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Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956)

Miyamoto Musashi kanketsuhen: kettô Ganryûjima (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Biography | November 1967 (USA)
Musashi Miyamoto is challenged to a duel by a confident swordsman Sasaki Kojiro. He agrees to fight him in a year's time.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kôji Tsuruta ...
...
Kaoru Yachigusa ...
Michiko Saga ...
Omitsu
Mariko Okada ...
...
Sado Nagaoka the court official
...
Sasuke the boatman
Takamaru Sasaki ...
Omitsu's father
Daisuke Katô ...
Haruo Tanaka ...
Kumagoro the horse thief
Kichijirô Ueda ...
Priest Ogon
Kokuten Kôdô ...
Ikio Sawamura ...
Innkeeper
Nakajirô Tomita
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Storyline

A humble and simple Takezo abandons his life as a knight errant. He's sought as a teacher and vassal by Shogun, Japan's most powerful clan leader. He's also challenged to fight by the supremely confident and skillful Sasaki Kojiro. Takezo agrees to fight Kojiro in a year's time but rejects Shogun's patronage, choosing instead to live on the edge of a village, raising vegetables. He's followed there by Otsu and later by Akemi, both in love with him. The year ends as Takezo assists the villagers against a band of brigands. He seeks Otsu's forgiveness and accepts her love, then sets off across the water to Ganryu Island for his final contest. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

November 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bushido  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Okaya is fighting Sasaki, the position of his spear when he removes the covering changes between the close and the long shots. See more »

Quotes

Otsu: Brace up, Akemi.
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Connections

Version of Kanketsu Sasaki Kojirô: Ganryû-jima kettô (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The third and final episode of the "Samurai Trilogy"
29 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is the final installment of director Hiroshi Inagaki's "Samurai Trilogy," three films covering the life of Musashi Miyamoto (Takezo,) Japan's most famous swordsman of the early 17th century and perhaps of all time.

He was an icon of the warrior-philosopher model. He survived numerous duels to the death and retired to painting and writing. His best known work is the "Book of Five Rings," a book which gained popularity recently when it was championed by the Harvard Business School.

All three films of Inagaki's trilogy, made in 1954, 1955, and 1956, are part of the elite Criterion Collection of classic films.

Briefly, this movie resolves the conflict of the two women in Takezo's life, Otsu and Akemi, and leads up to Musashi's showdown with the second most famous swordsman of the day, Sasaki Kojiro. This is the famous Duel at Ganryu Island of the title.

Although I cannot appreciate the Japanese language and must rely on the English subtitles for the meaning of dialog, I do appreciate the beauty of this early widescreen color film. (I believe Tojoscope is a Japanese version of cinemascope.) One could take almost every frame of this film and it would make a stunning still. The costumes and the sets reflect an attention to detail of color, lighting and composition.

For its sense of rather understated action, I particularly enjoyed the opening scene. Sasaki Kojiro demonstrates his signature Swallowtail Turn, a move whereby he severs the tail feathers of this notably swift and agile bird in flight. It's not the portrayed animal cruelty that I enjoyed; it's the human quickness and skill that would be required to accomplish such a feat. I certainly hope that no birds were actually harmed in the making of the film.


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