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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default What is you favorite samurai movie?

    For many years I have been a fan of the old Samurai or Edo period movies. I love all the movies directed by Akira Kurosawa. But my new favorite Samurai Movie is Harakiri, a 1962 movie directed by Masaki Kobayashi. I watched once a long time ago. Last night, I watched it again and loved every minute of it. Great acting, great cinematography, great plot. It asks a lot of deep questions about honor and morality. No spoilers but, in the end, we find that the Ronin are the honorable ones.


    What is your favorite samurai movie? Is there an era of movies you appreciate above others?
    Last edited by Trafalgar; 2021-01-23 at 05:41 PM.
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Interesting trailer, but it threw me when...

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    ...we pan away from the shrines in the grass to see the director and camera rising up, apparently filming the main shot. That was unexpectedly Brechtian.

    Was that part of the style of Japanese trailers at the time? I don't think I've ever seen that before.

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Sanjuro, hands down. Mifune and Kurosawa are just perfect together.

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Seven Samurai is a pretty obvious choice. Sword of the Stranger is animated but it's really solid.

    The best is, without a doubt, Harakiri. It even has a modern remake that is an insanely faithful recreation of the original.

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Besides the classic Kurosawa films (Yojimbo being a personal favourite), if we look at more modern ones I really like the mix of badass epic movie and quirky production choices in Kitano's Zatoichi.

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    "Like the old proverb says, if one sees something not right, one must draw out his sword to intervene"

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    This is the point where I'd make a joke about it being Le Samourai a 1967 French gangster movie, but I don't actually like that film that much, so I guess I'll say Seven Samurai like the casual I am.
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
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    I was expecting the first joke-post to be Power Rangers Super Samurai. I forgot all about this movie.

    I guess a broader question is what is a proper Samurai movie? Does it have to take place in feudal japan? Can it be animated? I am not a purist but I am curious what people think.
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trafalgar View Post
    I was expecting the first joke-post to be Power Rangers Super Samurai. I forgot all about this movie.
    Well, there's also the fact that I haven't seen any other samurai movie (at least, none that have been listed so far), so in addition to being a joke post, it's also true.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2021-01-24 at 09:36 AM.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Originally Posted by Trafalgar
    I guess a broader question is what is a proper Samurai movie? Does it have to take place in feudal japan?
    Good question. Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai features a main character who believes he lives by the samurai code. Rather odd movie.

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Good question. Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai features a main character who believes he lives by the samurai code. Rather odd movie.
    That's Jim Jarmusch for you. He's an odd movie kind of guy. Broken Flowers is one my favourites.

    Aside from Seven Samurai (which maybe isn't really a fair choice, since it's one of the films of any genre ever made - it's like asking what's your favourite movie about a dead newspaper tycoon, or your favourite movie about a cynical American running a casino in Africa), I think my favoruite samurai movie is the Samurai Trilogy, by Inagaki, chronicling the life and times of Misashi Miyamoto. All three films are glorious and lovely and still feel fresh and immediate and tell a great story about someone growing into age and wisdom and never quite escaping his past.

    Second favourite is Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2. They're a samurai movie. I don't care what you say. Fight me.
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-01-24 at 01:11 PM.
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by truemane View Post
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Good question. Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai features a main character who believes he lives by the samurai code. Rather odd movie.
    Not that odd, it got its basic premise from
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Le Samourai a 1967 French gangster movie
    But transplanted to then-current-day USA.
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    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2021-01-24 at 02:33 PM.

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by truemane View Post

    Second favourite is Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2. They're a samurai movie. I don't care what you say. Fight me.
    I would agree that Volume 1 is a Samurai Movie. In particular, Tarantino is paying tribute to the Kurosawa blood fountain. Volume 2 is a Kung Fu movie, though.
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clertar View Post
    Besides the classic Kurosawa films (Yojimbo being a personal favourite), if we look at more modern ones I really like the mix of badass epic movie and quirky production choices in Kitano's Zatoichi.

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    Yeah, the 2003 Zatoichi is one of my absolute favorites as well.
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Seven Samurai is my favourite movie, not just of that genre.

    Though Japanese period dramas and chanbara movies are somewhat different, chanbara is a sub-genre about sword-fighting explicitly and is typically what the West associates with the concept of Samurai movies.

    Kill Bill is definitely a homage to 70's chanbara movies, but it's obviously not a period drama.

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    In a guilty pleasure way I do like the 'Lone Wolf and Cub' movies and 'The Twilight Samurai' for being a Samurai movie about a Samurai who doesn't want to fight anybody and indeed spends most of his time doing the accounts for his lord. But my absolute favourite I'd have to say is 'Yojimbo'
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    The Last Samurai.


    I want to say something by Kurosawa but I don't remember the ones I've actually seen that much. Also they are just Westerns with swords.

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    The Last Samurai.


    I want to say something by Kurosawa but I don't remember the ones I've actually seen that much. Also they are just Westerns with swords.
    No, you got that wrong. Well, kind of. Kurosawa was obsessed with Western Cinema and John Ford, sure, but the primary influence actually flows the other way. Sergio Leone basically re-made Yojimbo shot-for-shot when he made Fistful of Dollars, and that's been the primary influence on the American Western in the latter half of this century.

    Most of his "samurai films" aren't at all Westerns with Swords. Almost none of them actually. Seven Samurai is borderline, I suppose. And Yojimbo/Sanjuro, fine. But Rashomon, Red Beard, Throne of Blood, Hidden Fortress, Kagemusha, Ran, the Lower Depths, none of these are even remotely like Westerns.
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    They borrow heavily from the Western canon, but not western movies. Throne of blood is a "samurai adaptation" of Macbeth, and Yojimbo is a "samurai adaptation" of Hammet's Red Harvest.
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    The Sword of Doom is up there as far as Mifune films. As far as more recent, the adaptation of Unforgiven sounds interesting as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Not that odd, it got its basic premise from
    Le Samourai
    But transplanted to then-current-day USA.
    Yeah, but Forest Whitaker isn't close to Alain Delon.

    Also, Kurosawa's Ran is an adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear. And I think another was reworking Dostoyevskiy's The Idiot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by truemane View Post
    Sergio Leone basically re-made Yojimbo shot-for-shot when he made Fistful of Dollars, and that's been the primary influence on the American Western in the latter half of this century.
    Just like John Sturges did with The Magnificent Seven: it's shot for shot, and line-for-line Seven Samurai. It's comically, really, if you've seen Sevem Samurai before Magnificent Seven. It even contains Kikuchiyo's (the fake samurai) outburst about the class conflict between samurai and peasants, which doesn't make any sense in the north american Western setting
    Last edited by Zombimode; 2021-01-26 at 03:00 AM.

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    Just like John Sturges did with The Magnificent Seven: it's shot for shot, and line-for-line Seven Samurai. It's comically, really, if you've seen Sevem Samurai before Magnificent Seven. It even contains Kikuchiyo's (the fake samurai) outburst about the class conflict between samurai and peasants, which doesn't make any sense in the north american Western setting
    Wait, for real? How did that get phrased? Are the pioneers looting guns off the corpses of outlaws and cow-boys?
    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2021-01-26 at 04:23 AM.

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by truemane View Post
    Second favourite is Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2. They're a samurai movie. I don't care what you say. Fight me.
    Along this line, Magnificent Seven (itself a western adaptation of Seven Samurai) would be mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Wait, for real? How did that get phrased? Are the pioneers looting guns off the corpses of outlaws and cow-boys?
    No, more social. Gunman are respected, farmers are treated about the same as the dirt they till. I think it works fairly well, since it's touching on our tendency to make heroes out of people and treat non-heroes badly--you could easily compare sports stars or actors or musicians and the folks working on Main Street.

    Kurosawa's was better, yes, but the speech is good in general.

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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    Just like John Sturges did with The Magnificent Seven: it's shot for shot, and line-for-line Seven Samurai. It's comically, really, if you've seen Sevem Samurai before Magnificent Seven. It even contains Kikuchiyo's (the fake samurai) outburst about the class conflict between samurai and peasants, which doesn't make any sense in the north american Western setting
    Whoa, hey now. It's a close remake, but it's not even anything close to line-for-line, shot-for-shot. For one thing, the running time of Seven Samurai is almost twice the running time of the Magnificent Seven (almost 210 minutes vs just over 120) and there are all kinds of differences throughout. John Sturges was an able craftsman, but he was nowhere near the genius Kurosawa was. It has all the mechanical touchpoints of the original, but nowhere near the poetry. That movie always reminds me of Mark Twain's comment on women of his era using bad language ('She knows the words but not the music').

    And, for what it's worth, I think the speech about folks needing gunmen when times are bad, and then wanting them to go away as soon as the danger is over, is perfectly applicable to both the setting and the genre.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Yeah, but Forest Whitaker isn't close to Alain Delon.

    Also, Kurosawa's Ran is an adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear. And I think another was reworking Dostoyevskiy's The Idiot.
    No one's close to Alain Delon. Jean Pierre Melville's passing at 55 was such a tragedy. It didn't just rob us of two more decades of Melville films, it robbed us of two more decades of Melville/Delon collaborations.

    Kurosawa's adaptation of The Idiot was named, appropriately enough, The Idiot (1951).
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-01-27 at 10:27 AM.
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Sanjuro, hands down. Mifune and Kurosawa are just perfect together.
    Interesting choice. My number one pick is Yojimbo. When I watched Sanjuro for the first time a few years ago, I actually found it rather disappointing myself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    'The Twilight Samurai' for being a Samurai movie about a Samurai who doesn't want to fight anybody and indeed spends most of his time doing the accounts for his lord.
    Yeah, like Seven Samurai and Kurosawa movies, it does show a feeling that Age of Samurai is coming to an end.
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    Default Re: What is you favorite samurai movie?

    Quote Originally Posted by darkdragoon View Post
    The Sword of Doom is up there as far as Mifune films. As far as more recent, the adaptation of Unforgiven sounds interesting as well.
    I have not seen Sword of Doom. I will put it on my must watch list.

    What is this adaption of Unforgiven you are referring to? I assume you mean Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven.
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