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Empire of the Sun [VHS]
Original cardboard sleeve shows hardly any wear. From a private collection.
Roundly dismissed as one of Steven Spielberg's least successful efforts, this very underrated film poignantly follows the World War II adventures of young Jim (a brilliant Christian Bale), caught in the throes of the fall of China. What if you once had everything and lost it all in an afternoon? What if you were only 12? Bale's transformation, from pampered British ruling-class child to an imprisoned, desperate, nearly feral boy, is nothing short of stunning. Also stunning are exceptional sets, cinematography, and music (the last courtesy of John Williams) that enhance author J.G. Ballard's and screenwriter Tom Stoppard's depiction of another, less familiar casualty of war.
In a time when competitors were releasing "comedic," derivative coming-of-age films, Empire of the Sun stands out as an epic in the classic David Lean sense--despite confusion or perceived competition with the equally excellent The Last Emperor (also released in 1987, and also a coming-of-age in a similar setting). It is also a remarkable testament to, yes, the human spirit. And despite its disappointing box-office returns, Empire of the Sun helped to further establish Spielberg as more than a commercial director and set the standard, tone, and look for future efforts Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. --N.F. Mendoza
Top customer reviews
The musical score by John Williams stands out as exceptional. It is the only original music I remember from a movie which is not a musical The cinematography is stunning. Like all the best Spielberg, Empire of the Sun directly touches the heart while almost incidentally conveying powerful insights about war, survival and the human spirit. Absolutely no preaching!! If you haven't seen this film yet - I highly recommend it. It is an underestimated gem!
Other than two streaming breaks (marginal DSL), it worked well and was high quality video
When I came home from Nam I was so changed that I could not speak to anyone, I would just stare. Took some time to get back to normal.
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