The Emperor's Club

Synopsis: William Hundert is a passionate and principled Classics professor who finds his tightly-controlled world shaken and inexorably altered when a new student, Sedgewick Bell, walks into his classroom. What begins as a fierce battle of wills gives way to a close student-teacher relationship, but results in a life lesson for Hundert that will still haunt him a quarter of a century later.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Michael Hoffman
Production: Universal Pictures
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
109 min


Is everything okay, sir?|- Fine. Thank you.

Here. Let me, uh--|- That's not necessary, sir.

As I've gotten older, I realize|I'm certain of only two things.

Days that begin with rowing on a lake|are better than days that do not.

Second,|a man 's character is his fate.

And, as a student of history,,|I find this hard to refute.

For most of us, our stories can|be written long before we die.

There are exceptions among|the great men of history,...

but they are rare,|and I am not one of them.

I am a teacher... simply that.

I taught for 34 years.

One day I stopped teaching.

Those were the facts|ofmy life's chronicle.

The last chapter had been written.|My book was closed.


Hello. Hello?

Mr. Hundert?|- Yes. Hello.

Can you hear me, sir?|- I can.

Hello. Mr. Bell wanted to make sure|you were comfortable.

I'm quite comfortable.|Thank you. And-And, please,...

thank Mr. Bell|for the beautiful fruit basket.

It's quite... comprehensive.|Yes, sir.

Mr. Bell also wanted me|to tell you he's added an event...

on the morning|following the competition...

a breakfast in your honor.

Mr. Hundert?|- Yes... Yes.

Th-Thank you.|Thank you.

The others will be heading down|to the bar in 20 minutes, sir.

Uh, very well.|Twenty minutes.

In the bar.|I'll be there.

I couldn't tell you exactly|why I had agreed to come.

I'm not sure I knew.|It had something to do with hope.

The young men that were|gathering here were among...

the most successful and influential|of their generation.

But I knew them|before any of that.

I knew them as my students...

at Saint Benedict's|School for Boys.

ooking closer, under the bishop's miter,|are the words, "Non sibi'"...

or "Not for oneself."

This embodies ourphilosophy|at Saint Benedict's.

The wisdom gained here|should be used for others...

as well as for oneself.

And finally,|"Finis origine pendet."

These three words are emblazoned|across your hearts...

under the great seal|of Saint Benedict's.

It is our academy's motto.|Simply:

"The end depends upon|the beginning."

The end...

depends upon the beginning.

Hey, Greg.|How are you doin'?

Hi, Mr. Hundert.|Mr. Ericks.

Ex-Excuse me.|Huh? What me?

Yes, sir. What is your name?|- Uh, Louis.

Just Louis?|- Louis Masoudi, sir.

Mr. Masoudi, could you define|the word "path" for me?

Well, there are several|definitions, I suppose.

Would "a route along which someone|or something moves" be among them?


Oh, yeah. No. Yeah.|I'm sorry, sir.

Follow the path, Mr. Masoudi. Walk|where the great men before you have walked.

Yes, sir. It's, uh...|It's better for the grass.

It's better for you.

Mr. Hundert.|Mr. Ellerby.

I wanted to thank you.|- For what?

Mr. Woodbridge let slip that you were|instrumental in my procuring this job.

Bene exeat, sir.|Bene meritus.

It's always good to have|another friend of the classics.

I'll tell you,|the way he talks about you...

"Just listen to Mr. Hundert.|He'll be running the place one day."

Your name, sir?|- Robert Brewster, sir.

Very good. And you?|- Deepak Mehta, sir.

And your name?|Eugene Field, sir.

Field. And you?|Martin Blythe, sir?

Is that a question?|- Uh, no, sir.

Uh, my name|is Martin Blythe, sir.

Very good.|You all know your own names.

Question is, do I?

Mister... Blythe.|- Me, sir?

Yes, you.|Not Mr. Field to your right...

or Mr. Grey to your left|or Mr. Diebel behind you.

You, sir. Will you do me a favor|and walk to the back of this classroom...

and read for us the plaque which|you see hanging over that door?

"I am Sh-Shu--"'

"I am Sh-Shutruk-Nahhunte"?|- Very good. A little louder, please.

Yes, sir. "I am Shutruk-Nahhunte,|King of Ansham and Susa,...

"sovereign of the land of Elam.

I destroyed Sippar and took the|'stel-ah' of... "Stele."

"Took the stele of Naram-Sin|and brought it back to Elam,

"where I erect edit as|an offering to my god.

Shutruk-Nahhunte, 1158 B.C."

Well done, Mr. Blythe.|Thank you. You may be seated.

"Shutruk-Nahhunte."|Is anyone familiar with this fellow?

Texts are permissible.

But you won't find it there.

Shutruk-Nahhunte! King!

Sovereign of the land of Elam!|Destroyer of Sippar!

Behold, his accomplishments cannot be|found in any history book. Why?

Because great ambition|and conquest...

without contribution...

is without significance.

What will your contribution be?

How will history remember you?

Shutruk-Nahhunte...|utterly forgotten.

Unlike the great men you see|around you... Aristotle,...



Plato, Cicero, Socrates...

giants of history,|men of profound character.

Men whose accomplishments|surpassed their own lifetime...

and survive|even into our own.

Their story,...

is our story.

My name is Mr. Hundert.

Welcome|to Western Civilization:

The Greeks and the Romans.

Welcome|to Saint Benedict's!

Lights out in five minutes,|gentlemen.

It's awfully loud, Mr.Jones.|Please turn it down.

Did you... Her titties are so...|After that, though...

No. After that, I was walking|back to get my books.

And I was walking along the grass,|and Hundert comes up to me and says,

"Mr. Masoudi" and I turned around but I took care ofit.|- Yeah, I know. Yeah.

And then, he's like,|"Follow the path, Mr. Masoudi.

Walkwhere the great men|before you have walked."

Very,good, Mr. Masoudi.|- I was just lettin' him know. That's why I was tellin' him.

To bed.

Yeah. Right.|See you tomorrow.

Lights out in five minutes,|gentlemen.

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Neil Tolkin

Neil Tolkin is a Canadian screenwriter and film director from Montreal. He attended Westmount High School and Dawson College and McGill University. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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