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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor's Club, an exceptional movie
This film is very well played by Kelvin Kline (Also playing in The Wild Wild West).
It's a story about honour in life.
A professor in a private college (Kelvin Kline), teaches 16-year old children about honourable men throughout history.
His goal is to bring them the knowledge from these men to their own way of acting in life. This means in a honourable...
Published on 11 Jan. 2004 by donthomassino

versus
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Anti-Dead Poet's Society
I didn't know what to expect when watching this film but as the other reviewer has written, you are meant to believe it is along the lines of The Dead Poet's Society which I think is a very good film about learning to be yourself and not another brick in the wall. The Emperor's CLub however seems to think that everyone should conform to one code. Although I didn't like...
Published on 10 Sept. 2007 by FDLab1


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor's Club, an exceptional movie, 11 Jan. 2004
This film is very well played by Kelvin Kline (Also playing in The Wild Wild West).
It's a story about honour in life.
A professor in a private college (Kelvin Kline), teaches 16-year old children about honourable men throughout history.
His goal is to bring them the knowledge from these men to their own way of acting in life. This means in a honourable way.
The children's task is to learn about these men and at the end of the year there is a challenge: The Julius-Caesar challenge, where only the best of the best can compete, with only their knowledge against each other.
But on one day a new student joins the class: Though he's a bright student he has a very rebellious personality, because his father, the senator that gives the college a financial help, forced him to go to the college. The funny thing is that the professor, a very respected man in the college believes that the boy could be the winner of the Julius-Caesar challenge and get his place in the hall of fame. On a time the professor has to question his faith in the boy because he has to choose between him, the bright but "rebellious" kid and another student that strives after the Julius-Caesar award. The rebellious one has never had to "fight" or struggle for something, because he just got everything from his father. This boy doesn't know anything about honour and the professor sees that, but he thinks, no he is almost a 100% sure, that with some help he could get better and live in a more honourable way throughout life. And the other student the one that did had to struggle all his entire life to get in an college like this, just like his father that even won the Julius-Caesar award when he was 16 years old. This is the start of the REAL movie!
P.S.:
The message that it brings you is wonderful!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Character counts, 13 Jun. 2004
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Kevin Kline stars as Hundert, a respected history teacher at an exclusive boys school, who meets his match in Sedgewick, a new boy who wants only to ridicule and test him. Hundert allows the boy a spot in a prestigious school competition, but he cheats, thus setting his future path. At a reunion twenty-five years later, Hundert discovers that most of his former students turned out to be honorable men, but Sedgewick is not among them.

This film is often compared to other teacher films, as it should be, such as Goodbye, Mr. Chips and The Dead Poets Society. Kline's quiet, confident portrayal of a man who lives by the ideals of honor and duty is wonderful, without being sentimental. Emile Hirsch as Sedgewick is brash and likeable. Joel Gretsch plays Sedgewick twenty-five years later, as a charming, successful, and immoral man.

I heartily recommend this quiet, profound, and realistic film, which shows how one outstanding teacher positively afftects the lives of many, though not all, of his students.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad marketing, brilliant film, 28 April 2005
This review is from: The Emperor's Club [DVD] (DVD)
This Film was made up to look like a variation of "Dead Poet's Society" (at least here in Austria/Germany it was), so I was rather reluctant to watch it. I was very surprised. The film is magnificent, a lot better than DPS (it deals with something completely different). The whole film revolves around ethics and how the ethical can deal with the non-ethical. Sounds very high-brow? Well, a Latin teacher of very strict ethics manages to wake a spark in a pupil of dubious morals. To nurture that spark the teacher goes against his principals. It turns out the student is not worth the effort of the teacher. This leaves the teacher doubting his moral code. Furthermore, the student and other not so strictly principled people succeed in life, while the teacher remains what he is: a teacher, although he had hoped to become headmaster. So are ethics (i.e. rigid priciples) worthless? And can you imbue them into people who don't believe in them?
These are some of the questions the film asks. Some of them it answers, and some of them it doesn't. And that's the really beautiful thing about this film: it leaves you thinking for a long time afterwards, because it doesn't present you with any ready-made answers.
A must see for anybody who cares about values and how to pass them on to the younger generation and whether one can still live by them and win (but what is to "win"?). So, basically, it should be a film for everybody.
The film is based on the short story "The Palace Thief" by Ethan Canin, which I haven't read, but intend to do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars life is a thing more wide than a college, 27 Sept. 2010
By 
Carlos Vazquez Quintana "cvq" (Linares- Spain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Emperor's Club [DVD] (DVD)
This film shows very well a question I think dubious or turbid. Or perhaps there's no such question. Y have known some as that during my childhood: the case of an adult man which is very good as a teacher but only as that. He seems only capable to be rigth inside a college or in academic life. The problem is many people thinks real, full life is more than formal, official education.
Kevin Kline plays here very well Mr. Hundert, a History teacher with that character. His pupils are in general good young persons and later, good adults. But one, named Sedgewick, has to demonstrate him, toward his real or apparent lack of ethics, that perhaps real external life has little of this, and that's another lesson although yes, non academic.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We should see Kevin Kline more often, 28 Feb. 2006
By 
Mr. Joe (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
For the average moviegoer, Kevin Kline is isn't up there with the giants: Washington, Gibson, Hanks, Cruise, Cage and Crowe. And it's too bad, because he's awfully good in his infrequent screen appearances. LIFE AS A HOUSE comes to mind, and now THE EMPEROR'S CLUB.
In this new release, Kline plays William Hundert, a teacher at the very exclusive boarding academy, St. Benedictus School for Boys. His forte is Western Civilization, especially the contributions of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Hundert's authority over his freshman class is complete - a "tyranny" as he calls it, but a benevolent one. Then Sedgewick Bell, the son of a prominent U.S. Senator joins the student body and Hundert's Western Civ. A smart-mouthed rebel who neglects his studies, Bell soon gains a following among the other boys with his antics. In despair, Hundert pays a call on the Senator. Soon, Sedgewick gets a short, terse call from Dad, who essentially says, "Don't make me have to waste my valuable time again cleaning up your mess." Apparently now channeling his anger at his father with the thought "I'll show him!", the young Bell begins to apply himself. In a series of essays on the contributions of Roman emperors, Sedgewick does well enough to rank number 4 in the class, the top 3 of which will advance to the annual Julius Caesar contest, a question and answer competition before the student body, the winner of which is crowned with laurel leaves and eternal honor. Thinking that Sedgewick has turned himself around, Hundert inflates the boy's grade on the final essay to give him the number three spot. During the ensuing contest, moderator Hundert is taught hard lessons on school politics and his ability to judge another's character. All this leads into the film's conclusion, which comes twenty-five years later when Sedgewick Bell, now a millionaire businessman, offers the school a large sum of money on the condition that his Julius Caesar contest, with the original three contestants, be repeated at his Long Island mansion with the now retired Hundert again as moderator.
Hundert is perhaps each of us - possessing high principles in theory but flawed in their practice in the face of internal and external pressures. What makes Hundert endearing to the audience is his recognition of his shortcomings. At the end of THE EMPEROR'S CLUB, I was vaguely dissatisfied that all loose ends weren't tidied up with everyone getting what they deserved. But then I realized that Hundert attempted to set things right within his limited ability to do so, and perhaps this reflects real life rather than the ideal. Effective men with better things to do don't tilt at windmills.
The lesson of THE EMPEROR'S CLUB is, I think, that all of life's at bats don't generate hits. Just getting up to the plate results in a few strikeouts. But it's the fortunate man remembered for the former rather than the latter, and he's more apt to be the one who's contributed something to society. Much honor is due if that man is a teacher.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "How will history remember you?", 12 Mar. 2004
I had no idea how much I would end up enjoying this wonderful and awe-inspiring film. I was worried that it was going to try to be another "Dead Poets Society." To my surprise, it isn't. In fact, I'll even go further and say that I thought this was a lot better. "The Emperor's Club" is a powerful and gripping drama about principle, virtue and ethical compromises.
The story revolves around a teacher, William Hundert. He's a passionate man who loves what he does and hopes that he is actually having an impact on his students with his teachings. Things get complicated when he meets a new student, Sedgewick Bell. The kid is a troublemaker who cries out for attention with his actions. However, Hundert is convinced that he can turn him around and help him learn something from his class; not only that, but he hopes that he can learn something about life itself. Hundert believes in him so much that he is even willing to make a great compromise that will have an absolute impact in some way, whether it be positive or negative. The results are surprising and unexpected, but the overall product is an outstanding movie that makes you think twice about your life.
This was really a great film that had me surprised all the way. I had no idea how deep and effective it would end up being. When you see "The Emperor's Club," it actually makes you want to look at your life right then and there. You realize that you do want to live a life of honor, virtue and principle. We tend to live in a society that forgets about these important qualities sometimes; this being dubbed, "The Real World." However, this does not mean that we have to forget or overlook these things. It is possible to still have virtue in one's life.
Everything about this movie is remarkable. It has some great acting, a terrific script, and a genuine and authentic direction. Kevin Klein is amazing as William Hundert. It's a crime that he did not receive an Academy Award for his performance in this underrated film; or at least he should've been nominated for one. He is able to portray a great and wonderful character; also, he is able to play a character with realistic flaws that reminds us that he is a human-being. This is something we rarely see in films; as we are always given the impression that teachers are invincible and flawless when they are usually portrayed in films.
The DVD has some nice extra features to go along with it. The picture and sound quality is great. You can even watch it in DTS if you have the right system for it. The special features included are deleted scenes, commentary from the director, a making-of special and more. A pretty nice package, if you ask me.
"The Emperor's Club" is a wonderful experience that should be enjoyed by all. If you have not seen this yet, do yourself a favor; pick this up the next time you're at a video store. Already becoming a favourite of mine in so little time, "The Emperor's Club" is a unique and gripping film about what it takes to live an honorable life. Don't miss out on this great experience. -Michael Crane
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, though..., 2 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: The Emperor's Club [DVD] (DVD)
Definitively an excellent film though I needed subtitles as I am not an English speaker and despite my understanding I needed sometimes help and I read in the description of the DVD that it had subtitles.
I, anyway, recommend it by all means.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Anti-Dead Poet's Society, 10 Sept. 2007
By 
FDLab1 (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Emperor's Club [DVD] (DVD)
I didn't know what to expect when watching this film but as the other reviewer has written, you are meant to believe it is along the lines of The Dead Poet's Society which I think is a very good film about learning to be yourself and not another brick in the wall. The Emperor's CLub however seems to think that everyone should conform to one code. Although I didn't like the Senator's Character I felt that he had one of the most important lines; "You will not mold my son."
I also found the direction rather heavy handed, whenever the viewer was supposed to think about a certain issue the camera returned to a prop whose significance had been set up at the start of the film.
I do not wish to be too harsh about the film as it is still watchable but don't expect anything new or finely crafted if you choose to watch this film.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The end depends upon the beginning", 11 Jun. 2004
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In this marvelous movie we find ourselves facing the concept of how important teachers are, how they shape our lives and how they give us the tools for succeeding as individuals. Most of the viewers will probably find themselves at some point reminiscing with nostalgia about one or more of the influential teachers in their lives. The story line presents similarities with movies like "Dead Poets Society", with both Robin Williams in that case and Kevin Kline in this one playing the roles of outstanding educators.
The film starts with Mr. Hundert (Kline), a retired teacher after a career of thirty-four years, showing up at a reunion with his class of 1976. This was a group of students that marked him deeply, and he goes on to remember the events that lead to that situation.
Mr. Hundert is history teacher, covering Western Civilizations, the Greeks and the Romans; he is very passionate about his job and the students adore him. Every year a history competition is held, with the winner being crowned as Julius Caesar. Everything is working out perfectly, until Sedgewick Bell, a new student, joins the St. Benedict School for boys. Sedgewick is the son of a senator for West Virginia and he transforms the anger he carries due to his father's lack of interest in his life, in irreverence, contempt and arrogance. Mr. Hundert has to find a way to control this new student and motivate him into having goals and aspirations, before he jeopardizes the teacher's control over the rest of the class. One of the tools to achieve this is the Julius Caesar competition.
This highly enjoyable movie gets people thinking on the importance of the building blocks in each person's life and on how teachers are, as much as parents, part of shaping this base. Kevin Kline presents a highly skilled performance, showing his usual aptitude for portraying different characters and adapting equally well to dramatic and humorous situations. I learn to appreciate history in the late years of my high school journey. I am convinced that it would have been different if I had encountered a teacher like Mr. Hundert.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good!!, 20 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Emperor's Club [DVD] (DVD)
Just one word: very good!!!
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