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Thread: Favorite Samurai Movie

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    Default Favorite Samurai Movie

    What are your favorite Samurai movies? I'm thinking of buying a few on DVD and looking for suggestions. Also does anyone know of other good movies that Ken Watanabe or the actress who took care of Cruise's character may have starred in?

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    The Seven Samurai is the classic. I could watch it a dozen times without getting tired of it.
    Respectfully
    Mark W. Swarthout, Shodan

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    Kurosawa's samurai movies are in a class of their own...

    My favorite non-Kurosawa is probably the 1962 Toho production of Chushingura. It's a gorgeous historical movie, as opposed to a straight-up samurai adventure. Great stuff!
    David Anderson
    Calgary, Alberta


    "Swords are the rosary of Aikido"

    D. H. Skoyles Sensei 04/03/01

    Nakayamakai KoAikido dojo

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    Default Re: Favorite Samurai Movie

    Originally posted by spartanmachine
    What are your favorite Samurai movies? I'm thinking of buying a few on DVD and looking for suggestions.
    So many to choose from! Some standouts: Sanjuro and Yojimbo (both starring Toshiro Mifune), Gate of Hell, Kagemusha.

    Also Red Sun, a samurai meets cowboy movie with Toshiro Mifune, Charles Bronson, Alain Dillon, and Ursala Andress.

    Oh, and although it's not a samurai movie per se, The Yakuza with Takakura Ken and Robert Mitchum. It's one of my favorite movies.

    Originally posted by spartanmachine
    Also does anyone know of other good movies that Ken Watanabe or the actress who took care of Cruise's character may have starred in?
    I don't know if they're good movies, but here's a filmography for both:

    For Ken Watanabe:

    Last Samurai, The (2003) .... Katsumoto
    T.R.Y. (2003) .... Masanobu Azuma
    Hi wa mata noboru (2002) .... Okubo
    Sennen no koi - hikaru genji monogatari (2002) .... Fujiwara Michinaga/Fujiwara Nobutaka
    ... aka Genji: A Thousand-Year Love (2002)
    "Hojo Tokimune" (2001) TV Series
    "Ikebukuro West Gate park" (2000) TV Series
    Supeesu toraberaazu (2000) .... Sakamaki ("Crusher")
    ... aka Space Travelers (2000)
    Oboreru sakana (2000) .... Miyota
    Kizuna (1998) .... Police Detective Sako
    Rajio no jikan (1997) .... Truck Driver
    ... aka Radio no jikan (1997)
    ... aka Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald (1997)
    Kimitachi ga ite boku ga iru (1992) (TV)
    Bakumatsu jyunjyoden (1991) .... Ryouma Sakamoto
    Umi to dokuyaku (1986) .... Toda
    ... aka Sea and Poison, The (1987) (USA)
    Tampopo (1985) .... Gun
    ... aka Dandelion (1985)
    Kekkon annai mystery (1985) .... Funayama Tetsuya/Masakazu Sekine
    Setouchi shonen yakyu dan (1984) .... Tetsuo
    ... aka MacArthur's Children (1984)



    For Koyuki (one name, like Cher):

    Last Samurai, The (2003) .... Taka
    Spy Sorge (2003) .... Yoshiko Yamazaki
    Alive (2002/I) .... Asuka Saegusa
    Laundry (2002) .... Mizue
    "Italiatsu" (2001) (mini) TV Series
    Karo (2001) .... Harue Karasawa
    ... aka Circuit, The (2001/II)
    ... aka Pulse (2001/II) (International: English title)
    "Ikebukuro West Gate Park" (2000) TV Series
    "Love Complex" (2000) TV Series .... Kiiko
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Great! Thanks for the info guys.
    I'll start off with The Seven Samurai, Sanjuro and Yojimbo. They come packaged together.

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    Originally posted by David T Anderson
    Kurosawa's samurai movies are in a class of their own...

    My favorite non-Kurosawa is probably the 1962 Toho production of Chushingura. It's a gorgeous historical movie, as opposed to a straight-up samurai adventure. Great stuff!
    I completely agree, Chushingura is a truly sumptuous film.
    I could also recommend Masaki Kobayashi's Harakiri (aka Seppuku) and Kihachi Okamoto's Sword of doom.

    edit: for typo and additional info.
    Joost van Schijndel

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    I ordered Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and Chushingura on DVD.
    Can anyone elaborate on any of these films abit? Without giving anything away of course. I've heard great things about Chushingura being one of the most beautiful films ever made, anyone care to elaborate?

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    Originally posted by spartanmachine
    I ordered Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and Chushingura on DVD.
    Can anyone elaborate on any of these films abit?


    Seven Samurai: Rural villagers hire seven samurai to defend their village against brigands. One of the best movies ever made. Period.

    Yojimbo: Ronin comes to town and pits two yakuza clans against eachother. Again, one of the best movies ever made.

    Sanjuro: The "sequel" to Yojimbo, Ronin helps young samurai against disloyal daimyo. A very good movie.

    Chushingura: A retelling of the classic 47 ronin story. A waste of Toshiro Mifune, IMHO, but okay as a whole.

    I personally prefer the 1941/1942 version (47 Ronin). It was filmed in two parts. It's loyal to the original story and beautifully shot. My wife and I were glued to the set.

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    Default seven samurai

    If you ordered the Criterion Collection dvd of Seven Samurai, and I don't know of another version, then after watching it straight through once, listen to the commentary. I thought the speaker had some very good things to say and I learned quite a bit about Kurosawa's filming stuff. I'm not really well-versed in film theory or techniques, but hey I can tell when the lighting is good.

    The anticipation may kill you but really maybe you should watch them first so you get your own conclusions. But I've found a few good websites on the movies, so you could just do some looking around.

    The Musashi movie trilogy is good, but I like Kurosawa better...If you like Musashi, you may as well read the manga "Vagabond" and the book "Musashi" by Eiji Yoshikawa. But then I'm always trying to get people to read.

    Films are great too though.
    J. Nicolaysen
    -------
    "I value the opinion much more of a grand master then I do some English professor, anyways." Well really, who wouldn't?

    We're all of us just bozos on the budo bus and there's no point in looking to us for answers regarding all the deep and important issues.--M. Skoss.

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    Default

    Originally posted by spartanmachine
    ...Can anyone elaborate on any of these films a bit? Without giving anything away of course...
    Seven Samurai was copied, almost line for line, and scene for scene, as The Magnificant Seven.

    Sanjuro and Yojimbo were the inspiration for Clint Eastwood's "Man With No Name" Westerns.

    Chushingura has some beautiful sets and costumes, and good cinematography. The story was "touched up" a bit to be acceptable to audiences of the day. The conflict in the movie centers around a dispute over a daimyo not being taught proper manners by a master of ceremonies. My understnading is that the real event was possibly over a homosexual love triangle or something like that.

    Anyway, when they arrive I'm sure you'll consider your money well spent.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Default A few more.

    Gotta agree with everyone else on the Kurosawa films.
    The collection I have include: (not all Kurosawa films)
    Seven Samurai (Magnificent Seven)
    Yojimbo (Bruce Willis - Last man standing. I actually watched Last man standing and then thought to myself 'this has to be a remake of a Japanese film'. After a bit of research I found Yojimbo).
    Sanjuro (as mentioned, sequel to Yojimbo)
    Ran
    Throne of Blood
    Kagemusha
    Taboo - about the Shinsengumi (you just have to be able to get around the gay scenes).
    Sword of Doom
    The classic - Shogun with Richard Chamberlain
    Dora Heita - this one I found very enjoyable.
    Samurai Banners
    Shogun Mayeda (not of Kurosawa quality, but fun to watch)
    Heaven and Earth
    That's not all of them, but it's a start.

    Best wishes

    Howard Quick

    Shinkendo Australia - Shibucho
    Senjutsu Ryu Jujitsu
    Kokusai Toyama Ryu Renmei

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    Default heaven

    I noticed you mentioned "Heaven and Earth". Great movie but I have it seen it since I was in high school. Anybody know where I can get a copy at a reasonable price (less than $30 perhaps)
    Gary MacMullen
    MJER Jikishinkai
    Big Green Drum Japanese Martial Arts
    (Formerly Aikido of West Florida)

    Mi ni tanoshimi o takamazu - Musashi
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

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    Is Heaven and Earth the Oliver Stone movie about Vietnam?

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    Default Heaven and earth

    Yes there is a movie intitled heaven and Earth about vietnam, and starring Tommy Lee Jones. It's the story of a vietmanese woman named May Li Hayslip and her ordeals before and after the war. Really good movie I thought and interesting in how it showed the war from the other side's perspective.

    But the movie I'm talking about is the Japanese samurai epic about the battles between Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen. It had some great costumes and fight scenes and it had the epic feel of a Braveheart or Gladiator. I really good watch overall and I would love to get a permanent copy to add to my collection. I also particularly like it because I'm a fan of Takeda Shingen. Hence I also own a copy of Kagemusha.
    Gary MacMullen
    MJER Jikishinkai
    Big Green Drum Japanese Martial Arts
    (Formerly Aikido of West Florida)

    Mi ni tanoshimi o takamazu - Musashi
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

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    Default

    The Kurosawa films listed are great, but don't miss some of the ones by other directors, such as Harakiri and Sword of Doom.

    I would skip the Mushashi trilogy with Mifune - it just isn't in the same class as the other movies listed.
    Gary Dolce
    Ann Arbor Branch
    WSKO
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    http://www.shorinjikempo.com

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