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Three Outlaw Samurai (1964)
"Sanbiki no samurai" (original title)

 -  Action | Drama  -  13 May 1964 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,211 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 26 critic

Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Three Outlaw Samurai (1964)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tetsurô Tanba ...
Isamu Nagato ...
Mikijirô Hira ...
Miyuki Kuwano ...
Yoshiko Kayama ...
Kyoko Aoi ...
Omitsu (as Kyôko Aoi)
Kamatari Fujiwara ...
Tatsuya Ishiguro ...
Uzaemon Matsushita
Hisashi Igawa
Ichirô Izawa
Jun Tatara ...
Toshie Kimura ...
Yôko Mihara ...
Kichijirô Ueda
Nakajirô Tomita


Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up their fight, joined by two renegades from the magistrate's guard, Sakura and Kikyo. The three outlaws find themselves in a battle to the death. Written by Jim Beaver <>

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Action | Drama


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Release Date:

13 May 1964 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Three Outlaw Samurai  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Sakon Shiba: [Threatening to kill the Magistrate; his daughter physically intervenes] For his victims' sake, I can't allow him to live.
Aya: Please!
Sakon Shiba: Move, or I'll kill you!
Aya: Kill me, then. No matter what he's done, I'm still his daughter.
Sakon Shiba: [the Magistrate breaks free and runs for it, but Shiba deftly cuts off his top knot with a quick thrust of his sword] Let the lord see you in disgrace. Let the peasants see you in disgrace.
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User Reviews

vivid but disturbing
17 February 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gosha was the Don Siegel of Japan, an artist of action, a poet of mêlée. So it is with this newly restored early picture of his, now available from Criterion in blazing black and white. Typical sam fare: clunky plot, great sword work, cool flourishes (like blowing dust giving mythic quality to climactic duel, or the use of blood to punctuate kills, never overdone but extremely dramatic.) Extremely enjoyable, it turns out to be an "origins" tale in which we learn how the three outlaws (if Japanese TV fame) came together. Briefly, seems wandering ronin decides to throw in with peasant reformers who've kidnapped magistrate's daughter for leverage on tax reform, and one way or other, the two others come to his side and ultimately they face off in duels and battles with magistrate's own ronin, soldiers, various thugs and creeps. Lots of racing, slicking, sword fighting in flip-flops and bathrobes. What did somewhat shock me was the utter disregard the movie shows for women. They are used up and tossed aside like Kleenex, with no regret or mourning or much in the way of grief. At least three are murdered or commit suicide, and two more dumped. I know this is emblematic of Japanese society in early '60s, but even so, it seems a little overdone here. I don't like to judge then by the standards of now, but even if gals were objects in '64, by those standards Gosha goes a bit overboard.

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