Empire of the Sun

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Empire Of The Sun (1987)

Empire of the Sun is a 1987 film based upon the 1984 novel of the same name by JG Ballard, directed by Stephen Spielberg. The film revolves around eleven year-old Jamie Graham, a China-born British subject who struggles to survive, alone, on the streets of Japanese-occupied Shanghai during the Second World War. Alongside John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, and Nigel Havers, the film is notable for being the first on-screen role for Christian Bale, who plays Jamie; also of note, Ben Stiller had a small role in the film, and during his work on the project, conceived the film Tropic Thunder.

The following weapons were used in the film Empire Of The Sun:



Mauser C96

The Mauser C96 pistol is seen used by the Shanghai resistance fighters on the rooftop.

Mauser C96 Pistol - 7.63x25mm Mauser
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An M1911A1 is seen in the holster of an US Army colonel that confronts Jamie. A resistance fighter also appears to use one to fire on Japanese troops.

M1911A1 - .45 ACP
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Webley Mk IV

A Webley Mk IV is also seen in the film.

Webley Mk.IV WW2 British Army version chambered for .38 S&W
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Colt New Service

A Colt New Service .45 Colt revolver is seen pulled when a Japanese pilot is seen with Jamie (Christian Bale).

Model 1909 Colt Army Revolver - .45 LC. This model is stamped "Property of U.S. Government" under barrel and "M1909" on front bottom of grip strap. Grips not original - US issue bore plain uncheckered walnut
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Arisaka Type 38

The Arisaka Type 38 was one of the main battle rifles used by the Japanese Army in the Pacific theater and is seen used throughout the film.

Arisaka Type 99 battle rifle - 7.7x58mm
A production still of Jamie (Christian Bale) as he runs through a column of Japanese soldiers carrying the Arisaka rifle.
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Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.III

A resistance fighter uses a Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.III on the rooftop.

Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.III* - .303 British. This was the main battle rifle of British and Commonwealth forces during the First World War, introduced in 1907 it has seen action throughout the 20th century.
The resistance fighter (right) is seen firing the SMLE
The resistence fighter's SMLE can be seen dropped on the rooftop if you look closely at the lower right. Note the distinctive nosepiece, identifying this as a No.1 Mk.3 rifle.

M1 Garand

The M1 Garand is seen carried by US Soldiers.

M1 Garand semiautomatic Rifle with leather M1917 sling - .30-06
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Machine Guns

Colt Monitor

A Colt Monitor (Browning Automatic Rifle) is also carried by a US soldier.

Colt Monitor - .30-06
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Browning M3 heavy machine gun

Browning M3 machine guns are the primary guns mounted in the wings of the P-51 Mustangs in the film.

Browning M3 - .50 Aircraft

Trivia Section

  • The Japanese Zero fighters are in fact American-built Harvard trainers modified to look like the Zero.
  • Eric Flynn, who plays a British POW, was actually a POW as a child in a Japanese camp.
  • The can Jim 'Jamie' Graham (Christian Bale) drinks is Jerzee Evaporated Milk.
  • Col. Marshall (Tom Danaher) was a Marine night fighter pilot in the Pacific in WWII and was credited with shooting down the last Japanese bomber of the war. He also flies one of the Japanese "Zeros" in the movie.

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