Following World War II, a retired professor, approaching his autumn years, finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
When a powerful warlord in medieval Japan dies, a poor thief recruited to impersonate him finds difficulty living up to his role and clashes with the spirit of the warlord during turbulent times in the kingdom. Written by
Keith Loh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Real 16th Century costumes and armor were loaned from Japanese museums for actors to wear in the film. These were reportedly objects that were important national treasures of Japan. See more »
In the final battle there are at least 100 riflemen shown firing their matchlock rifles in volleys. The smoke generated by the matchlocks almost immediately dissipates. This indicates a more modern gunpowder was used in the matchlocks as the historically correct black powder load would blanket the battlefield with thick smoke after a handful of volleys. See more »
[Giving battle instructions to his messengers on horseback]
Tell the gunners to shoot the horses first. The Takeda cavalry cannot fight without horses.
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This is a great epic of war and a film of great emotion. At the center is a man who has nothing. He is thrust into a world he didn't create. He is a petty thief and really would like to just get on with his life. What he also has is great loyalty to his now deceased lord, and despite his great concern for his ability to carry it off, he agrees to the position. He has to know that at some point this will all come crashing down. The Samurai code makes it so that he has few options. He runs the war the best he can but occasionally falls victim to who he is. Even with advisers watching his every move, he becomes so much a part of the entire picture that he is left to destroy himself, and, in the process, the clan that he represents. The battle scenes are remindful of the other huge films like "Ran" and "Throne of Blood." They sweep across the screen with the flag carrying horsemen and the infantry fighting until there is nothing left but total carnage. Because of the complexity of the story and the wonderful acting, I would put this at or near the top of my Kurosawa list.
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