7.7/10
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54 user 108 critic

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.

Director:

Toshiya Fujita

Writers:

Kazuo Kamimura (story), Kazuo Koike (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meiko Kaji ... Yuki Kashima (Shurayuki-hime)
Toshio Kurosawa Toshio Kurosawa ... Ryûrei Ashio
Masaaki Daimon Masaaki Daimon ... Gô Kashima
Miyoko Akaza Miyoko Akaza ... Sayo Kashima
Shinichi Uchida Shinichi Uchida ... Shirô Kashima
Takeo Chii Takeo Chii ... Tokuichi Shôkei
Noboru Nakaya Noboru Nakaya ... Banzô Takemura
Yoshiko Nakada Yoshiko Nakada ... Kobue Takemura
Akemi Negishi ... Tajire no Okiku
Kaoru Kusuda Kaoru Kusuda ... Otora Mikazuki
Sanae Nakahara Sanae Nakahara ... Kitahama, Okono
Hôsei Komatsu Hôsei Komatsu ... Genzô Shibayama
Makoto Matsuzaki Makoto Matsuzaki ... Daikashi
Hiroshi Hasegawa Hiroshi Hasegawa ... Daihachi Kachime
Takehiko Ono 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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

1 December 1973 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Lady Snowblood See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Film (Eiga) Co. Ltd. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the Lady Snowblood manga by Kazuo Koike. 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

Yuki Kashima: Look at me closely. Do I look like someone you raped?
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Blue Danube
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A violent, silly, rampaging romp, but has a heart of sadness.
8 July 2007 | by ForCenturiesSee all my reviews

This film has obviously gained a lot of attention since Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Volume One and Volume 2 came out. I am not ashamed to admit I got interested in it after it being linked to Kill Bill, but then again, I hadn't heard of it until a while after the Kill Bill movies came out, and I thought it sounded like something I'd be interested in, my kind of movie. And it definitely is.

Let's get it out there in the open: this film is really silly. It has those great seventies Kung Fu noises when someone jumps up in the air unlike any human could, as well as noises when someone shoves a sword into the enemy. But because it's silly don't jump to the conclusion that there isn't a point to watching it. Sure it's just entertainment. But the story is one of the best I've ever witnessed, and not because of the blood and guts.

The story is of course about revenge, but the revenge spawns from a woman who gives birth to a daughter and swears that the daughter must be an instrument of revenge on those that messed with her mother. (A silly premise, but here's where it becomes cool). Meiko Kaji who plays Lady Snowblood, also known as Yuki, doesn't spend the movie wrapped in evil and revenge with anger on her face. There's genuine hurt in her performance. It is actually extremely sad that all she is is an instrument of revenge and death, but that's what weighs the film down into some sort of believability.

The sets are standard Japanese action sort of sets but they have that certain charm about them that's easy on the eyes, it locks the film into this particular recognizable genre but still stands on its own two feet as a film. Also another standard in this genre is freeze frames. Usually I like to comment on shots that continue movement but a certain frame, frozen or still moving, is my favourite of a film. Now, one freeze frame (if memory serves me correctly, the only one), of the baddie coming up some stairs, that may be the second Shurayukihime (apologies if it is) and one side of her face is visible in the freeze frame to alert the audience of this woman's arrival. It is laughable in this but laughable for the right reasons: it isn't corny or annoying, but it's a genuine charm of this genre.

Many standards of this genre may stop you from watching this but watch it for the genuine heart-wrenching story of Yuki Kashima, also known as Shurayukihime, Lady Snowblood.

A genuine piece of cinematic gold that is also entertaining and worth a watch.


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