7.7/10
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Lady Snowblood (1973)

Shurayukihime (original title)
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

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 Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Waves of the Danube
(uncredited)
Music by Ion Ivanovici
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lady Awesome
1 May 2005 | by AwesomeWolfSee 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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