In 16th century Japan, two samurai engage in massive battles across the countryside; one attempting to conquer and the other attempting to defend his land while repressing his love for a woman after taking a vow of celibacy.
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Warlords Kagetora and Takeda each wish to prevent the other from gaining hegemony in feudal Japan. The two samurai leaders pursue one another across the countryside, engaging in massive battles of cavalry and infantry. Younger and less brutal, Kagetora must find the strength to be as brutal as his opponent, but at what cost? Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
The production bought 500 horses, as that was far cheaper than renting and the budget for feed for the horses alone was $1,000,000. After the movie's completion, the horses were auctioned off, with most selling for more than what was originally paid. The primary draw by buyers was these horses had gone through an extensive training period four months before filming began. See more »
There was a time in Japan when only Samurai were permitted to carry weapons. This movie may have fallen into that period. See more »
It is difficult to imagine a more visually stunning film than this one. The landscapes and skies are beyond beauty, and the massive battle scenes dwarf anything I've ever seen, even perhaps Bondarchuk's "War and Peace." This is one of the first films I've seen that conveys a believable sense of thousands (rather than hundreds or dozens) of soldiers in simultaneous combat, and the color-coded armies are both amazing to consider as fighting entities and astonishing to watch as masses of moving color and light. The final half hour is one of the most amazing feats of logistics and color ever put to film. Now if only there were a story worth following. Basically, there are two armies and the two armies fight or pursue each other. There is a minor attempt at personalizing the leaders of each army, but it all seems merely a formality, and a very unsuccessful one. There are no characters such as found in the great war movies, either in small films like "A Walk in the Sun" and "Nobi" ("Fires on the Plain") or in epics like "Ran" or "The Longest Day" or "Lawrence of Arabia." No, we're just told (I repeat told; I refer to the English-narrated version) that these people have enmity one for the other and that there is reason for battle. Then we watch the battles (or more often, the planning sessions). When battle comes, it is spectacular beyond expectation. But in the end, no one, not even the filmmakers it seems, cares who won or whether anyone did.
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