TV Cream

Films: L is for...

Last Emperor, The

At last! A palpable hit! This mammoth production is forever talked of in hushed tones, with awed mentions of cavalcades of extras, costumes, period detail, Forbidden City filming permissions and so on. So we feel a bit sheepish about judging it a big old overblown bore. But it is though, isn’t it? Billowing silks, serried ranks of bowing minions, swelling Sakamoto score, lovely old cars, boiler suits towards the end… yes, you carry on, Bernardo, we’ll just be over here by the Sid Field counter, thank you very much. Still, this musty old museum exhibit clocked up a sizeable profit on its $25 million budget (which at least is all up there on screen, eh, Ishtar?) and cleaned up on Oscar night. Small comfort for David Puttnam, who was by then out of Columbia Pictures after a fraught and, let’s be honest, rubbish tenure at the helm, watching the ceremony, in which none of the winners gave him even a mention, on a telly in a Toronto hotel room. A far cry from the Chariots bombast evening, eh, Dave?

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  1. Matt Patton

    October 6, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Awful film, but at least Marlon Brando doesn’t bugger anyone . . .

  2. Richard Davies

    November 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    The music was co-written by David “Talking Heads” Byrne.

    Psudo “Doctor” Gillian McKeith might have watched this at one time, if you know what I mean!?

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