7.7/10
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Lady Snowblood (1973)

Shurayukihime (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Thriller | 1 December 1973 (Japan)
A young girl is born and raised to be an instrument of revenge.

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(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Lady Snowblood is caught in the politics of early 20th century Japan.

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Trailed by a clan of female ninja, Ogami is paid to assassinate a clan traitor accompanied by three killers known as the Gods of Death.

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After spending a year in solitary confinement, Matsu escapes from prison with six more convicts, followed by the guards led by the vengeful warden who wants her dead at all costs.

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The head of a yakuza gang is being trailed by a mysterious, vengeful blind woman.

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Ogami Itto volunteers to be tortured by the yakuza to save a prostitute and is hired by their leader to kill an evil chamberlain.

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Ogami is hired to kill a tattooed female assassin. Gunbei Yagyu, an enemy samurai, happens upon Ogami's son, and sees his chance for revenge.

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Five warriors challenge Ogami to duels. Each holds a part of information needed to complete the assassination of a mad clan leader.

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A poor merchant and a prostitue plan to suicide together after being pressured and betrayed by their surroundings.

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In the sixth and final film of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, the final conflict between Ogami Itto and the Yagyu clan is carried out.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Toshio Kurosawa ...
Masaaki Daimon ...
Miyoko Akaza ...
Shinichi Uchida ...
Takeo Chii ...
Noboru Nakaya ...
Yoshiko Nakada ...
...
Kaoru Kusuda ...
Otora Mikazuki
Sanae Nakahara ...
Hôsei Komatsu ...
Makoto Matsuzaki ...
Daikashi
Hiroshi Hasegawa ...
Daihachi Kachime
Takehiko Ono ...
(as Susumu Kuroki)
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Storyline

Yuki's family is nearly wiped out before she is born due to the machinations of a band of criminals. These criminals kidnap and brutalize her mother but leave her alive. Later her mother ends up in prison with only revenge to keep her alive. She creates an instrument for this revenge by purposefully getting pregnant. Though she dies in childbirth, she makes sure that the child will be raised as an assassin to kill the criminals who destroyed her family. Young Yuki never knows the love of a family but only killing and revenge. Written by Fred Cabral <ftcabral@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

1 December 1973 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Lady Snowblood  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Along with its sequel, this movie served as one of the main inspirations for Quentin Tarantino's movies Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2. See more »

Goofs

This film is set in the late 19th Century, however, during the masquerade party there are various modern day flags on display including but not limited to: Pakistan (created in 1947), Australia (created in 1901), and the 50-star flag of the United States (introduced in 1960). See more »

Quotes

Narrator: People say you can't wash away the mud of this world with pure white snow. You need asura snow - stained fiery red.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blue Danube
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
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User Reviews

 
Lady Awesome
1 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

Version: Eastern Eye's R4 DVD release. Japanese / English subtitles.

I probably would not have been able to see 'Lady Snowblood' had it not been for Quentin Tarantino and 'Kill Bill'. I've seen the 'Lone Wolf and Cub' movies several times on SBS, and I think they're great, but I probably would not have been able to find a copy of Lady Snowblood without the popularity of 'Kill Bill'. Luckily for me, I still managed to see 'Lady Snowblood' before 'Kill Bill'. I don't want to sound smug, but I'm probably one of the few people my age who can say that, and seeing 'Lady Snowblood' before 'Kill Bill' is a lot better than seeing 'Kill Bill' and then expecting 'Lady Snowblood' to be exactly like 'Kill Bill'.

In the 3rd year of Meiji Japan (1871 or thereabouts, I think), a family is attacked by bandits. The father and child are killed, the mother Sayo (Miyoko Akaza) taken by one of the evil-doers as a slave. When Sayo is imprisoned and unable to exact her vengeance, she bears another child, Yuki (Meiko Kaji), to carry on where Sayo. Yuki is born for vengeance, and that may be all she ever knows.

Normally I comment on revenge stories and say "wow awesome vengeance!". However, in this case, I've been studying this period of Japanese history for a university course, and I can appreciate this as more than just a tale of vengeance. 'Lady Snowblood' is a tragedy, a story about sweeping social upheaval and the people caught up in change. Of course, I can't resist pointing out the fact that this is also an awesome revenge story. 'Lady Snowblood' is an awesome revenge story.

Despite the high amount of fake blood, 'Kill Bill' and 'Lone Wolf and Cub' are better action movies than 'Lady Snowblood'. Meiko Kaji's Yuki is fearsome, and she fights well, but the over-the-top fights of 'Kill Bill' and 'Lone Wolf and Cub' are better. The camera is shaky at times, and the action is often hard to distinguish, but any fan of 'Kill Bill' or the classic samurai movies should still be able to appreciate it.

'Lady Snowblood' stands as one of the best classic samurai movies around. The remake 'Princess Blade' doesn't hold a candle to this, nor does the similar Etsuko Shihomi film 'Dragon Princess'. I even think fans of the recent 'Azumi' should check out 'Lady Snowblood'. Those who haven't seen 'Kill Bill' should see this first, and then 'Kill Bill' after. 'Lady Snowblood' isn't just a revenge story, but its still a a damn good revenge story - 9/10


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