremy Thomas, it was directed by Bertolucci and released in 1987 by Columbia Pictures.[2] Puyi's life is depicted from his ascent to the throne as a small boy to his imprisonment and political rehabilitation by the Chinese Communist authorities.

The film stars John Lone as Puyi, with Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ruocheng Ying, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Maggie Han, Ric Young, Vivian Wu, and Chen Kaige. It was the first feature film for which the producers were authorized by the Chinese government to film in the Forbidden City in Beijing.[1] It won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Contents

Plot

The film opens in 1950 with Pǔyí's re-entry into the just-proclaimed People's Republic of China as a prisoner and war criminal, having been captured by the Red Army when the Soviet Union entered the Pacific War in 1945 (see Soviet invasion of Manchuria) and put under Soviet custody for five years. Puyi attempts suicide which only renders him unconscious, and in a flashback, apparently triggered as a dream, Puyi relives his first entry, with his wet nurse, into the Forbidden City.

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