Shogun (1980)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History
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A English navigator becomes both a player and pawn in the complex political games in feudal Japan.

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Title: Shogun (1980– )

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Episodes

Seasons


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1  
1980  
Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.

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Set in the 17th Century, the story is told from the perspective of British hero John Blackthorne, a sailor who rises from outsider to samurai, while being used as a pawn in Japanese leader ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Anjin-san / ... (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Lord Yoshi Toranaga (5 episodes, 1980)
...
 Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko (5 episodes, 1980)
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Storyline

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 <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All the conflict, adventure and intrigue of feudal Japan ... See more »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

15 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

James Clavell's Shogun  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(10 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Japanese galley was a replica of the ancient Japanese galleys. It was heavy and therefore difficult to move. The director and producers regretted not installing a small engine on it. See more »

Goofs

The Portuguese Governor of Macau and captain of the "Black Ship", is named "Ferriera". That name doesn't exist - it is an obvious confusion with "Ferreira", one of the most common Portuguese surnames. See more »

Quotes

[after Blackthorne's guard prevented an assassination attempt by Rodrigues]
Pilot-Major John Blackthorne: Captain Yoshinaka was right to search him. Was that your idea?
Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko: Please excuse me, but I was afraid for you.
Pilot-Major John Blackthorne: Sad, isn't it? Not being able to trust anyone.
Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko: It is not sad, Anjin-san. It is just one of life's most important rules.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Indiana Jones: Making the Trilogy (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

BLACKTHORNE'S SHANTY
Words and Music by Eric Bercovici
See more »

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User Reviews

Rich and fulfilling, a great adaptation of Clavell's masterpiece
2 February 2006 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

In 1976, James Clavell wrote an epic masterpiece: the story of Blackthorne, an English sailor lost in Feudal Japan. He gradually finds his place, oft the central pawn of political intrigues between various foreign powers and the local warlords. In 1980, this miniseries was unleashed on the world and created a whole new audience for the mammoth bestseller. No small feat considering the length and complexity of Clavell's 1200+ page door-stopper. Clocking in at almost 10 hours, this mega-budgeted series delivers the goods. People who have seen "The Last Samurai" might see a few plot similarities (even in certain smaller details: Tom Cruise sports exactly the same haircut as Richard Chamberlain). With all respect for the 2003 film, Shogun is far out of it's reach.

Richard Chamberlain embodies Blackthorne to perfection, successfully gaining our empathy through an ambiguous yet very human performance. Supporting him are Japanese icon Toshiro Mifune as the shrewd warlord and aspiring shogun Torunaga, who befriends/manipulates Blackthorne, and Yoko Shimada as Blackthorne's translator, confident and friend. Every actor gives life to Clavell's carefully drawn and layered characters (most of all a very bombastic John Rhys-Davies). For a television miniseries, the technical specs are quite surprisingly good. Indeed the budget must have been quite important (and set a record at the time) but never is the story or it's rhythm scarified to show-off. The direction and photography are quite tasteful, often reminiscent of early Kurosawa, only in color. Maurice Jarre's score might not reach the lofty heights of his work for David Lean but it serves it's purpose.

Many will tell you that the book is better. It is certainly more intimate and detailed, but a more faithful and excellent adaptation of such a rich book you are not likely to see anytime soon. For anyone with a taste for epics, Japan or just plain good entertainment, this is essential viewing.


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Chamberlain -- WRONG!!!! marjoriem
Blackthorne too modern + gentle!! bkdsl
Why do people believe Shogun is so great? big_algti
Remake possibilities? Katya0779
I don't understand the ending springxtime
Time for a remake? eddiec-1
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