- Rated: R
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 2 hours, 41 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: June 13, 2000
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: Sony Pictures
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Single Side - Dual Layer
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 1.85
- Dolby Surround - Mandarin
- Additional Release Material:
- Audio Commentary: Chen Kaige - Director
- Bonus Trailer - STORY OF QIU JU
- Bonus Trailer - THE LAST EMPEROR
- Bonus Trailer - THE KNIG OF MASKS
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Entertainment Weekly - 06/16/2000
"...Fast-paced, stunning, and deeply affecting..." -- Rating: A
Sight and Sound - 08/01/2000
"...[A] sumptuous spectacle..."
Box Office - 07/01/1999
"...The elaborate and meticulous reconstruction of the violent historical area gives the film a genuine epic sweep..."
Los Angeles Times - 12/17/1999
"...Magnificent and contemplative....THE EMPEROR AND THE ASSASSIN is a stirring, thought-provoking feat of filmmaking, accomplished in every facet..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 12/17/1999
"...With THE EMPEROR AND THE ASSASSIN, Kaige emerges on an entirely new level as an epic filmmaker of the first order..."
Uncut - 08/01/2000
"[The] battle scenes are immense and sensational, with every penny of the budget visible in lush panoramas and major BRAVEHEART-style skirmishes."
In the third century B.C., Ying Zheng (Li Xuejian), the powerful king of Qin province, struggles to unify China and become the country's first emperor. In an effort to make himself seem untouchable, he sends his lover, Lady Zhao (Gong Li), to her homeland, Han, to recruit a professional killer who will intentionally botch an assassination attempt on him. Once in Han, Zhao meets Jing Ke (Fengyi Zhang), an infamous assassin who has given up the sword. Zhao's plans change after Ying begins ruling with an increasingly brutal hand--and she starts to fall in love with Jing. Shakespearean in its riveting presentation of tragic power plays on the battlefield and behind the closed doors of royal chambers and featuring wondrous costume and set designs that breathe life into a magnificent chapter of China's rich history, Chen Kaige's film--at the time of its release the most expensive ever produced in his home country--is a sweeping, beautifully shot, visionary epic.