Have you heard all of these Movies About Samurai? We think you'll find some new picks. Here are 9 of the best ones.
From Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki
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Seven Samurai is a classic 1954 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa. It tells the story of a small village in 16th century Japan which is constantly under attack from bandits. To save the village, a local farmer recruits seven unemployed samurai to help defend it. The samurai agree and journey to the village to help protect it. The samurai train the villagers in the art of warfare, and together they take on the bandits in a spectacular battle. The seven samurai fight bravely and ultimately save the village, but at a cost: three of them die in the process. In the end, the village is safe but the seven samurai have sacrificed their lives for the villagers. The film is considered a masterpiece of Japanese cinema and is considered one of the greatest films of all time. It is noted for its epic scope, its intense action sequences, and its exploration of human nature.
From Masaki Kobayashi, starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Tetsurô Tanba
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Harakiri is a 1962 Japanese film directed by Masaki Kobayashi. Set in the early 17th century in Japan, the film tells the story of Hanshiro Tsugumo, an unemployed rōnin (masterless samurai) who visits a feudal lord’s estate in order to beg for a chance to commit ritual suicide (harakiri). The story follows Tsugumo as he challenges the power of the feudal lord and the hypocrisy of the samurai code. The film is widely acclaimed for its cinematography, performances, and its exploration of the rigid conventions of the samurai code. It won the Special Prize at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival and is renowned as a classic of Japanese cinema.
From Masaki Kobayashi, starring Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Tsukasa, Gô Katô, Tatsuyoshi Ehara
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Samurai Rebellion is a 1967 Japanese drama film directed by Masaki Kobayashi. Set in 18th century Japan, the film stars Toshiro Mifune as Isaburo Sasahara, an aging samurai who lives with his son, Yogoro (Yôsuke Natsuki) and daughter-in-law, Ichi (Ineko Arima). When Yogoro's lord orders him to divorce Ichi in favor of a concubine, Isaburo and his son defy the order, setting off a chain of events that leads to a climactic samurai rebellion. Through Isaburo's struggle against an oppressive system and his eventual victory, the film provides a unique look at life in the Edo period.
From Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa
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Yojimbo is a 1961 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa. Set in 19th century Japan, it follows a masterless samurai (a ronin) who arrives in a small town and finds it divided by two competing gangs. The samurai uses his wits to outmaneuver the gangs and eventually destroys them both, restoring order and peace to the town. The film is considered a classic of Japanese cinema and has been highly influential, inspiring numerous westerns, including the classic film "A Fistful of Dollars".
From Akira Kurosawa, starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû
Ran is a 1985 Japanese period drama film directed and co-written by Akira Kurosawa. It is an adaptation of the Shakespeare play King Lear and follows an aging warlord who decides to divide his kingdom between his three sons. The eldest two sons, Taro and Jiro, accept their inheritance, while the youngest, Saburo, refuses and is exiled. As a result of their actions, the kingdom is thrown into chaos and Taro and Jiro are at odds with each other. Meanwhile, Saburo leads a rebellion against his brothers and the kingdom is soon consumed by civil war. Ultimately, Taro and Jiro are both killed in the conflict and Saburo inherits the kingdom. Ran is a powerful and gripping story of power, pride, and the consequences of betrayal.
From Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshirô Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki, Kamatari Fujiwara
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The Hidden Fortress is an adventure and action classic directed by the legendary Akira Kurosawa. The film follows two peasants, Tahei (Minoru Chiaki) and Matashichi (Kamatari Fujiwara), who are wandering the countryside in search of a rumored hidden treasure. When they encounter a defeated general, Rokurōta Makabe (Toshiro Mifune), they become embroiled in a dangerous mission to smuggle the general’s treasure through hostile territory. With their newfound allies, Rokurōta and his loyal retainer, Hyoe Tadokoro (Kinnosuke Nakamura), they must battle fierce swordsmen, treacherous foes, and a powerful enemy clan in order to protect their precious cargo. Along the way, they learn the importance of friendship and loyalty, and ultimately find fortune and success.
From Akira Kurosawa, starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ken'ichi Hagiwara, Jinpachi Nezu
Kagemusha is a 1980 epic period drama film by legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Set in the Sengoku period of Japanese history, the film tells the story of a shiftless thief, named Kagemusha, who is recruited by a powerful warlord to impersonate him in public while the warlord is away at a critical battle. The imposter Kagemusha must convince all of the warlord's enemies that he is the real warlord, and must also come to terms with his new role and his own identity. With a sweeping, grandiose score by Toru Takemitsu, Kagemusha is a stunning visual masterpiece, featuring epic battle scenes, dazzling cinematography, and a stirring performance by Tatsuya Nakadai as the titular character.
From Edward Zwick, starring Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, William Atherton
The Last Samurai is a 2003 historical drama directed by Edward Zwick. Set in Japan during the late 19th century, the film follows the story of Captain Nathan Algren, an American military advisor hired by the Emperor of Japan to put down a rebellion by a group of samurai. Algren is taken prisoner by the samurai and is quickly immersed in their culture, eventually coming to sympathize with their cause. He eventually joins the samurai in their struggle against the Emperor's ruthless forces. The Last Samurai is a story of honor and courage, exploring themes of loyalty and the clash between modernity and tradition.
From Yôji Yamada, starring Masatoshi Nagase, Takako Matsu, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Yukiyoshi Ozawa
The Hidden Blade is a Japanese period drama set in 1860s Japan, directed by Yôji Yamada. It follows the story of a samurai, Munezo Katagiri, who is struggling to accept the changing times of the Edo period to the Meiji era. He is assigned to deliver a sword to a former vassal, who is wanted by the shogunate, and must make a difficult decision between honoring his loyalty to the shogunate, and his friendship to the vassal. Along the way Munezo meets the vassal's daughter, Kie, and the two slowly fall in love. However, their relationship is strained by Munezo's secret-- he is in possession of a hidden blade, which could get him in trouble with the shogunate. In the end, Munezo must make a choice between his loyalty to the shogunate and to the ones he loves.