By Michael Sauter
Updated May 09, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

While watching beloved teacher William Hundert (Kevin Kline) change the lives of his prep-school charges, you may feel you’ve seen the lesson plan too many times before, from ”Goodbye, Mr. Chips” to ”Dead Poets Society.” But for all its faithfulness to form, The Emperor’s Club is different. Hundert isn’t just about challenging intellects; he’s also big on honor, integrity, and ethics — even as he wrestles with those same ideals. A Hollywood movie that contemplates matters of character: How gratifyingly old-school.

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