6.5/10
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Emperor (2012)

PG-13 | | Drama, History | 27 July 2013 (Japan)
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As the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, General Fellers is tasked with deciding if Emperor Hirohito will be hanged as a war criminal. Influencing his ruling is his quest to find Aya, an exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Toshiyuki Nishida ...
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Mitsuko Kajima
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Masatoshi Nakamura ...
Masatô Ibu ...
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Takatarô Kataoka ...
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Lt Col. Rogers
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Shôhei Hino ...
Hideki Tojo
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CIC Commander
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Storyline

A story of love and understanding set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. On the staff of General Douglas MacArthur (Jones), the de facto ruler of Japan as Supreme Commander of the occupying forces, a leading Japanese expert, General Bonner Fellers (Fox) is charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: should Emperor Hirohito be tried and hanged as a war criminal? Interwoven is the story of Fellers' love affair with Aya, a Japanese exchange student he had met years previously in the U.S. Memories of Aya and his quest to find her in the ravaged post-war landscape help Fellers to discover both his wisdom and his humanity and enable him to come to the momentous decision that changed the course of history and the future of two nations. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Japan 1945: General Douglas MacArthur was given a mission to decide the fate of a nation, the guilt of a leader, and the true price of peace.

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent content, brief strong language and smoking (historical) | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

27 July 2013 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Imperador  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,014,099, 10 March 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,345,315, 9 June 2013

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,346,265, 13 September 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aya Shimada is based on a woman, Yuri Watanabe, Fellers met at Earlham college in 1915. Fellers and Watanabe were lifelong friends until her death in June 1954. See more »

Goofs

The USAAF C-54 shown in the beginning of the film bears the postwar, United States roundel with the red stripes added to the white streamers. This did not appear on U.S. aircraft until the creation of the US Air Force, separate from the US Army, in 1947. See more »

Quotes

General Douglas MacArthur: Gentlemen, we will take no weapons with us when we step off this airplane. Nothing will impress them more than a show of absolute fearlessness. If they don't know they're licked by now, they will get the picture today. Now let's show them some good old-fashioned American swagger.
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User Reviews

 
The Emperor Strikes Back
30 July 2013 | by See all my reviews

I thought I might be the only one who found this film interesting since I spent 7 years in Japan and happened to be there when Emperor Hirohito died. At that time, there was a renewed discussion of how much he was responsible for beginning World War II. In the end, it seemed he was more or less strong-armed into the war by right wing politicians. True, he could be blamed for being weak-willed, but he did not have the mental constitution to be an emperor in the first place. If he could have chosen, he would have been a marine biologist, as marine biology was his hobby and passion. There was no more confusing and cathartic time in Japanese history than when MacArthur and the American military came in to occupy Japan. The entire society had to re-evaluate itself on all levels. How could they, the greatest people in the world, be conquered by such an uncultured civilization? This question persists until the present day.

It was not clear at the beginning of this film whether it was a true story or a story based around true events. If the fact that it was a true story had been made clearer, it would have been more compelling. Nonetheless, it did capture most of the turbulent elements of that time. The love affair, that parallels this story is a good one and one that exposes the prejudice that existed against any Japanese woman who dared marry outside her culture. Eriko Hatsune was perfect in the role of an intelligent woman caught between tradition and emotion. Unfortunately, Matthew Foxx (General Bonner Fellers) acted as if he had been hit by a tranquilizer dart. Tommy Lee Jones overacted the role of MacArthur and was equally unconvincing.

Be warned. This is not an action movie,though a few action scenes exist. This is mainly a movie based on philosophic discussions, psychology, and cultural misunderstandings. Still, it offers a good view of an important time in world history.


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