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Three Outlaw Samurai (1964)

Sanbiki no samurai (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama | 13 May 1964 (Japan)
When poor peasants kidnap a magistrate's daughter to coerce him into reducing taxes, a wandering ronin and two renegades from the magistrate's guard take up the fight for them.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Isamu Nagato ...
Mikijirô Hira ...
Miyuki Kuwano ...
Aya
Yoshiko Kayama ...
Oyasu
Kyôko Aoi ...
Omitsu
...
Jinbê
Tatsuya Ishiguro ...
Uzaemon Matsushita
Hisashi Igawa
Ichirô Izawa
Jun Tatara ...
Yasugorô
Toshie Kimura ...
Oine
Yôko Mihara ...
Omaki
Kichijirô Ueda
Nakajirô Tomita
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

13 May 1964 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Three Outlaw Samurai  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sakon Shiba: [Giving Aya, who's being held hostage by peasants, a meager bowl of millet porridge to eat]
Sakon Shiba: For someone accustomed to a life of luxury, it may be hard to believe people actually eat millet porridge. Nevertheless, even though they don't have enough to feed themselves, they've offered this porridge to you. Better have some.
Sakon Shiba: [Putting the bowl up to her mouth, which she refuses to accept]
Sakon Shiba: Eat it!
Sakon Shiba: [Forcefully making her eat the porridge, obviously not to her liking] Then maybe you'll realize why all ...
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Connections

Version of The Magnificent Trio (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent proto-"spaghetti western" Samurai movie!
16 July 2001 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

This one is Gosha's first directorial attempt, and what a debut! Though some of the performances are occasionally a bit overwrought, there are also many instances where Gosha reveals his sense of the camera.

Of course, there are Gosha's typical studied camera angles and compositions (you see some interesting "moving camera" work, which significantly predates the attempts of "pioneering" US directors). However, "Sanbiki no samurai" also showcases Gosha's ability to tell a story through facial expressions, rather than simply relying upon dialogue.

This is all film-school wankery. The bottom line is that "Sanbiki" is a gripping chambara flick, with a solid morality tale disguised as a cynical amorality tale. (Note that a common theme through many Japanese "chambara" is that of cynical ex-samurai who ultimately decides to risk life and limb for some hopeless but noble "little guy" cause.)

This theme was repeatedly, um, emulated by the likes of Sergio Leone with his spaghetti westerns. However, my point is that such tales are just plain entertaining. The three actors playing the samurai also turn in great performances.

Viewers new to Hideo Gosha may wish to start with "Goyokin" or "Hitokiri" (a/k/a "Tenchu"), but if you've seen those two already (or if they're already checked out), then this is still a definite movie to catch!


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