The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.
In the 1870s, Captain Nathan Algren, a cynical veteran of the American Civil war who will work for anyone, is hired by Americans who want lucrative contracts with the Emperor of Japan to train the peasant conscripts for the first standing imperial army in modern warfare using firearms. The imperial Omura cabinet's first priority is to repress a rebellion of traditionalist Samurai -hereditary warriors- who remain devoted to the sacred dynasty but reject the Westernizing policy and even refuse firearms. Yet when his ill-prepared superior force sets out too soon, their panic allows the sword-wielding samurai to crush them. Badly wounded Algren's courageous stand makes the samurai leader Katsumoto spare his life; once nursed to health he learns to know and respect the old Japanese way, and participates as advisor in Katsumoto's failed attempt to save the Bushido tradition, but Omura gets repressive laws enacted- he must now choose to honor his loyalty to one of the embittered sides when ... Written by
Filming took place in New Zealand, mostly in the Taranaki region, with Japanese cast members and an American production crew. This location was chosen due to the fact that Egmont/Mt. Taranaki resembles Mt. Fuji, and also because there is a lot of forest and farmland in the Taranaki region. This acted as a backdrop for many scenes, as opposed to the built-up cities of Japan. Several of the village scenes were shot on the Warner Brothers back lot in Burbank, California. Some scenes were shot in Kyoto and Himeji, Japan. There were thirteen locations altogether. See more »
In the scene where Algren is fighting off multiple samurai attackers, not only is there no blood on the sand, though a bloody battle has taken place and Algren has been severely wounded by a spear more than once; there is also no blood on his uniform. The only sign of his wound is a cut in the otherwise bloodless cloth of his jacket, visible as the band enters the village. See more »
They say Japan was made by a sword. They say the old gods dipped a coral blade into the ocean, and when they pulled it out four perfect drops fell back into the sea, and those drops became the islands of Japan. I say, Japan was made by a handful of brave men. Warriors, willing to give their lives for what seems to have become a forgotten word: honor.
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The opening Warner Bros. logo is light blue on a solid black background. See more »
This film is the best Tom Cruise film ever, alongside Ken Watanabe's superb acting. Though slow paced at first it demonstrates the importance of honour, not judging people on first impressions... This film follows a rather sad story of fighting for tradition and avoiding judging anyone until you meet them. It is full of truly breath-taking scenery in Japan and superb battle scenes. The lead actors are truly amazing which goes very well with a great story. This film really proves that Tom Cruise can act! This film deserves more credit however, it is truly Oscar worthy, for Watanabe's acting and battle scenes mainly.
The story is basically about an American captain (Cruise) who is tormented by his gruesome past that is hired to train the army to kill the samurai which are raiding the country. He faces them in battle with rookie soldiers and therefore lost and was captured by the samurai leader Katsumoto (Watanabe) which kept him alive simply because he is like every samurai very spiritual and believes in his dreams and knew their was a purpose for him to live. After a the long slow process of trying to find out information about his enemy, Algren (Cruise) simultaneously begins training in the way of the samurai and comes to love their way of life and develops a friendship with Katsumoto. After a series and turn of events the story develops like a roller coaster ride and fight together for their survival.
This film is honestly one of the best dramas/war dramas I have ever seen, combined with a superb story, and action of amazing creativity in the dialogue, setting and all the scenes! Truly Oscar worthy, ashame it didn't win any, they makers really deserved more credit.
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