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The 8th Samurai (2009)

It is the early 1950s and Japanese Cinema is reaching international acclaim. Nanshu, a poor man with a big heart, is struggling to break into the booming film business, but the only thing ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Producer
The Director
Ikuma Ando ...
Satomi Okuno ...
Mari Endo ...
Takaaki Kouyama ...
Ryo Okamura ...
Isao Hashimoto ...
Samurai (as Koji Wada)


It is the early 1950s and Japanese Cinema is reaching international acclaim. Nanshu, a poor man with a big heart, is struggling to break into the booming film business, but the only thing keeping him from success is his desire to be the best. After numerous failed attempts, he gets the chance of a lifetime. During an encounter with Japan most ambitious film director, he lands a lead role as one of the eight samurai that will save a village from group of bandits in a new epic film about to go into production. For Nanshu, this is more than just a lead role, it is his ticket out of poverty. But the night before the first day of shooting, the director has a troublesome dream. A dream that will dictated the fate of the film and the fate of Nanshu. And after months of training, there is only one thing Nanshu didn't prepare for: being fired. Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

samurai | japan | seven samurai | afi | See All (4) »


It cannot be eight...it has to be seven samurai!


Short | Comedy | Drama



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Release Date:

April 2009 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

An outstanding homage to Kurosawa's 7 Samurai with a twist!
1 May 2012 | by See all my reviews

Recently, I discovered a short film entitled "The 8th Samurai." Written and directed by Justin Ambrosino. As a filmmaker and a huge Japanese film fan, I couldn't wait to see it after watching the trailer.

The film centers around an actor named Nanshu who's been cast as one of lead roles in one of Japan's great directors new films. After several failed attempts at succeeding in life, he realizes this is his final chance to ascend to greatness. Things seem to be on the rise for him, until the director of the film has a mysterious dream that changes the fate of the film and steals Nashu's precious role from him. He is left trying to figure out what to do next while being troubled by haunting visions of his dead mother.

It seemed that the filmmakers really grasped the poetic structure of the samurai film. As an obvious homage to Akira Kurosawa's epic "Seven Samurai," the film is an alternate reality take on a question that's never been asked: "Why were there only 7 samurai?" The actor portraying Nanshu, (Eijiro Ozaki) really personifies the screen samurai. Despite it being a film, he portrays his character as an echo of the ancient samurai. He is honorable, dedicated and obsessed with duty. I believe Ozaki could stand his own on a big screen Chanbara film alongside any of the great actors of classic Japanese cinema.

The other standout performance is Nanshu's "ghost-like" mother, (Akiko Shima.) Her character is very reminiscent of the old ghost woman in Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" (1957.) She portrays the character as a sort of haunting spirit who constantly tells Nanshu that he's a failure. The entire performance felt like an homage to Throne of Blood.

It is generally said that short films should limit themselves to under 10 minutes. Despite it's length of 30 minutes, the film flows wonderfully. It's tight storytelling keeps the viewer invested in Nanshu's plight. The score was outstanding and really helped underscore the gravitas of the film with hints toward the original "Seven Samurai" score.

Overall I highly enjoyed the film and find it to be an outstanding piece that will sit proudly next to my copy of "Seven Samurai" on my DVD shelf.

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