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Shogun (1980)

TV Movie  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  15 September 1980 (USA)
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An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.



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Title: Shogun (TV Movie 1980)

Shogun (TV Movie 1980) on IMDb 7.9/10

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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 »



Complete credited cast:
Furankî Sakai ...
Lord Yabu
Alan Badel ...
Damien Thomas ...
Friar Domingo
Vladek Sheybal ...
Yûki Meguro ...
Noburo Kaneko ...
Lord Ishido
George Innes ...
Leon Lissek ...
Father Sebastio
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tôru Abe ...
Narrator (voice)
John J. Carney ...


In the 16th Century, a Dutch ship sails the Pacific from the Americas in order to escape the Spanish. Blackthorn is the pilot of the ship and the first to realize the possibilities of Japan. Japan is a feudal society which has a strong presence of the Portugese. A struggle is in the final stages for who will be the Shogun, the leader who, under the emperor, governs the land. Toranaga sees in Blackthorn things he can use to at least survive the struggle to come, and if both play their hands correctly, become Shogun. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

15 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

James Clavell's Shogun  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Will Adams, the real-life English sea-captain and adventurer who made it to Japan in the 16th century, has a street named after him in Japan: Anjin-Cho. See more »


When Blackthorne is talking in the garden of Osaka Castle, the top of a telephone pole can be seen behind Lord Toranaga and Lady Mariko. See more »


Father Alvito: You are a heretic Dutchman pirate! You're going to die.
See more »


Edited from Shogun (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Both for people having read the book and for those who hasn't
29 December 2001 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

This is absolutely a brilliant interpretation of the 1100 page book by James Clavell. Of course some details are left out, but I reckon only one time in the movie are you in doubt of whats going on (I am referring to the episode where Toranaga tries to escape the Ishido castle).

The movie is very close to the book, which for me, was a positive experience.

The story is well told and good acting is shown through the whole movie. The nature of the movie is, that when having watched an episode it is very hard not to see the following and the following and so on.

Are you into samurai stuff this is clearly a cool movie - note however, that there are not many battle scenes.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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DVD! Phil_H
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miniseries length seaotter12398
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