BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ Italian movie director Bernardo Bertolucci won the Directors Guild of America's feature film award Saturday night for ''The Last Emperor.''

In accepting his award in ceremonies at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the Italian director thanked the guild and expressed his belief that ''cinema is the most international and the most classless of expressions.''

The award was presented to Bertolucci by Oliver Stone, who won last year's Directors Guild award for ''Platoon.''

Also winning DGA honors were Will MacKenzie, who received the TV comedy directing award for an episode of NBC-TV's ''Family Ties'' called '''A' My Name is Alex''; and Marshall Herskovitz, who won the nighttime dramatic series award for his pilot for ABC-TV's ''thirtysomething.''

As a bellwether of the Oscars, the DGA awards have a record any crystal- gazer might envy. Only three times in the 40 years that the 8,500-member guild has handed out awards has it chosen a director who failed to win that year's Academy Award.

The last time was in 1985, when his directorial colleagues gave Steven Spielberg the nod for ''The Color Purple,'' while the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn't even nominate him. The Oscar went instead to Sydney Pollack for ''Out of Africa.''

This year, Spielberg received his sixth DGA nomination for ''Empire of the Sun,'' a Hollywood spectacle about a British boy surviving a Japanese prison camp in World War II.

The awards for film, television and TV commercials were handed out here Saturday night but announced earlier in New York.

The film nominees, in addition to Bertolucci's ''The Last Emperor'' and Spielberg's ''Empire of the Sun'' were James L. Brooks for his scathing look at love in ''Broadcast News;'' Lasse Hallstrom for ''My Life as a Dog,'' about a Swedish boy coping with death and life in the 1950s; and Adrian Lyne for his tale of obsession, ''Fatal Attraction.''

Bertolucci, who won permission from the Chinese to film ''The Last Emperor'' in the Forbidden City, observed in his acceptance speech that ''cinema is living in shyness - I might even say fear - of television.''

''Too many movies have been intimidated by television and have tried to imitate the rhythms and the language of television. Maybe I'm an idealist, but I still think of the movie theater as a cathedral where we all go together to dream the dream together.''

NBC-TV had eight DGA television nominations, sweeping the comedy category with the shows ''Cheers,'' ''Family Ties'' and ''The Golden Girls.''

ABC-TV had five guild nominations, CBS-TV had four, PBS had two and cable's HBO and WNET-TV had one each.

There also were several special achievement awards. Robert Wise, director of such films as ''The Sound of Music'' and ''West Side Story,'' received the D.W. Griffith Award, the guild's highest honor.

Sheldon Leonard, longtime DGA treasurer, was named recipient of the Robert B. Aldrich Award for service to the guild.

Former guild national executive director Michael Franklin, who guided the organization through several important labor negotiations with producers, received an honorary life membership. Franklin resigned last year to begin work on a book about his experiences as a Hollywood labor negotiator.

The DGA represents film and television directors as well as assistant directors and production managers in movies and associate directors and stage managers in television.

The other winners were:

Dramatic show, daytime: Victoria Hochberg, ''Just a Regular Kid: An AIDS Story,'' an ABC Afterschool Special.

Musical variety: Dwight Hemion, ''Julie Andrews ... Sound of Christmas,'' a special.

Documentary-actuality: Elena Mannes, ''The Kingdom Divided (God and Politics).''

Sports: Robert A. Fishman, Syracuse-Indiana NCAA basketball championships.

Dramatic special: Judd Taylor, ''Foxfire.''

Commercial directorial: Rick Levine, ''Trouble,'' Arnott's Biscuits. ''Bill Demby'' DuPont. ''Apt. 10-G'' Pepsi.