The Emperors Club – Edited
St. Benedict School for Boys assistant headmaster William Hundert (Kevin Kline) teaches teenage boys life’s lessons through the study of the Classics. In 1972 the highly respected teacher meets the challenge of his career when arrogant Sedgwick Bell (Emile Hirsch) saunters into his classroom with a smirk on his face. Soon the newcomer convinces his classmates that Roman emperors and Greek philosophers are boring. To win him over and to preserve his other students’ eagerness to excel, Hundert challenges Sedgwick to enter the annual Emperor’s Club competition. But in his quest to reform Sedgwick, the teacher’s idealism clashes with a cruel taste of realism. Twenty-five years later, Hundert is invited to a reunion of the class of 1972, where he learns more about himself as he reconnects with his now mature former students. Uplifting, unpredictable and inspirational, THE EMPEROR’S CLUB honors teachers who dedicate their lives to make a positive difference. What a lovely way to start the holidays.
This film captivates what I’m sure teachers all across the country are trying to achieve, the building of character, knowledge and positive values in all their students. Professor Hundert tries will all his students to instill these values until one day a student; Sedgwick Bell comes into his class and disrupts everything. A meeting between Hundert and the students father Senator Bell comes to no avail as the Senator bluntly points out that Hundert is not there to build his son’s character, values or morals, but to teach him how to add, subtract, read and write. Hundert doesn’t give up and has faith in the boy, but it proves to be misplaced. Later in his life he comes face to face with the opportunity to see if he really did make a difference in the life of Sedgwick Bell, but comes to find out a much more important lesson. A lesson I’m sure teachers across this great country of ours find out from time to time, but certainly not often enough. We can all point to teachers that have impacted our life in a positive manner, but what have we done to show them that their efforts have truly meant something. Do yourself a favor and touch base with the teacher that has impacted you the most. You will be doing more good than you know. This is a wonderful story that should touch students and teachers alike. You do not want to miss being a part of the Emperor’s Club!