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Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 63,585 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 340 user | 164 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

An African American mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob.

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Title: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dennis Liu ...
Frank Minucci ...
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Gene Ruffini ...
Frank Adonis ...
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Kenny Guay ...
Vince Viverito ...
Gano Grills ...
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Storyline

In Jersey City, an African American hit man follows "Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai." He lives alone, in simplicity with homing pigeons for company, calling himself Ghost Dog. His master, who saved his life eight years ago, is part of the local mob. When the boss' daughter witnesses one of Ghost Dog's hits, he becomes expendable. The first victims are his birds, and in response, Ghost Dog goes right at his attackers but does not want to harm his master or the young woman. On occasion, he talks with his best friend, a French-speaking Haitian who sells ice cream in the park, and with a child with whom he discusses books. Can he stay true to his code? And if he does, what is his fate? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All assassins live beyond the law... only one follows the code See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

6 October 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ghost Dog  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$255,412 (Brazil) (21 February 2003)

Gross:

$255,412 (Brazil) (21 February 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In several scenes in the movie the main character can be seen wearing a shirt that has Chinese writing on it. The text is from the Qing dynasty and means "All things are impermanent, this is the rule of creation and destruction, once created already extinguished, silently ending is the path to happiness." (Pin yin: zhu xing wu chang, shi sheng mie fa, sheng mie mie yi, ji mie wei yue) See more »

Goofs

When Louie is driving from the mansion, at several times it is obvious that he is not really driving the car. When the car is going straight ahead, he often turns the wheel, and vice versa. This is most obvious just after Vinnie has died, and Louie is asking "Vin? Hey, Vin, you with me over there?". The car is then going through a 90 degree bend in the road, but Louie does not move the steering wheel at all. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one's body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears, and swords. Being carried away by surging waves. Being thrown into the midst of a great fire. Being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake. Falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease, or committing seppuku at the death of one's ...
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Crazy Credits

Not the Executive Producer Bart Walker See more »

Connections

Features Training Pigeons (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Fast Shadow
Written, Produced, Mixed and Arranged by RZA
Featuring Wu-Tang Clan
Engineered by Dr. No. Studio 36 Chambers
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User Reviews

I live by a code
19 November 2004 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

The movie is about codes of conduct, with 2 main codes that are dying out or are dead.

One is the code of the Mafia the other is the Samurai.

The basic plot is this. One of the Mafia wiseguys must be killed as he is having an affair with the daughter of the Mafia Don.

The person they get to do it is an African American who lives by the code of the Samurai and goes by the name of Ghost Dog. To be honest, I have met many Japanafiles so this is not so unbelievable.

But the code of the Mafia means that if you kill a wiseguy then you must be killed or the Mafia person who hired him must be killed.

Jim Jarmusch makes movies where the characters close relations based on only very small things. The Mafia wiseguy saved Ghost Dogs life, so now he must be his retainer. He lives off the land (lives on a roof, steals the cars and equipment he needs to do a job). There is also a friendship between 2 people who don't speak the same language. It is the connection between people that is so important here.

If you saw Dead man and like it, then you will love Ghost Dog. It is funny, serious, dark, tragic and beautiful all at the same time. Dead man missed the mark with some similar themes (though the DVD of Dead man has some deleted scenes that would have made the movie much better and reflected better the idea of small connections being strong connections).

I loved this movie, and I don't expect everyone else to. Art house movies have small audiences for this exact reason. I know a lot of people who avoided this movie because they thought it was cheesy. The answer is, yes it is, and most of the bad reviews reflect this same idea.

Also I love the sound track, with lots of Phat beats, and uses Hip Hop (African American culture) to reflect Japanese culture.


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