The First Emperor of China (1990) Movie Script

It was 22 centuries ago.
China had been at war for 500 years.
It seemed as if it would never end.
When they weren't fighting
each other.
the warrior kings of
the seven states were busy
with the choas and corruption
inside their own borders.
No one was safe.
To the west
in the capitol city of Shenyang
revolution was in the air.
The politicians were playing
a dangerous game.
The prime minister was
leading a conspiracy
against the new king.
Tian xia zi da
tai xian neng gai
dong yi ge zi.
Yi zi zhi gian jing.
He had announced his chanllenge
by putting up posters on the city gates
demanding the king change his policies.
It was a big mistake.
The prime minister had seriously
underestimated the young king
for this was the man
who was destined to become
the prince of heaven
a man who would change
his world forever.
This was the mighty Chin.
The rebellion was crushed
the leaders taken alive...
but not for long.
"Lao Ai...
"tu mo bu gui
"xing bing pan luan,
zui nie..."
Chin's response
to the palace revolt
would be quick and public-
something everyone
would understand.
The prime minister
after being forced
to watch the execution
was offered an easier way out
"Jun he gong yu qin
"fang wen jin hou
shi shi wan hu
"jun he qing yu qin
"hao cheng zhong fu
"qin wan zi jiu
qing jun zi chu."
There was now no doubt who
was ruling the kingdom of Chin.
With the rebellion crushed
at home.
Chin's army
could now concentrate on
taking over the other kingdoms.
Die, ge, gai chi fan la.
The army was the one way
to escape the drudgery
of the farm.
If a young man fought well
and survived
he would be rewarded.
Zou ba. Chi fan la.
It was a remptation
few could resist
Xiao mei, Er-Lao
jiu tuo gei ni la.
Ge, ni jiu
fand xin de zou ba.
Gai-Er! Gai-Er!
By the thousands,
farm boys would be drawn
to dreams of glory,
drawn to the armies
and there was none mightier
than the army of Chin.
Chin's generals knew the value
of a well-trained army.
Many of them had spent
their entire lives
learning the arts of war.
They were more than princes
on horseback.
They were
professional soldiers.
They had taken untrained
peasants and farm boys
and turned them into
the greatest fighting force
the world had ever known.
Wo men yao jian
da jiang qun.
Ni men shi gan shen mo de?
Lao ye,
wo men yao tou jun.
O. Ni men hui gan shen mo?
Na gong lai.
Ru wu yan lian.
Xie da jiang jun.
In a time before gunpowder
a regiment of archers
was a powerful weapon.
La jian!
Young luan!
Fang jian!
Fang jian!
It would take ten more years
of war
but Chin was relentless.
He conquered Han, Wei and Chou.
After a long campaign
he finally crushed
the kingdom of Chu.
But in the land of Yen,
they had a plan
a plan which even today
the schoolchildren of China
can recite by heart
Jing Qin,
zhu ni ma dao cheng gong.
It was to be
a last desperate attempt
to stop Chin
from winning it all.
It would take one brave man,
a man named Jin Ke...
a man destined for death.
His job was to get close enough
to Chin to assassinate him.
Jin Ke jin dian!
Whether he was successful
or not
for Jin Ke, it would mean,
of course, certain death.
He brought with him
a special gift
and a scroll pledging
Tian guo shi zhe
Jin Ke jin dian.
Jin Ke jin dian!
Feng shan pan jiang
fan yi si shou ji.
Qing da wang yan kan.
The gift, for Chin's amusement
was the head of a treacherous general.
Da wang wei de
tai zi zan pai wei chen
jin feng shan
jian dou kan zi tu
wei ta wang ming zhi.
The scroll was to contain
as even bigger surprise.
Even in the face of death
no one was allowed
on the King's dais
without permission.
Wei fu ba jian!
Wei fu ba jian!
Chin, enraged, sent his vast army into Yen.
After five centuries of war
five centuries of death
Chin would have his empire.
But oh, the cost
Oh, the cost
For the archer who had fought
so bravely: A promotion.
Yi yong guan san qun
wo ti shen ni wei
bai fu da.
They made him an officer.
Xia, da jiang jun.
To record his greatness
for all time
Chin declared himself
Chin Shih Huang-
First Emperor of China.
Wang shui!
Wang shui!
Wang wang shui!
The new empire, said Chin,
would last 10,000 generations.
He believed he was
the most powerful ruler
the world had ever known.
For he was convinced
no civilized world existed
outside his empire.
The most beautiful women
of China
were brought to his court
His favorite he made Empress.
There had never been a coronation like it
Di xia, yi tong tian xia
gong gai san huang wu di
xi hai qian shou qi song
mu huang wang shou wu jiang
wan shou wu jiang!
Wan shou wu jiang!
The archer, now a captain
of the palace quard
knew that even the handmaidens
of the palace
were the personal property
of the mighty Emperor.
Chin's control was total.
He owned everything.
He owned everybody.
As part of the coronation
Chin declared an end to war.
He had the bronze weapons
taken from his enemies
and from the peasants.
He melted them down to make
12 huge statues
proclaiming peace for all time.
In a country which had lived
with wars for over 500 years
It was time for celebration.
Chin knew it would take more
to create an empire
than just defeating
the other kingdoms.
He moved now to unite them
with a series of reforms.
To emphasize their importance
he would stamp these new laws
with the rarely used royal seal.
This emphasized that these were
no ordinary edicts-
these were decrees from Heaven.
Each of the different kingdoms
had used their own system
for weights and measures.
Chin's decrees now introduced
a universal standard
and sent inspectors
into the markets
to make sure
they were being used.
To speed up transportation,
he had the roads widened
so that six horses could pass
at the same time.
He built
new irrigation systems.
He issued new coins
which could be used anywhere
in the empire.
He even stopped the confusion
of the various written languages
by introducing
simplified characters.
Ci wei zao. Yen.
Huang di ming chen xia...
From now on
this would be the new word
for "horse."
For the first time in a century
the country was learning
to live with peace.
The archer had found a wife.
A serving girl at the palace
became a gift from his emperor.
Yi bai tian di!
Er bai fu lao!
Fu qi dui bai.
But it was all too good
to last
Chin had insisted
that his law be the only law
but there were books
throught the empire
which promoted freedom
of thought
Chin had a solution for that
He burned the books.
The burning of the books enraged
the intellectuals of the day.
Chin also had a solution
for them.
He buried 460 of them alive.
The criticism stopped.
The various kingdoms had built
a series of walls for defense.
Chin now ordered
that the northern wall
should be connected
into one great wall
to keep the Mongol raiders out
Meng tian da jiang jun...
Chen zai.
Wo gei ni
wu shi wan jian shou
jia shan
ni er shi wan shu bing...
ni ba Chang Cheng...
gei wo nian jie chi lai.
Wo pai Tai Zi Fu Su
dai tou jian gong.
Chen chun zi.
Zun ming.
His general and his eldest son
were sent
to supervise construction.
This would be the foundation
of the Great Wall of China.
5,000 kilometers long
it would employ 700,000 people
just a portion
of Chin's mighty legacy...
...and there would be more.
It was the custom for all kings
to have elaborate burial sites
and for the first emperor
it would have to be a grave
unlike any other.
Zhe shi shan ban sheng.
He was planning
a huge palace tomb
inside a manmade mountain
and stretching out before it,
a life-sized replica
of his royal guard.
You yi ge gui se di?
Huge terra-cotta factories
were put to work
building the clay army-
an army which would be
joining their emperor
on his journey to glory.
Zhe jiu shi.
Bu cuo ma, a?
Zou. Nei bian kan kan.
To make the journey easier
they would bring bronze works
of art and weapons.
They would bring jewels
and gifts.
The tomb and the army
would remind the gods
that they were now dealing
with the first emperor of China.
In all,
it would take 36 years to build
countless slaves working
so Chin could live comfortably
forever in Heaven.
Soon, even that
would not be enough.
Chin decided that he wanted
to live forever on Earth.
After all,
if anyone could be immortal
why shouldn't it be
the most important man
the world had ever seen?
He became obsessed
with immortality.
He commissioned his alchemists
to create a formula
which would allow him
to do battle with death-
his only remaining enemy.
Di xia, qing.
They made him special pills
containing mercury.
These would
eventually kill him.
Chin was now 50 years old.
His 270 palaces were filled
with riches.
He had 3,000 concubines.
He had been in complete control
for ten years
but it was not enough.
He had still
not eonquered death.
If there was a recipe
for immortality
perhaps he would find it
somewhere in his vast empire.
Perhaps somewhere out there
he would find the secret
of everlasting life.
But even for the first emperor,
that was not to be.
Di xia.
Di xia.
Di xia?
Di xia?!
Chin had 24 sons
but it was the 18th, Hu Hai,
who forged a new will
and proclaimed himself emperor.
Whoever controlled
the royal seal
controlled the decrees
from heaven.
Chin's original will
had named the oldest son heir
but it would come to nothing.
The forged will ordered the
eldest son to commit suicide.
Such was the power of Chin
that he did so immediately
and without question.
The wars would soon start
all over again.
Chin had unified China,
but his dynasty
which was to have lasted
for 10,000 generations
would crumble
within 36 months of his death.
As the centruies passed,
Chin's might faded into history.
The man-made mountain
which served as his tomb
became overgrown.
Other emperors, other tombs
would soon dot the landscape
of China.
The secrets of Chin's
great burial site were lost
in myth, in legend and in dust
It took 22 centuries
for those secrets
to finally emerge
from that dust
In 1974, some farmers
digging a new well
in the shadow of a strange hill
collided with history.
Kuai dian. Wan la.
Ya, shang le hao dong xi la.
For at the bottom
of that simple well
stood the army
of the mighty Chin
Still leading their emperor
into eternity.
In one pit alone, there are
7,000 terra-cotta chariots
horses, foot soldiers
and archers.
Chin's tomb
has remained unopened
but the pits
at the bottom of that well
have brought a regiment
of historians, restorers
and archivists who will
now spend many new lifetimes
with the army of the emperor.
Zhe shi Jiang Liu Yong.
Bi wo gao zhe mo duo.
Da men zheng zai xiu fu.
Ni men gong zuo
liang hen da.
Shi. Deng quan bu xiu fu
da jiang zheng dong
quan shi jie.
Although he died
all those lifetimes ago
this archer is now
strangely connected
to the artist who draws him.
They have a lot in common.
Both of them,
down through the centuries
are somehow still in the service
of that mighty emperor
united here so that the Prince
of Heaven may live forever.
Perhaps his empire has lasted
for 10,000 generations
after all.
That would not be a surprise
to Chin, the first emperor.