Empire of the Sun (1987)

Genres - Drama, Action, Adventure, War, Historical Film  |   Sub-Genres - POW Drama, War Drama, Childhood Drama  |   Release Date - Dec 9, 1987 (USA)  |   Run Time - 153 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Based on J.G. Ballard's autobiographical novel, Empire of the Sun stars Christian Bale as a spoiled young British boy, living with his wealthy family in pre-World War II Shanghai. During the Japanese invasion, Bale is separated from his parents. With the help of soldier-of-fortune John Malkovich, Bale learns to survive without a retinue of servants at his beck and call. By the time Malkovich and Bale are tossed into a Japanese prison camp, the boy has picked up enough street-smarts and developed enough intestinal fortitude to regard his imprisonment as an exciting adventure. The story ends during the 1945 liberation: on the verge of manhood, the 13-year-old Bale will never again be the pampered, privileged brat whom we met in the early scenes.



war, child-abuse, childhood-adventures, coming-of-age, death, POW/MIA, prison, riches-to-rags, survivor, teenagers


High Artistic Quality, High Production Values, Sleeper