A English navigator becomes both a player and pawn in the complex political games in feudal Japan.
Reviews
Popularity
2,078 ( 543)

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1980  
Won 3 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Shogun (TV Movie 1980)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.

Director: Jerry London
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Shimada
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

This mini series covers 60 years in the lives of the Cleary family, brought from New Zealand to Australia to run their aunt Mary Carson's ranch. The story centers on their daughter, Meggie,... See full summary »

Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Christopher Plummer
North and South (1985–1994)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two friends, one northern and one southern, struggle to maintain their friendship as events build towards the American Civil War.

Stars: Kirstie Alley, Georg Stanford Brown, David Carradine
Noble House (TV Mini-Series 1988)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Ian Struan Dunross is chairman of Struan & Company, the oldest and largest of the British-East Asia trading companies. To the Chinese, that also makes him "Tai-Pan" ("supreme leader") of ... See full summary »

Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Deborah Raffin, Ben Masters
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Richard Chamberlain ...  Anjin-san / ... 5 episodes, 1980
Toshirô Mifune ...  Lord Yoshi Toranaga 5 episodes, 1980
Yôko Shimada ...  Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko 5 episodes, 1980
Furankî Sakai ...  Yabu 5 episodes, 1980
Alan Badel ...  Father Dell'Aqua 5 episodes, 1980
Damien Thomas ...  Father Alvito 5 episodes, 1980
John Rhys-Davies ...  Vasco Rodrigues 5 episodes, 1980
Vladek Sheybal ...  Captain Ferriera 5 episodes, 1980
Yûki Meguro ...  Omi 5 episodes, 1980
Hideo Takamatsu Hideo Takamatsu ...  Lord Buntaro 5 episodes, 1980
Michael Hordern ...  Friar Domingo 5 episodes, 1980
Nobuo Kaneko ...  Ishido 5 episodes, 1980
Hiromi Senno Hiromi Senno ...  Fujiko 5 episodes, 1980
George Innes ...  Vinck 5 episodes, 1980
Leon Lissek ...  Father Sebastio 5 episodes, 1980
Edward Peel ...  Pieterzoon 5 episodes, 1980
Eric Richard ...  Maetsukker 5 episodes, 1980
Steve Ubels Steve Ubels ...  Roper 5 episodes, 1980
Stewart MacKenzie Stewart MacKenzie ...  Croocq 5 episodes, 1980
John J. Carney ...  Gingel 5 episodes, 1980
Ian Jentle Ian Jentle ...  Salamon 5 episodes, 1980
Neil McCarthy ...  Spillbergen 5 episodes, 1980
William Morgan Sheppard ...  Specz 5 episodes, 1980
Mika Kitagawa Mika Kitagawa ...  Kiku 5 episodes, 1980
Seiji Miyaguchi Seiji Miyaguchi ...  Muraji 5 episodes, 1980
Tôru Abe Tôru Abe ...  Hiromatsu 5 episodes, 1980
Shin Takuma ...  Naga 5 episodes, 1980
Hyôe Enoki Hyôe Enoki ...  Jirobei 5 episodes, 1980
Miiko Taka ...  Kiri 5 episodes, 1980
Midori Takei Midori Takei ...  Sono 5 episodes, 1980
Ai Matsubara ...  Rako 5 episodes, 1980
Yumiko Morishita Yumiko Morishita ...  Asa 5 episodes, 1980
Hiroshi Hasegawa Hiroshi Hasegawa ...  Galley Captain 5 episodes, 1980
Akira Sera Akira Sera ...  Old Gardener 5 episodes, 1980
Rin'ichi Yamamoto Rin'ichi Yamamoto ...  Yoshinaka 5 episodes, 1980
Yûko Kada Yûko Kada ...  Sazuko 5 episodes, 1980
Masumi Okada Masumi Okada ...  Brother Michael 5 episodes, 1980
Yôsuke Natsuki Yôsuke Natsuki ...  Zataki 5 episodes, 1980
Takeshi Ôbayashi Takeshi Ôbayashi ...  Urano 5 episodes, 1980
Yoshie Kitsuda Yoshie Kitsuda ...  Kyoko 5 episodes, 1980
Masashi Ebara Masashi Ebara ...  Suga 5 episodes, 1980
Setsuko Sekine Setsuko Sekine ...  Genjiko 5 episodes, 1980
Atsuko Sano Atsuko Sano ...  Lady Ochiba 5 episodes, 1980
Orson Welles ...  Narrator 5 episodes, 1980
Edit

Storyline

John Blackthorne, an English ship pilot, whose vessel wrecked upon the Japanese coast in the early 16th century is forced to deal with the two most powerful men in Japan in these days. He is thrown in the midst of a war between Toranaga and Ishido, who struggle for the title of Shogun which will give ultimate power to the one who possesses it. Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

japan | shogun | epic | power | warlord | See All (51) »

Taglines:

A nation of violence, Samurai warriors ... and forbidden love. See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

15 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

James Clavell's Shogun See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(10 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Dolby Digital 5.1)| DTS (DTS HD MASTER AUDIO 5.1 Mix)| Mono (Glen Glenn Sound)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the DVD documentary "The Making of Shogun", Sir Sean Connery, Sir Roger Moore, and Albert Finney were all considered for the role of Blackthorne. Connery was James Clavell's choice for the role, but turned it down. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scenes you can see a jet airplane vapor trail. See more »

Quotes

Vasco Rodrigues: Listen to me, you whore-gutted, pock-marked, motherless scum... I need a favor.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally a 10-hours TV miniseries narrated by Orson Welles, it was later reissued for television in a somewhat shortened version with narration by 'Anne Bancroft'. Shogun was re-edited into a 125-minutes movie for USA network TV with the addition of a new voice over narrated by Orson Welles See more »


Soundtracks

BLACKTHORNE'S SHANTY
Words and Music by Eric Bercovici
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Rich and fulfilling, a great adaptation of Clavell's masterpiece
2 February 2006 | by OttoVonBSee all my reviews

In 1976, James Clavell wrote an epic masterpiece: the story of Blackthorne, an English sailor lost in Feudal Japan. He gradually finds his place, oft the central pawn of political intrigues between various foreign powers and the local warlords. In 1980, this miniseries was unleashed on the world and created a whole new audience for the mammoth bestseller. No small feat considering the length and complexity of Clavell's 1200+ page door-stopper. Clocking in at almost 10 hours, this mega-budgeted series delivers the goods. People who have seen "The Last Samurai" might see a few plot similarities (even in certain smaller details: Tom Cruise sports exactly the same haircut as Richard Chamberlain). With all respect for the 2003 film, Shogun is far out of it's reach.

Richard Chamberlain embodies Blackthorne to perfection, successfully gaining our empathy through an ambiguous yet very human performance. Supporting him are Japanese icon Toshiro Mifune as the shrewd warlord and aspiring shogun Torunaga, who befriends/manipulates Blackthorne, and Yoko Shimada as Blackthorne's translator, confident and friend. Every actor gives life to Clavell's carefully drawn and layered characters (most of all a very bombastic John Rhys-Davies). For a television miniseries, the technical specs are quite surprisingly good. Indeed the budget must have been quite important (and set a record at the time) but never is the story or it's rhythm scarified to show-off. The direction and photography are quite tasteful, often reminiscent of early Kurosawa, only in color. Maurice Jarre's score might not reach the lofty heights of his work for David Lean but it serves it's purpose.

Many will tell you that the book is better. It is certainly more intimate and detailed, but a more faithful and excellent adaptation of such a rich book you are not likely to see anytime soon. For anyone with a taste for epics, Japan or just plain good entertainment, this is essential viewing.


51 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 46 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed