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Director: Steven Spielberg     Starring: Christian Bale John Malkovich
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Learn more about Empire of the Sun (Blu-ray Book):

Format: Blu-Ray DVD
Sku: 229848675
UPC: 883929228072
UPC 14: 00883929228072
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Action/Adventure
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.
Editor's Note
Steven Spielberg's EMPIRE OF THE SUN, based on the autobiographical novel by J.G. Ballard, stars Christian Bale as Jim Graham, a British schoolboy separated from his upper-class colonial parents when the Japanese sweep into Shanghai during World War II. Temporarily orphaned, Jim attaches himself to Basie (John Malkovich), a fast-talking American opportunist determined make a buck off the spoils of war. Later, when the two are interned in a prison camp, Jim's boyish fantasies are fueled by the grace and daring of the Japanese fighter pilots whom he comes to idolize despite their enemy status. Spielberg's visually spectacular wartime epic is a testimony to the human will to survive and a child's ability to find wonder even in the midst of horror. Thirteen-year-old Welsh actor Christian Bale is brillant as Jim in his feature film debut. Spielberg himself identified more with Jim, a boy who is obsessed with flying and who experiences the death of his innocence, than with E.T.'s Elliott. After a year of negotiations with the Chinese, Spielberg and his crew were allowed to film in Shanghai, which was virtually unchanged since World War II.


Video Features Book

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Warner
Video Release Date Release Date: 7/23/2013
Video Play Time Running Time: 152 minutes
Video UPC UPC: 00883929228072
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks:

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Miranda Richardson
Video Cast Info Ben Stiller
Video Cast Info Joe Pantoliano
Video Cast Info Nigel Havers
Video Cast Info Christian Bale
Video Cast Info Leslie Phillips
Video Cast Info John Malkovich
Video Cast Info J. G. Ballard - Source Writer
Video Cast Info Allen Daviau - Director of Photography
Video Cast Info Steven Spielberg - Producer
Video Cast Info Michael Kahn - Editor
Video Cast Info Tom Stoppard - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info John Williams - Composer
Video Cast Info Frank Marshall - Producer
Video Cast Info Kathleen Kennedy - Producer
Video Cast Info Menno Meyjes - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info Steven Spielberg - Director

Professional Reviews

New York Times
"...[EMPIRE OF THE SUN] seems to speak a language all its own....Great and small triumphs...steadily deliver[ed]..." 12/09/1987 p.C25

New York Times
Included in the New York Times "10 Best Films of 1987" 12/27/1987 p.II, 23

"...[The] sweeping picture is studded by spectacular set pieces..." 12/02/1987

"Malkovich walks a line between sentiment and grit in his relationship with the young Christian Bale, and brings it off." 09/01/2005 p.130

5 stars out of 5 -- "[With] astounding performances from John Malkovich and a teenage Christian Bale. Essential." 03/01/2006 p.134

Sight and Sound
"The scenes in which the Japanese invade Shanghai and the English forlornly try to flee are handled with huge flair; but unusually for Speilberg, the performances and subtlety of his direction register equally strongly." 04/01/2006 p.88

Product Attributes

Product attributeVideo Format:   Blu-Ray
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