The Emperor's New Clothes

Watch The Emperor's New Clothes

"The world's most powerful man is about to fight his greatest battle... between love and glory."
  • PG
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 6.9  (2,744)
  • 60

The Emperor's New Clothes is a captivating drama-comedy movie that tells the story of a bankrupt and desperate monarch who will do anything to regain his lost fortune, including playing a dangerous game of deceit with his subjects. The movie features Ian Holm as the emperor and Iben Hjejle as his loyal chambermaid, who becomes an unwitting accomplice in his quest for money.

The movie opens with the Emperor facing a dire financial crisis that threatens to bring his kingdom to ruin. He is heavily in debt and unable to pay his bills. However, his advisor and confidant, Chancellor Tactitus (played by Tim McInnerny), comes up with a plan that he believes will save the day. He suggests the Emperor sell the real estate that his kingdom owns, but the Emperor is not keen on the idea.

One day, the Emperor has an epiphany when he sees a beautiful gown on display in a shop. He feels that by wearing the gown, he will not only impress his people, but also demonstrate his wealth and power. However, he doesn't have the money to buy the gown, and so he borrows it from a wealthy merchant on the promise of payment within a week's time.

The Emperor puts on the gown and takes to the streets, expecting to be greeted with admiration and awe. However, his plan goes awry when he is met with ridicule and laughter instead. The people he meets openly mock him, exclaiming that he is not wearing any clothes. The Emperor is visibly shaken and embarrassed, but he continues to wear the gown, determined to show his subjects that he is not foolhardy or weak.

As the days pass, the Emperor becomes more and more obsessed with the idea of the gown and its supposed significance. He enlists the help of his chambermaid, who is also his confidante and a trusted advisor, to help him perpetrate a fraud on his subjects. Together, they set about commissioning an exquisite gown from a tailor, who they know is a thief, but who is also talented. The tailor makes the gown and the Emperor wears it, intent on showcasing his newfound wealth.

The movie is set against a backdrop of political unrest, and the Emperor's actions only serve to exacerbate the hostility between the people and their ruler. However, the Emperor continues to cling to his illusion, even when it becomes clear that everyone can see through his lie. Throughout the film, the Emperor's obsession with his appearance serves as a metaphor for his vanity, and the lengths he is willing to go to preserve his own power.

The movie reaches a climax when the Emperor is called upon to address his people about the state of the kingdom. He rises to the occasion, delivering a speech that is meant to soothe and reassure them, but which is also full of falsehoods and half-truths. As he speaks, the people begin to realize that he is an imposter, and they turn on him, shouting him down and exposing him for the charlatan that he is.

Despite its serious themes, the movie is also infused with a sense of humor, particularly in its portrayal of the Emperor's bumbling attempts to maintain his façade. Ian Holm's performance as the Emperor is particularly noteworthy, as he brings a depth and subtlety to the character that is both fascinating and heartbreaking. Iben Hjejle also shines as the chambermaid, who is not only loyal to the Emperor, but also wise enough to know when to tell him the truth.

Overall, The Emperor's New Clothes is a clever and entertaining film that manages to tell a complex story with humor and heart. It is a film that speaks to the dangers of vanity and the importance of integrity, while also offering a glimpse into the workings of power and politics.

The Emperor's New Clothes is a 2001 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9 and a MetaScore of 60.

The Emperor's New Clothes
Where to Watch The Emperor's New Clothes
The Emperor's New Clothes is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Emperor's New Clothes for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (2,744)
  • Metascore