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Toshio Kamata (writer)
Ryo Hanmura (novel)
View company contact information for Sengoku jieitai on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
January 1981 (USA) See more »
A squadron of Japanese Self-Defense Force soldiers find themselves transported through time to their country's warring states era... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Huge body count and terrific entertainment. What more would you ask from a movie called G.I. Samurai? See more (15 total) »


  (in credits order)

Shin'ichi Chiba ... Lt. Yoshiaki Iba (as Sonny Chiba)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jun Etô ... Nobuhiko Ken
Moeko Ezawa ... Widow Yui
Ryô Hayami ... Kazumichi Morishita
Noriko Honma ... Old Woman
Koji Iizuka ... Shokichi
Masashi Ishibashi ... Hosokawa Fujitaka
Toshitaka Itô ... Seaman Harumi Takashima
Haruki Kadokawa ... Sanada Masayuki
Takuzô Kadono ... Seaman Toshishige Suga
Hiroshi Kamayatsu ... Mokichi Nemoto
Gorô Kataoka ... Tategawa Katsuzo
Hiroshi Katsuno ... Track Coach
Tadashi Katô ... Sgt. Hideo Shimizu
Kenzô Kawarasaki ... Koji Kano
Shin Kishida ... Naoe Bungo
Asao Koike ... Koizumi Yukinaga
Shinkoma Kokontei ... Kenji Hori
Kentarô Kudô ... Ishiba Takehide
Isao Kuraishi ... Masao Maruoka
Masao Kusakari ... Masakichi
Shin'ichirô Mikami ... Goichi Shimada
Yoichi Miura ... Manabu Nonaka
Kôji Naka ... Taisuke Mimura
Hirohisa Nakata ... Kuroda Naoharu
Noboru Nakaya ... Yoshitaka Kujo
Mikio Narita ... Kosa

Isao Natsuyagi ... Nagao Kagetora
Akira Nishikino ... Koji Kikuchi
Nana Okada ... Kazuko Arai
Miyuki Ono ... Miwa
Maiko Otsuka ... Mai
Raita Ryû ... Haruhisa Kimura

Hiroyuki Sanada ... Takeda Katsuyori
Jinya Sato ... Osamu Seki
Gajirô Satô ... Foot Soldier
Akihiro Shimizu ... Satoshi Onishi
Hiromitsu Suzuki ... Go Nishizawa
Mizuho Suzuki ... Ashikaga Yoshiaki
Ken Takahashi ... Masayoshi Hirai
Hiroshi Tanaka ... Takeda Shingen
Kaori Taniguchi ... Shokichi & Mai's Mother
Kazunaga Tsuji ... Shoichiro Ono
Katsumasa Uchida ... Asaba Yorichika
Ryûdô Uzaki ... Ochimusha
Tsunehiko Watase ... Hayato Yano
Hiroko Yakushimaru ... Young Takeda Samurai
Hitoshi Ômae ... Kuribayashi Magoichi

Directed by
Kôsei Saitô 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ryo Hanmura  novel
Toshio Kamata  writer

Produced by
Haruki Kadokawa .... executive producer
Takeshi Motomura .... producer
Original Music by
Kentaro Haneda 
Film Editing by
Shinya Inoue 
Art Direction by
Hiroshi Ueda 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
139 min | Norway:117 min | USA:85 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:MA | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) (video rating) | Finland:K-18 | Norway:18 | UK:15 | UK:15 (cut) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) (V)See more »


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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Huge body count and terrific entertainment. What more would you ask from a movie called G.I. Samurai?, 19 July 2008
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

What if a platoon of G.I.'s from the Japanese army were to be send back in time 400 years right in the middle of the feudal wars that led to the formation of the Tokugawa Shogunate? Great pitch right? The movie does exactly what it says on the tin.

Thankfully the writers didn't bother to explain the, usually ridiculous in sci-fi movies, scientific mumbo jumbo of time transport. No how's or why's. They just did. However the time transport sequence itself is trippy as hell and quite beautiful, if not a bit dated. Not as silly as one would imagine.

The rest of the movie follows the premise to a T. But while it loses a bit of steam with the various subplots that follow the G.I.s arrival to medieval Japan, it picks up with a devastating battle sequence. Undoubtedly it's the main order of the day. The whole concept and by extension the movie itself, was probably originated from this simple pitch: what if G.I.'s equipped with the latest in modern warfare were to fight samurais? And boy does it deliver.

The main battle sequence that spans more than half an hour is probably one of THE best of its kind in 70's action/war movies. Not only is it relentless and exhausting in pace and length, it's also a terrific mish-mash of styles and techniques that only unique premises like G.I. Samurai can deliver. I mean, where else would you get the chance to feature tanks, ninjas complete with shuriikens, a helicopter and samurais in the same shot? The G.I. platoon led by lieutenant Iba tears literally through hundreds of extras, gunning them down with machine guns, mortars, grenades and tanks.

This mish-mash of styles is with one foot firmly rooted in the sprawling jidai-geki epic of Kurosawa's Kagemusha or Hiroshi Inagaki's Samurai Banners, while the other is in western action and war movies. There are stylistic touches (like the wonderful slow-motion shots and bloody violence) that bring Sam Peckinpah or Enzo G. Castellari circa Keoma to mind. Japanese cinema has always been influenced by westerns and other Hollywood works and vice versa, and G.I. Samurai effortlessly turns this east-meets-west melting pot into an exciting film.

The film-makers thankfully take the whole thing seriously and the movie benefits immensely from it. Not that tongue-in-cheek mentality is completely absent, it's just that it doesn't try to pander to so-bad-it's-good audiences that enjoy laughing at their movies. The budget was probably hefty, as it is evident in the hundreds of extras, elaborate costumes (very decent for a production that is not a traditional jidai-geki) and special effects. The camera-work and editing are all top notch, almost better than a movie with no higher artistic ambitions deserves.

It's not withouts its flaws either of course. There are many "song" scenes, where all sorts of 70's Japanese rock, disco and country songs play over montages (there's a bonding scene, a love-interest scene, a "war is hell" scene etc). The songs themselves are pretty lame and corny and detract from the whole thing. Although it clocks at a whooping 140 minutes, it flies like a bullet for the most part. Still some scenes, flashbacks and subplots in the first half could have been clipped for a tighter effect.

The cast also deserves a mention, featuring such prominent names as Sonny Chiba, Isao Natsuyagi (Goyokin, Samurai Wolf), Tsunehiko Watase (The Yakuza Papers) and Hiroyuki Sanada, all of them hitting the right notes.

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