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Lady Snowblood (1973)

Shurayukihime (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Thriller | 22 March 1974 (USA)
A strikingly beautiful young woman is raised from birth to be a deadly instrument of revenge against the swindlers who destroyed her family.

Director:

Toshiya Fujita

Writers:

Kazuo Kamimura (story), Kazuo Koike (story) | 1 more credit »
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To avoid a death sentence for her prior acts of bloodshed, the vengeful swordswoman Lady Snowblood is conscripted by the Japanese Secret Police to assassinate political dissidents.

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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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Director: Toshiya Fujita
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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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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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Through his unconscionable actions against others, a sociopath samurai builds a trail of vendettas that follow him closely.

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Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Yûzô Kayama
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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 ... 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:

22 March 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lady Snowblood See more »

Company Credits

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

Lead actress Meiko Kaji also is an accomplished singer, and she performs the song "Shura no Hana" heard in the film. When Quentin Tarantino used the song in his "Kill Bill" films, it sparked renewed interest in her music that inspired her to record and release new songs for the first time in nearly 30 years. See more »

Goofs

The revolver that Gishiro fires at Yuki is a Webley, which is capable of holding but six rounds. Gishiro fired 7 rounds without reloading. 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 Ninja Scroll (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Flower of Carnage (Shura no Hana)
Written by Kazuo Koike, Masaaki Hirao & Kôji Ryuzaki
Sung by Meiko Kaji
See more »

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User Reviews

Don't let "Kill Bill" ruin this flick for you...
30 April 2004 | by AkahigeSee all my reviews

Unfortunately this film's only getting the attention that it deserves because of Tarantino's "Kill Bill." Fortunately, this film is getting the attention it deserves because of Tarantino's "Kill Bill." This is the double-edged sword of sample-based art. Is it theft, or an homage? Does it help, or hurt the classics? While Tarantino did lift a number of images, a few characters, countless plot devices, and one memorable song from this film; it is impossible to lift the experience that each film offers. Besides, would this film be crawling from the dark, fuzzy depths of the bootleg video without its newfound attention? From the opening scene in the all female prison, we are grabbed from our worlds and thrust into the dynamic Japan at the end of the nineteenth century. Ultimately Toshiya Fugita's 1973 film is about the victims of profound social change, and how sometimes the only way to erase victim-hood is to pass it on to those that have done you wrong. Yeah, "The Bride" goes through quite a bit for her revenge, but Meiko Kaji's character is literally born from death, with the express purpose of carrying out revenge for a family she's never met. While it's hardly addressed openly in the film, Kaji brings a subtle uncertainty to her character's motivations and actions. This depth not only grants humanity to the character, but by making her more believable, Fujita and Kaji raise the stakes. If she can fail, will she? Will she decide her parents revenge is not her own? Or will she embrace her destiny and proposed purpose? Don't get too worked up over how much and what "Kill Bill" sampled from "Shura-yuki-hime." Instead, remember that the samurai (chambara) genre is like any genre; without sampling it wouldn't exist as a genre. Fugita's samples: "Chushingura" Kuniyoshi's ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), "Sword of Doom," every film by Hideo Gosha...


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