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When the Last Sword is Drawn (2003)
"Mibu gishi den" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  18 January 2003 (Japan)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 3,401 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 25 critic

Kanichiro Yoshimura is a Samurai and Family man who can no longer support his wife and children on the the low pay he receives from his small town clan, he is forced by the love for his ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Kanichiro Yoshimura
Kôichi Satô ...
Yui Natsukawa ...
Shizu / Mitsu
Takehiro Murata ...
Chiaki Ono
Miki Nakatani ...
Nui
Yûji Miyake ...
Jiroemon Ono
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Masayoshi Haneda
Yoshinori Hiruma ...
Shinpachi Nagakura
Keisuke Horibe ...
Yasunoshin Shinohara
Atsushi Itô ...
Young Chiaki Ono
Hideaki Itô ...
Yoshinobu Tokugawa
...
Shûhei Kondô
Momo Nakayama ...
Young Mitsu Yoshimura
...
Ayumu Saitô ...
Kashitaro Itô
Edit

Storyline

Kanichiro Yoshimura is a Samurai and Family man who can no longer support his wife and children on the the low pay he receives from his small town clan, he is forced by the love for his family to leave for the city in search of higher pay to support them. In his search he joins a notorious clan, known as the Shinsengumi where he does as much as possible to get money. Looked at as a money grubber,Yoshimura proves his strength physically and mentally by being loyal to his honor. During the dramatic period, with the rise of the Emperor and the fall of the Shogun. Yoshimura shows us the struggle of life in a personal way, by changing the lives of the people he meets and the way life is looked at. Written by C. Maginnis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

18 January 2003 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Última Espada  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(heavily cut)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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In the movie, the Ono family uses the modern "biohazard" symbol as their 'mon' (family symbol). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Samurai film
27 December 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

It's hard to believe that this is from the same director as the truly awful Onmyoji! WTLSID is an almost infinitely better film.

After watching THE LAST SAMURAI I was inspired to check out two recent Japanese films focussing on a similar time period, THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI and WHEN THE LAST SWORD IS DRAWN. It's interesting comparing the Japanese perspective of the Samurai with the Hollywood perspective - TLS romanticises the people and lifestyle far more than the Japanese films, though WTLSID is more misty-eyed than TWILIGHT when thinking about those Samurai whose world had left them behind.

Both Japanese films are much more character driven than THE LAST SAMURAI, representing the Samurai as much more human and complex people, and also giving a much less simplified view of the sociopolitical conditions of the time (though in both films the social conditions are much more in the background).

Of the three films, I think I enjoyed WHEN THE LAST SWORD IS DRAWN the most. The characters, acting, action, cinematography and soundtrack were all top notch - and though the end of the film is dragged out too much, it is very moving. I think all three films deserve to be seen though. I find it rather tragic that THE LAST SAMURAI is sure to play in every mainstream theatre in Japan, but TWILIGHT SAMURAI and WHEN THE LAST SWORD IS DRAWN will be lucky to play a couple of festivals and maybe a short art-house run in the US, with an R1 DVD likely to be years off if it comes at all. Those that have the bravery to check out the import DVDs for the Japanese films will definitely benefit from the experience, though!


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