HiT The Last Emperor

The story of PuYi the Last Emperor of China is the MOST sumptuous of films, beautifully shot, it’s an extraordinary story, and the history it passes through is fascinating. Was it all worth it? Do you root for the characters? As an authorised film – did it pull its punches?

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Scores on the Doors

Critics were generally blown away by the way the film looked and the weird and wonderful world of the Forbidden City.


The Last Emperor


The Verdict – A Bridge Too Far

I was worried that we’d get a lot of people who just hated war films – and yes, that is an element! But generally, although ABTF hit the nerd button, it was pretty popular  – sort of mid range.

ABTF Verdict






6 thoughts on “HiT The Last Emperor

  1. I’ve just starting listening to this new project of yours and really enjoy it.

    Off topic, I’d be interested to hear your viewpoints from a British perspective regarding the film “Glory”. The movie is about the famous 54th Regiment of Massachusetts, one of the first African-American military units in the American Civil War. The movie received pretty good reviews and won three Oscars, including one for Denzel Washington, but it also was a bit overblown at times and was criticized for concentrating too heavily on the white characters. Given how important the American Civil War still is to us here in the US, it is interesting how few movies have been made about the conflict. I’d recommend you check this one out

    1. Hi Randall, and thanks. Yes Glory is definitely on the list; we’ve been recommended to do Gettysburg as well, so a bit of reading up about the US Civil Wart would pay dividends!

  2. The full Gettysburg movie (4 hours 31 minutes) can be a bit of a snoozer unless you are really into the minutiae of military tactics for that particular battle. Or if you really like to see a lot of big fake beards.
    The classic one-volume book about the American Civil War is James McPherson’s “Battle Cry of Freedom”. It was written thirty years ago but is still the best (though it covers a lot more than what is seen in “Glory”).
    Are there any recent movies, or any movies at all about the English Civil War?

    1. I am warned! for the English Civil War there is a rather dated one called Cromwell, there’s a rather poor one called to Kill a King which I couldn’t recommend. A quite good one was the TV series The Devil’s Whore (rather less racy than it sounds!) which is not very historically accurate but I thing communicates a flavour of the period;l and Dominic West does a rather creditable Cromwell. But to be honest, it’s not well served.

    2. Both Glory and Gettysburg are well worth watching (if one enjoys historical movies, especially those involving warfare). Glory is probably the more significant from a cultural point of view (and with a star-studded cast). People complained that it focused too much on the colonel of the company? Good grief!! But this is not surprising. These are the same people–along with other similar groups–who have complained so much about Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Hillary Clinton not being sufficiently far left that they (these complainers) are, in my opinion, responsible for allowing the election of George W Bush and Voldemort (I refuse to say his name), who is trying to overturn the election and showing himself to be the biggest adversary to democracy since Hitler took power.
      Gettysburg is a long movie, but it follows a long battle. It is based on the book (Killer Angels) by Michael Shaara, which was very good. If there is a snooze element, it is because the daytime action pauses to follow the discussions of the chief protagonists at night. For example, I recall several of the Confederate generals discussing Darwin’s very new ideas on descent from apes, and Robert E Lee’s dressing down of Cavalry commander Jeb Stuart concerning the latter’s mysterious absence. Aside from A-list actors, the movie employed something like 5000 Civil War re-enactors. It was very well done (and not too gory).
      In 2018 I got to visit the Gettysburg National Battlefield for the first time since I was a kid in 1970. The battlefield is huge and can be visited in many ways. The Visitors Center features the famous (and enormous) painting in the round (cyclorama). Outside, seeing the the tower from which General Buford looked down on the field from a bell tower (still exists) on Day One and seeing the field in which Pickett’s Charge occurred on Day Three were great. To me, the most incredible place on the battlefield is the spot on which Joshua Chamberlain’s men manned the far left-flank of the Union lines on Day Two. If the Confederates had managed to turn the Union left, the outcome of the battle and of US history may well have been very different. 150,000 men, and this was the specific spot that represented in some ways the most crucial few square yards in American history. It still sends chills up my spine.
      Both movies are well worth seeing.

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