The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
In the 1920s, the anarchist revolutionary Sakae Osugi is financially supported by his wife, journalist Itsuko Masaoka. He spends his time doing nothing but philosophizing about political ... See full summary »
February 17 to March 3, 1860, inside Edo castle. A group of assassins wait by Sakurada Gate to kill the lord of the House of Ii, a powerful man in the Tokugawa government, which has ruled ... See full summary »
Gennosuke, a clan retainer, kills one of the clan ministers as part of a plot to achieve reform. He is pursued by his former comrades, each hoping to complete the vendetta put on Gennosuke ... See full summary »
During peace in 1725, aging swordsman Isaburo is living a henpecked life when his clan lord requests that Isaburo's son marry the lord's mistress, with whom he's displeased, even though she's born him a son. Isaburo wants to refuse, but his son Yogoro accepts the woman, Ichi, and they fall deeply in love. Their love renews Isaburo, so when the clan lord's elder son dies and the lord sends for Ichi to return to his side as mother of his heir, Isaburo opposes his lord. Yogoro and Ichi, who now have a baby daughter, stand with him. The clan orders their suicide, then sends soldiers to kill them. Isaburo's only hope is to take his case to Edo to expose the clan's cruelty. Can he? Written by
Samurai Rebellion is one of the best films I've ever seen. Masaki Kobayashi is my favorite Japanese director next to Kurosawa, at times even surpassing the latter. Samurai Rebellion is a well-acted, brilliantly directed film about standing up against injustice that manages to tug firmly on one's heart strings without ever being cloying. Mifune shows the full extent of his acting abilities by not having to play the sort of macho character that he came quite close to being typecast as, and Yôko Tsukasa is no less remarkable. The soundtrack by Toru Takemitsu is also wonderful, serving to add another layer to the film's narrative and emotional impact rather than merely emphasizing it. Another remarkable aspect of the film is the use of violence: Although the fight scenes near the end are brilliantly choreographed and filmed, they're not in the least glamourous, depicting the desperation, sadness and anger of Mifune's character. It's a terrible shame that most people will never see this film, one that most likely deserves to be considered a classic of world cinema, just because it isn't directed by Kurosawa.
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