Anjin-san's assimilation of Japanese ways is evident in his exemplary conduct. Toranaga decides to return the Erasmus to Anjin-san. Mariko tells Father Alvito of a plot to murder a Christian lord on ...
Set in early 17th-century Japan, shipwrecked English navigator John Blackthorne finds intrigue and culture shock in a feudal society that puts a premium on honor. A rival Lord sentences Blackthorne ...
This mini series covers 60 years in the lives of the Cleary family, brought from New Zealand to Australia to run their aunt Mary Carson's ranch. The story centers on their daughter, Meggie,... See full summary »
Ian Struan Dunross is chairman of Struan & Co, the oldest and largest of the British-East Asia trading companies. To the Chinese, that also makes him "Tai-Pan" ("supreme leader") of the "... See full summary »
Tai-Pan is Chinese for "supreme leader". This is the man with real power to his hands. And such a Tai-Pan is Dirk Struan who is obsessed by his plan to make Hong Kong the "jewel in the ... See full summary »
A 1988 television adaptation of Robert Ludlum's thriller. An injured, unconscious man (Richard Chamberlain) washes ashore in a small French town. As he recovers, it becomes quite clear, someone is trying to kill him. Jaclyn Smith co-stars.
The story of Louis XIV of France and his attempts to keep his identical twin brother Philippe imprisoned away from sight and knowledge of the public, and Philippe's rescue by the aging ... See full summary »
John Blackthorne, an English ship pilot, whose vessel wrecked upon the Japanese coast in the early 16th century is forced to deal with the two most powerful men in Japan in these days. He is thrown in the midst of a war between Toranaga and Ishido, who struggle for the title of Shogun which will give ultimate power to the one who possesses it. Written by
Harald Mayr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The ship used for the Erasmus was called The Golden Hinde. It was hired in London and sailed to Yokohama via San Francisco. This is the same ship used for the Black Ship, so it had to be modified to look different. See more »
After the storm at sea, Rodrigues is recovering and tells Blackthorn, "There's a bottle of grog over there. Bring it to me." The term "grog" came from British Admiral Edward Vernon, for whom Washington's estate "Mount Vernon" was named. Vernon habitually wore a coat made of "grogham," a coarse cloth of the 17th Century. He was referred to by his men as "Old Grogham." Vernon disapproved of the British Navy's tradition of giving the sailors a daily ration of rum. He watered down the rum that was passed out to the men. The men derisively referred to this watered rum ration as "grog." Thus the term "grog" did not enter the language until the 1760s and would not have been used in 1600. See more »
There was a time in TV when the mini-series was king. They were great prestige products for the networks who, risking immense financial expenditure, hoped to create a cinematic masterpiece on a small screen.
SHOGUN may be the ultimate expression of this neglected TV format. Based on James Clavell's sweeping epic novel of the same name, it succeeds fully in transporting the viewer to another time and place. Through John Blackthorne's eyes (Richard Chamberlain in a now iconic performance, blending moments of delightful scenery chewing with moments of genuine emotion and subtlety), we become ever more involved in the political dealings of the Japanese nobility and the mixed motives of the Jesuits.
One of the great triumphs of SHOGUN is to ensnare the viewer despite long segments in Japanese with no subtitles. The filmmakers were trying to tell the story through Blackthorne's eyes and save for a few moments of narration explaining the dialog, we are left to slowly comprehend the action at the same pace as Blackthorne. It's a device which works wonderfully well, leaving the viewer to figure out what's going on through context and character.
In addition to Chamberlain, SHOGUN is replete with glorious performances. Toshiro Mifune's Toranaga, a Japanese nobleman with grand political designs, possesses great power and yet Mifune's performance is also very nuanced. Toranaga is a man who's mind is always trying to figure three steps ahead and we see this aspect of Toranaga's personality in Mifune's work- a considerable feat considering his dialog is exclusively in Japanese and without subtitles.
Yoko Shimada plays Mariko with a captivating beauty and ethereal grace. Becoming Blackthorne's interpreter and love interest, we cannot take our eyes off of her. Her performance is made doubly impressive by the fact that Ms. Shimada spoke no English and had to be told what her lines met with great care.
Additionally, John-Rhys Davies gives a wonderfully bravura turn as Rodrigues and Damien Thomas gives his Father Alvito real depth and dignity.
SHOGUN does show its age. The quality of the video image does have a bit of that TV glow to it and Maurice Jarre's score, seeming so lush back in 1980, sounds as if it were recorded by a very small third-rate band in a backwater recording studio- it reeks of TV. Still, these are comparatively minor quibbles to an otherwise completely engrossing epic. SHOGUN succeeds mightily in taking the viewer into a strange land filled with wonder and intrigue. By the end, it's a land you aren't ready to leave- perhaps the ultimate compliment for any film.
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