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Samurai Banners (1969)
"Fûrin kazan" (original title)

 -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  24 June 1969 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 428 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 7 critic

Feudal Japan, 1543 to 1562. Kansuke Yamamoto is a samurai who dreams of a country united, peaceful from sea to sea. He enters the service of Takeda, the lord of Kai domain. He convinces ... See full summary »

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Title: Samurai Banners (1969)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Yoshiko Sakuma ...
Princess Yufu
Kinnosuke Nakamura ...
...
Katsuo Nakamura ...
Nobusato Itagaki
Kanzaburô Nakamura ...
Katsuyori Takeda (as Kankurô Nakamura)
Kan'emon Nakamura ...
Nobukato Itagaki
Masakazu Tamura ...
Nobushige Takeda
Mayumi Ôzora ...
Princess Okoto
Ken Ogata
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edit

Storyline

Feudal Japan, 1543 to 1562. Kansuke Yamamoto is a samurai who dreams of a country united, peaceful from sea to sea. He enters the service of Takeda, the lord of Kai domain. He convinces Takeda to kill the lord of neighboring Suwa and take his wife as a concubine. He then convinces the widow, Princess Yu, to accept this arrangement and to bear Takeda a son. He pledges them his life. He then spends years using treachery, poetic sensibility, military and political strategy to expand Takeda's realm, advance the claim of Yu's son as the heir, and prepare for an ultimate battle with the forces of Echigo. Has Kansuke overreached? Are his dreams, blinded by love, too big? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

24 June 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Samurai Banners  »

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Good historical war epic with Mifune as bad as ever.
3 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After watching Samurai Banners, I was struck with one piece of dialog which sums up the film quite nicely, "In this age of war, survival requires complex conspiracies, secret dealings, and assassinations. They're inevitable." These two lines help describe the atmosphere of 16th century Japan, in which Samurai Banners is set. A Japan divided by warring factions and lords, where treachery and war are the only way of life.

Yamamoto Kansuke (Mifune) is a ronin, who through chance of fate finds himself protecting Lord Takeda's vassal from another Ronin (in a very bloody exchange). Kansuke then moves to the province of Kai, where Lord Takeda awards him a troop of 100 soldiers. Once established Kansuke moves his way up to be Lord Takeda's top military adviser. With Kansuke's help the province of Kai stretches it's grasp to the other provinces through a series of, "complex conspiracies, secret dealings, and assassinations." Samurai Banners is an intricately researched samurai epic. The outfits are incredible, especially Mifune's fearsome black samurai armor which boasts the most incredible helmet I've ever seen. The outfits of the Red Guard are also very impressive and help add to the allure of the film. The set's also match the intensity of the outfits and this film highly succeeds in painting an accurate picture of 16th century Japan.

Mifune is as bad-ass as ever (Of course!) but this time around he sports (besides the crazy armor) a ugly scar, a noticeable limp, and a awesome moustache. In Samurai Banners he plays the "terrifying" Kansuke, a man who is both feared and revered by his troops. In typical Mifune fashion, his one soft spot is for a woman named Pricess Yu. Both the Lord's concubine and an unrequited love interest for Kansuke.

The film itself stays true to the tradition of 60's chambara; a mix of action, romance, war tactics, and character development, which together, helps round out another solid entry for both Mifune and Director Inagaki Hiroshi. The film substitutes most of the battles for the strategies and goings on of the Lord's and his advisor's, although the film has its share of action don't go into this expecting an action packed Chambara flick.

Bottom Line- Good historical war epic with a focus on the people involved more-so than the actual battles. Mifune is a bad as ever!


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