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Samurai Rebellion More at IMDbPro »Jôi-uchi: Hairyô tsuma shimatsu (original title)

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33 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Profoundly Humanist - A gem

8/10
Author: auberus from Lomé
12 January 2004

Those of us who are really into cinema know that Japanese cinema in general and samurai cinema of the 60's in particular is a genre not to be overlooked…One of the most popular Japanese directors who has contributed to this genre ('Yojimbo', 'Sanjuro', 'Kagemusha' etc…) is Akira Kurosawa (and I myself appreciate Mr. Kurosawa a lot). However he has over-shadowed (at least for the occidental movie fan) a lot of other Japanese directors from this period of the 60's. One of this director is Masaki Kobayashi and one of his movie that has been forgotten is 'Joi-uchi: Hairyo tsuma shimatsu' (AKA 'Samurai Rebellion').

'Samurai Rebellion' - 1967 is in fact a great movie, a masterpiece. It tells the story of an aging swordsman named Isaburo Sasahara (Toshiro Mifune) who during a time of peace (1725 – 1727) decide to retire and leaves the command of the family to his elder son, Suga. Unfortunately when his clan lord request that Isaburo's son marry the lord's mistress the henpecked life that Isaburo was living changed to the worst and split his family into two. This movie is irreproachable; the filming was mastered by Mr. Kobayashi and the acting outstanding. Indeed not only Toshiro Mifune but also the beautiful Yoko Tsukasa (as Ichi Sasahara) the bride of Isaburo's son are a good example of how temperance can trigger emotions on screen. The photography has been done by the book, every panoramic, close-up, etc are perfect and very Japanese (meaning very geometrical). The pacing is also a perfect mix of slow pace scenes that provide character's depth and fast pace scenes for breathless action and sword duels. In short the movie is technically perfect. However what seduced me in this movie is not so much the perfection of the film from a technique point of view but more the originality and the modernity of the story. The rebellion from this master swordsman (Isaburo Sasahara) who is ready to fight for the happiness of both his son and his son's bride is profoundly humanist. Mr. Kobayashi demonstrates with brio that the notion of Justice transcends Cultures and that there is no code of honor that is above the human code…

In a world when apathy rules 'Samurai Rebellion' is definitely a modern testimony and shows that Revolt can also be a path to follow.

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32 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful

10/10
Author: Ungaboo! from Edmonton, Canada
14 May 2001

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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27 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

One of the greatest films ever

10/10
Author: mlredr from United States
24 June 2005

If there is one thing to be said about this film, it is excellent in every detail - story, direction, cinematography, music, action, I could go on and on. There are few film makers who can turn a simple tale of feudal injustice into such a moving drama.

As the movie progresses, Toshiro Mifune's character slowly transforms into an epic hero - for his sense of honour and his love for his Son for which he is ready to defy his own honour-bound Samurai's oath, to rebel against the very world he lives in. The heroism and integrity of his sacrifice are presented in exquisite detail with poignant dialogue (even in subtitles). This in itself is an amazing achievement when the compared to the trend nowadays is to try to impress the viewer with visual trickery or mind-numbing fight sequences with excessive violence.

I truly appreciate Masaki Kobayashi for the respect he shows to his viewer's intelligence, for intelligently presenting the true heroism of a human standing up against impossible odds.As an exercise, you may compare this movie with the over-budgeted disaster of a Hollywood movie called "The Last Samurai" to know what I am talking about. With an excellent story and great characters with potential for true heroism, "The Last Samurai" is one of the dumbest movies ever made.

This is also no dumb "You killed my master so I will kill you" Hong Kong movie or a "Lone Wolf" movie with it's absurd and senseless blood-spilling. All of you Action movie fans, this is also not a beat-each-other-to-pulp or chop-you-up-like-a-fish movie.

The fight sequences are excellently executed and are almost the best that I have seen so far (The fight sequences in Harakiri must be THE BEST ever).The character of Tatsuya Nakadai is interesting as well in that it is not really clear what his true intentions are - he seems torn between his selfish desire to better Mifune's character in a duel bound up with his loyalty to his clan against his honour as a friend. Warning: So watch it if you enjoy an excellently told social drama and you will see what makes a masterly piece of art.

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21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Close to Perfection!

10/10
Author: dorlago
13 October 2001

Brilliant direction, excellent writing and superb acting make for one of the most intelligent and entertaining films to come out of Japan! Mifune is magnificent as the samurai who is forced to choose between family and duty. Scathing in its portrayal of feudal Japanese society this film works as both exciting historical drama and heart breaking melodrama. Mifune's stand against social injustice is presented in a totally believable yet poignantly touching manner. His scenes with his baby granddaughter are absolutely beautiful! The end of the film is both ferociously brutal and incredibly tender. What a combination! "Rebellion" leaves you emotionally drained yet asking for more!

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

We All Have Our Own Way of Living

10/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
19 July 2009

"During the powerful Tokugano Regime in Edo (presently Tokyo), there were 264 lords or "daimyo". These feudal lords ruled their clan and the people under them".

In 1725, the henpecked samurai Isaburo Sasahara (Toshirô Mifune) and his friend Tatewaki Asano (Tatsuya Nakadai) are the best swordsmen of their clan. Isaburo regrets his arranged marriage with the dominator Suga (Michiko Otsuka) and expects to give a good marriage to his son Yogoro (Go Kato). However, their Lord Masakata Matsudaira (Tatsuo Matsumura) orders Yogoro to marry his mistress Ichi (Yôko Tsukasa), who has a bad fame in the clan since she slapped the lord's face and torn his clothes apart. The Sasahara family objects but Yogoro accepts to marry Ichi for the good of his family. Instead of a pampered woman, Ichi proves to be a good wife and discloses the reason of her reaction to Yogoro, when she surprised him with a mistress after bearing their son. Ichi delivers the baby girl Tomi and is loved by Yogoro. When the lord's son dies, he orders Ichi to return to the castle to legitimate their son and successor of his clan. Yogoro does not accept the order under the protest of his family, and his brother Bunzo (Tatsuyoshi Ehara) lures and kidnaps Ichi, bringing her back to the castle. Isaburo and Yogoro decide to request the return of Ichi and have to face the wraith of their lord and clan.

"Samurai Rebellion" is another Japanese masterpiece, with a beautiful and engaging romance in the period of Tokugano Regime in Edo and comparable to Romeo and Juliette. Further, this is also a cruel story of attitude against tyrannical governments and I loved the line "We All Have Our Own Way of Living". I am fascinated by the rich Japanese history, despite my knowledge be limited to the movies I see, and I found "Samurai Rebellion" wonderful also in this regard. The direction and acting are awesome, and the stunning Toshirô Mifune has another fantastic performance. The black and white cinematography associated to the magnificent camera work, settings and scenarios gives an intense reconstitution of Japan lifestyle in the Eighteenth Century. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): Not Available

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Worthy companion to HARAKIRI

Author: xhari_nairx from Aurora, CO
4 October 2000

SAMURAI REBELLION is not one of the best known Japanese films, although it deserves to be. It is very in theme to the masterful HARAKIRI from the same director, and with this film he matches that film's raw emotional power. It's a must for Toshiro Mifune fans.... he delivers one of his finest performances as a jaded elder samurai. He once again gets to share screen time with Tatsuya Nakadai, who has a small but memorable supporting role. The always reliable Toru Takemitsu delivers a fine score made up mostly of Japanese instruments, and Kobayashi's direction is flawless.... this film is filled with memorable set pieces, and it's just the sword fight scenes, although those are pretty incredible too. This is one of about six Kobayashi films available in the west (HARAKIRI, KWAIDAN, and the HUMAN CONDITION trilogy make up the rest)... that's a shame because, based on the quality of these works, he clearly stands among the greats of Japanese cinema.

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

The last great samurai film

10/10
Author: kikuchiyo-1 from Poland
26 June 2004

I don't know why so little people have seen this film. This movie has place in history of cinema as one of the greatest masterpieces. Story has structure of ancient tragedy and we sit in permanent tense from beginning to end; none other film I saw isn't so suspenseful. Direction is perfect and there isn't one unnecessary second in all 2 hour film. Toshiro Mifune and Tatsuya Nakadai - duet well known from Kurosawa films like "Yojimbo", "Sanjuro" or "High and Low" - make peerless performances, really dramatic and deep. "Samurai Rebelion" is as excellent, humanistic and timeless as the best of Kurosawa films. Everybody I know agree with this opinion after watching Kobayashi's masterpiece. 10/10

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A samurai movie WOMEN will love...

10/10
Author: tnamwong from Los Angeles
20 August 2001

At the center of a clan's political intrigue and pride is a woman treated like a doll. Her feelings and human value are ignored in favor of a lord's whims and customs of the time. Her sympathizers are a new younger husband and his father who realize and will risk everythint to uphold her virtue. Ichi, the heroine, is not alone. Ichi's infant daughter Tomi, the precious life that Isaburo, her grandfather (played by Toshiro MIfune), must guard risks falling into the tragic pattern as that of her mother. The film moves at a calculated pace, much like water boiling, to the final duel which will decide whether or not the innocent Tomi remains in the arms of her now renegade grandfather or a secure life with Isaburo's friend (played by Tatsuya Nakadai). LIke all good movies, viewers can never fathom the ending. What makes Samurai Rebellion memorable are its vivid images of a toy cow slowly shaking it's head, a smooth field of sand disturbed by the footprints of an angry warrior, and the last scene you may miss if you blink!

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A cinematic masterclass...from a master

10/10
Author: Prof-Hieronymos-Grost from Ireland
28 April 2008

Isaburo Sasahara is a former samurai warrior and master swordsman who now lives a quiet life as head of his family, he has been continually henpecked by his wife for all their married life, so its his ambition to have his eldest son Yogoro married to a woman who will respect him. Isaburo's plan is thrown into disarray however, when he receives a notification from the Lord of the Aizu clan, that he would like Yogoro to marry Lady Ichi, a mistress of his who has fallen out of favour. This in itself seems rather insulting to Isaburo, as Lady Ichi he learns has a reputation of being violent towards his lordship and added to that she has an illegitimate child by him. After much family discussion they all agree that to refuse his lordship's offer would mean certain ruin for the Sasahara family, so they agree. Much to their surprise Lady Ichi is a kind, affectionate, helpful and thoroughly pleasant woman. She regales them with tales of his lordships cruelty and adulteress behaviour, the family are pleased she has finally found happiness with Yogoro.

Yogoro and Ichi are blessed with a child, that helps Ichi forget she had to give up her first child, as it was second in line to his lordships domain. However after the heir dies, Yogoro now head of the family receives another request, that Ichi should return again, as her son is now heir and it wouldn't be fitting for the mother of an heir not to be with her child.This however is the final straw and Isaburo and Yogoro set out to defy their lord and fight for their rights.

Samurai Rebellion was Masaki Kobayashi's first foray into the field of independent films and he returned to a familiar theme (previously used in Harakiri,1962) of injustice perpetrated by a tyrannical authority figure. Kobayashi teamed up with legendary Toho studios and Mifune Productions to recreate the literary vision of Yasuhiko Takiguchi's "Hairyo tsuma shiatsu" in a script by Shinobu Hashimoto. The films original title literally translated as Rebellion: Receive the Wife was changed for western audiences at the request of Toho, as they didn't believe it sounded manly enough for a Western audience that were very keen on Samurai films. Despite its more familiar title, this is very much a family drama, that wonderfully builds up its characters and to label it as a Samurai or action film would be erroneous, the rebellion scenes occurring only as we near the finale. Kobayashi's also uses Japanese architecture and symmetry to further the mood, using pillars, castle walls, doors, protective eaves and endless straight lines to promote stability, when the Sasahara family are having a less than unified debate on their predicament, the members are all stationed at unusual differing distances from the camera making the harmonious composition appear unsymmetrical when a member leaves the room and also towards the end of the film Isaburo and Yogoro remove all elements of geometric stability from their home as they await the arrival of their feudal lords men, their act seemingly to once and for all end their association with their restraining dogmatic social structures.

The performances are all superb, Mifune giving us one of his more retrained performances with only glimpses of his more familiar gusto as he emotes and reflects on the tragedy of the situation his family is in. The great Tatsuya Nadakai is restricted to a few brief scenes, but his power still shines through. Yôko Tsukasa and Go Kato also produce memorable performances as the loving couple willing to die to retain their partnership. Samurai Rebellion is a powerful film that reflects its directors concerns with the abuse of authority, it exudes class and visual style and its attention to detail is second to none. As a film it can't be faulted.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Samurai middle management

10/10
Author: gkbazalo from Scottsdale, AZ
9 May 2002

Toshiro Mifune, trapped in a loveless marriage and bored with his position within his clan, would just like to enjoy his grandchild and see his sons have a happier life than he. But the same forces that conspired to trap him in his situation--duty to family and obligations to the clan and feudal chain of command--now threaten his son, daughter-in-law and granddaugher. Under great pressure, he resists the persuasion of his wife's family and his clan to bow to "duty". The tension builds--perhaps at one point a little too drawn out-- to an exciting climax.

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