7.5/10
248
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 4.7/10 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.

Director: Paul Mayersberg
Stars: John Fujioka, Lance Henriksen, Arabella Holzbog
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
Kiru (1962)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A samurai seeks revenge and redemption after his family is executed by a rival clan.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Shiho Fujimura, Mayumi Nagisa
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 Tanba, Isamu Nagato, Mikijirô Hira
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 Tanba, Yôko Tsukasa
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

February 17 to March 3, 1860, inside Edo castle. A group of assassins wait by Sakurada Gate to kill the lord of the House of Ii, a powerful man in the Tokugawa government, which has ruled ... See full summary »

Director: Kihachi Okamoto
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Keiju Kobayashi, Michiyo Aratama
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ishikawa Goemon (Ichikawa Raizo), a talented young ninja, becomes ensnared in a twisted scheme to assassinate Oda Nobunaga, an evil warlord bent on ruling feudal Japan with an iron fist. ... See full summary »

Director: Satsuo Yamamoto
Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Shiho Fujimura, Yûnosuke Itô
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Tsukasa, Gô Katô
The Betrayal (1966)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A naively honorable samurai comes to the bitter realization that his devotion to moral samurai principles makes him an oddity among his peers and a very vulnerable oddity in consequence.

Director: Tokuzô Tanaka
Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Kaoru Yachigusa, Shiho Fujimura
Samurai Wolf (1966)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A charismatic ronin gets snared into a conflict between officials at a waystation, and gains the enmity of a group of thugs.

Director: Hideo Gosha
Stars: Isao Natsuyagi, Ryôhei Uchida, Junko Miyazono
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

During the time of change of the mid-19th Century, Yaichiro is bid farewell by his fellow samurai friends Munezo and Samon as he leaves their clan's fiefdom on the northwest coast of Japan ... See full summary »

Director: Yôji Yamada
Stars: Masatoshi Nagase, Takako Matsu, Hidetaka Yoshioka
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This is a classic early Japanese Ninja movie. The Iga ninjas are a dying breed as Toyotomis rule allows Japan to experience some peace. Juzo, an Iga ninja who had vowed revenge for the ... See full synopsis »

Director: Eiichi Kudô
Stars: Ryûtarô Ôtomo, Minoru Ôki, Hizuru Takachiho
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Hideki Takahashi ...
Sugi Toranosuke
Ken Ogata ...
Nakamura Hanjiro
...
Teruhiko Saigô ...
Okita Soji
Masaomi Kondô ...
Iba Hachiro
Keiko Matsuzaka ...
Reiko
...
Ohide
Ryunosuke Minegishi ...
Aizawa Denshichiro
Asao Sano ...
Yamaguchi Kingoro
Ayako Honami ...
Tsuya
Ryutaro Tatsumi ...
Saigo Takamori
Kenji Imai
Tôru Abe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jûkei Fujioka
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 more 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 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.


23 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Katee Sackhoff talks about her characters on "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Wars: Rebels," and "The Flash." Plus, "The IMDb Show" learns what it takes to wield a lightsaber.

Watch the show