7.5/10
234
2 user 5 critic

The Last Samurai (1974)

Okami yo rakujitsu o kire (original title)
Toranosuke Sugi, a brave and loyal Samurai, fights to practice and preserve his master's teachings amid a civil war. With friends on both side will he cave to temptation, or stand on principle and for freedom?

Director:

Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

The quest for spiritual fulfilment be a Japanese businessman who comes to Africa following the trail of his samurai ancestor. Despite the title this is not a martial arts film.

Directors: P. Manneberg, Paul Mayersberg
Stars: John Fujioka, Lance Henriksen, Arabella Holzbog
Goyôkin (1969)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A guilt-haunted samurai warrior attempts to stop a massacre taking place.

Director: Hideo Gosha
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tetsurô Tamba, Yôko Tsukasa
Kill! (1968)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two ronin - an ex-samurai and an ex-farmer - get caught up in a local official's complex game of murder and betrayal.

Director: Kihachi Okamoto
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Etsushi Takahashi, Yuriko Hoshi
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When poor peasants kidnap a magistrate's daughter to coerce him into reducing taxes, a wandering ronin and two renegades from the magistrate's guard take up the fight for them.

Director: Hideo Gosha
Stars: Tetsurô Tamba, Isamu Nagato, Mikijirô Hira
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Following the death of the second Tokugawa shogun, it is revealed that he was poisoned by retainers of his son Iemitsu in hopes of gaining him the shogunate despite the stammer and ... See full summary »

Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Stars: Kinnosuke Nakamura, Shin'ichi Chiba, Hiroki Matsukata
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After killing a counselor of his clan, a fugitive samurai befriends a couple poaching the shogun's gold in the mountains.

Director: Hideo Gosha
Stars: Mikijirô Hira, Gô Katô, Shima Iwashita
Hitokiri (1969)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A destitute ronin allies himself with an established clan, but its ruthless leader tries to turn him into a mindless killer.

Director: Hideo Gosha
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yukio Mishima
Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A group of samurai plan to assassinate a sadistic feudal lord.

Director: Eiichi Kudô
Stars: Takayuki Akutagawa, Chiezô Kataoka, Kôtarô Satomi
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Hanzo Itami is an incorruptible Edo officer who learns that an infamous killer has fled from his island prison. Hanzo begins tracking him down using his unorthodox interrogation techniques.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Yukiji Asaoka, Mari Atsumi
Chûshingura (1962)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After their lord is tricked into committing ritual suicide, forty-seven samurai warriors await the chance to avenge their master and reclaim their honor.

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
Stars: Yûzô Kayama, Chûsha Ichikawa, Tatsuya Mihashi
Machibuse (1970)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the Edo period, a nameless ronin accepts an assignment to go to a mountain pass and wait. Near the pass he stops at an inn where a collection of characters gather, including a gang set ... See full summary »

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yûjirô Ishihara, Ruriko Asaoka
Assassination (1964)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1863, when Americans warships approach Japan, a enigmatic ronin becomes a important figure in a complex game of power between the Shogunate and the empire.

Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Stars: Tetsurô Tamba, Shima Iwashita, Eiji Okada
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Hideki Takahashi ...
Sugi Toranosuke
Ken Ogata ...
Nakamura Hanjiro
...
Ikemoto Mohei
Teruhiko Saigô ...
Masaomi Kondô ...
Iba Hachiro
Keiko Matsuzaka ...
Reiko
...
Ohide
Ryunosuke Minegishi ...
Aizawa Denshichiro
Asao Sano ...
Yamaguchi Kingoro
Ayako Honami ...
Tsuya
Ryutaro Tatsumi ...
Kenji Imai
Tôru Abe
Edit

Storyline

Toranosuke Sugi, a brave and loyal Samurai, fights to practice and preserve his master's teachings amid a civil war. With friends on both side will he cave to temptation, or stand on principle and for freedom?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

samurai | See All (1) »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 June 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Samurai  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the final feature film for director Kenji Misumi. It was also the only feature film that he wrote. He died the following year at the age of 54. See more »

Quotes

Ikemoto Mohei: Open your eyes to know who you are, and to know your adversary. The sword is not used to kill, but to achieve fulfillment from oneself and from one's opponent.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Epic finale for the career of director Kenji Misumi
27 January 2008 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Kenji Misumi was one of the preeminent Japanese chambara directors in the 1960's. A distinctive stylist who could elevate his films with emotional context. He was a regular Zatoichi director as well the main director for the exceptional Lone Wolf series in the 1970's. This is his last film and it is a high point of his career.

The film follows the story of Sugi Toranosuke, a ronin, who returns to his home town of Edo many years after his attempted suicide as a sickly child. Rescued and adopted by a master swordsman, he has grown into a master swordsman and a very kind gentleman. The time is around 1868 the year that the nails were finally put into the coffin containing the feudal system that nurtured and sustained the samurai. Sugi is confused and unsure about what is happening but his teacher wants him out of the chaos of the multiple power struggles between the various clans.

The story is very complex and features several important characters who disappear for a time and come back. Familiarity with the events of the time will help the viewer transverse the complexities of the different clans and who is who. For example, we are briefly shown Kondo, who is the leader of the Shogun's Shinsengumi force (but we are not told that) and later we are told his head is being publicly displayed. It's meaningless for anyone unfamiliar with Japanese history.

Regardless the movie is very well made and the story of Suga thru this chaotic time is compelling. Director Misumi, who is known for his stylistic flourishes, keeps the movie restrained but the the visuals retain his signature style. Viewers expecting the strong visuals of the Lone Wolf series won't be entirely disappointed but Misumi directs this film in a more serious tone. The sound track is by Akira Ikufube, better known for his Godzilla themes. It actually gives the film a feeling that it was made in the early 1960's and that might have been purposeful by Misumi. Many of his films show his high disdain for the samurai times and this film certainly keeps up with that theme. It's almost as if this film was trying to end the chambara genre once and for all. Certainly the genre had petered out by 1975.

Long but worth it. I suggest reading about this era first.


22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?