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

Director:

Jerry London

Writers:

James Clavell (novel), Eric Bercovici
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Chamberlain ... Pilot-Major John Blackthorne
Toshirô Mifune ... Lord Yoshi Toranaga
Yôko Shimada ... Lady Toda Buntaro - Mariko
Furankî Sakai ... Lord Yabu
Alan Badel ... Father Dell'Aqua
Damien Thomas ... Father Alvito
Michael Hordern ... Friar Domingo
Vladek Sheybal ... Captain Ferriera
Yûki Meguro ... Omi
Noburo Kaneko Noburo Kaneko ... Lord Ishido
George Innes ... Vinck
Leon Lissek ... Father Sebastio
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tôru Abe Tôru Abe ... Hiromatsu
Anne Bancroft ... Narrator (voice)
John J. Carney ... Ginsel
Edit

Storyline

In the 16th Century, a Dutch ship sails the Pacific from the Americas in order to escape the Spanish. Blackthorn is the pilot of the ship and the first to realize the possibilities of Japan. Japan is a feudal society which has a strong presence of the Portugese. A struggle is in the final stages for who will be the Shogun, the leader who, under the emperor, governs the land. Toranaga sees in Blackthorn things he can use to at least survive the struggle to come, and if both play their hands correctly, become Shogun. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All the Conflict, Adventure and Intrigue of Feudal Japan


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English

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:

(edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Glen Glenn Sound)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Damien Thomas (Father Alvito) could not speak any Japanese before this movie. The whole crew were astonished with his Japanese-spoken scenes, that were nearly perfect. See more »

Goofs

It is mentioned that the use of wheels is forbidden in Japan. When Father Alvito and his followers split off from Blackthorne and Mariko they take a road that clearly shows signs of wear by wheels. See more »

Quotes

Father Alvito: You are a heretic Dutchman pirate! You're going to die.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Released theatrically in Japan at 159 minutes. See more »

Connections

Edited from Shogun (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Easy to lose yourself in the Series.
2 April 2003 | by MadBadMoviemanSee all my reviews

What an excellent Mini-Series! After reading the book then seeing it come to life on TV, you can lose yourself in the Series. The Casting, Cinematography, Sets, Costumes and Acting were nothing less than Perfect.

You can actually learn some basic Japanese words and phrases from closely reading the book. James Clevell blended the Language lessons into Pilot's training and familiarization so well, you felt like you learned and felt with him. The Series did it almost as well but you were distracted by seeing living, breathing characters. The life and times were hard. The Barbarian world with the Unhealthy and downright odd beliefs and superstitions. Then the Ancient Culture of Japan, Brutal but with much beauty and creativity. Both full of Scheming, Evil, Honorable, Likeable, and Hateful characters.

I consider this the all-time #1 made for TV movie events. Too bad the voting scale only goes to 10.


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