Empire of the Sun

Empire of the Sun

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.
Genres: Drama, History, War
Country: United States
Year: 1987
Time: 153 min
IMDb: 7.8/10


Based on J. G. Ballard’s autobiographical novel, tells the story of a boy, James Graham, whose privileged life is upturned by the Japanese invasion of Shanghai, December 8, 1941. Separated from his parents, he is eventually captured, and taken to Soo Chow confinement camp, next to a captured Chinese airfield. Amidst the sickness and food shortages in the camp, Jim attempts to reconstruct his former life, all the while bringing spirit and dignity to those around him.
Plot Keywords: japanese-occupation-of-china / japanese-occupation / japanese-army / exploding-airplane / abandoned-ship
Taglines: To survive in a world at war, he must find a strength greater than all the events that surround him.
Certificate: Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:Livre | Canada:PG | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-12 | France:Tous publics | Hong Kong:IIA | Iceland:12 | Japan:G | Malaysia:U | Malaysia:P13 | Mexico:A | Netherlands:AL | Netherlands:12 (DVD rating) | New Zealand:PG | Norway:11 (DVD rating) | Norway:15 | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Singapore:PG | South Korea:15 (DVD rating) | South Korea:All | Spain:T | Sweden:11 | Taiwan:GP | United Kingdom:PG | United States:TV-14 (TV rating) | United States:PG | West Germany:12
Cast: Christian Bale , John Malkovich , Miranda Richardson , Nigel Havers , Joe Pantoliano , Leslie Phillips , Masatô Ibu , Emily Richard , Rupert Frazer , Peter Gale , Takatarô Kataoka , Ben Stiller , David Neidorf , Ralph Seymour , Robert Stephens , Naishe Zhai , Guts Ishimatsu , Emma Piper , James Walker , Jack Dearlove , Anna Turner , Ann Castle , Yvonne Gilan , Ralph Michael , Sybil Maas , Eric Flynn , James Greene , Simon Harrison , Barrie Houghton , Paula Hamilton , Thea Ranft , Tony Boncza , Nigel Leach , Sheridan Forbes , Peter Copley , Barbara Bolton , Francesca Longrigg , Samantha Warden , Kieron Jecchinis , Michael Crossman , Gary Parker , Ray Charleson , Burt Kwouk , Tom Danaher , Kong-Guo-Jun , Takao Yamada , Hiro Arai , Paul McGann , Marc de Jonge , Susan Leong , Nicholas Dastor , Edith Platten , Shirley Chantrell , John Moore , Ann Queensberry , Sylvia Marriott , Frank Duncan , Ronald Eng , Za Chuan Ce , Shi Rui Qing , Lu Ye , Guo Xue Liang , Ge Yan Zhao , Nina Armstrong , J.G. Ballard , Ken Enomoto , Paul Reynolds , Rochelle Rose


Company: Amblin Entertainment
Country: United States
Language: English , Japanese , Mandarin
Released Date: 25 Dec 1987 (Argentina)
Year: 1987
Film Location: Trebujena, Cádiz, Andalucía, Spain

Technical Specs

Runtime: 153 min
Soundmix: 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)
Color: Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1

User Review:

thecohen » This movie was a visual, character driven movie of superior quality, even for Steven Speilberg. Some say that Speilberg has too much the eye of a child, but I tend to disagree. Too many filmmakers today are producing slick, throw away action flicks that at first seem promising but eventually fall into predictable, fluff and special effects laden, thinly plotted, dialogue-poor, characterless movies that are gone before the popcorn. Yes, this film has a lot of great Special Effects (So did Schindler's List.) Moreover, a lot of great action to keep the story pace from dragging. The idea of a movie is for the actors and directors to show their stuff (Hopefully around some good writing.) This movie did it for me. I have to agree with all those who praised Christian Bale for his performance in this movie. He was brilliant. In addition, I got to see Ben Stiller in an unusual role for him. I thought that John Malcovitch acted perfectly for this film and yes he was a Han Solo/Indiana Jones character, but with even less depth. His role was pivotal only in so far as it affected the boy. We were not as concerned with his character in so much as his shadow was cast on Jim through out the movie. The war was bigger than this little boy was and it was exquisitely done. Steven Speilberg gives us wonder, mystery, action, adventure and history in everything he does. He's the consummate filmmaker.
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