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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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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 ... Kitahama, Okono
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #790. 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Beautiful and iconic revenge tale
26 July 2013 | by tomgillespie2002See all my reviews

In 1874 Japan, a woman gives birth in a prison. Almost a year before, the woman, Sayo (Miyoko Akaza), her husband and son are attacked in a village by four criminals - Okono (Sanae Nakahara), Banzo (Noboru Nakaya), Tokuichi (Takeo Chii) and Gishiro (Eiji Okada). The husband and son are murdered in cold bold, and Sayo is taken by Tokuichi to work for him. After Sayo murders him, she is sent to prison, where she has sex with many guards in the hope of becoming pregnant, to give birth to a child that can avenge her. That child is Yuki (Meiko Kaji), who after receiving years of training from a priest, becomes Lady Snowblood, a lethal assassin whose only thirst is for revenge.

While this may sound similar to countless martial arts or samurai films to come out of Japan and China during the 1970's, there's something profoundly different to Lady Snowblood. While it certainly offers scenes of outlandish violence (the blood spurts from the body like a gushing fountain), director Toshiya Fujita, taking inspiration from the manga Shurayukihime, seems more interested in building the foundation to the sweeping story than having scene after scene of flying limbs. Separated by title-carded chapters, the film makes a point of giving us a decent story to each target, subtly interlinking the stories to make sure they flow, rather than simply jumping from one person to the next.

What also separates this from others of similar ilk on the grindhouse circuit is the cinematography by Masaki Tamura, which is nothing short of beautiful. I promised myself I would try and get through this entire review without mentioning Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill (2003-2004), but it's not hard to see why he chose to steal (sorry, it's 'homage' when its Tarantino doing it) the same setting and colour palette. Every scene is wide and lovingly crafted, and when the violence ensues, it turns out that red on white is truly stunning. It may not have the outlandish violence of, say, the Lone Wolf and Cub series (1972-1974), but this has a calm yet quick slash of a sword, rather than an extended sword fight, and the film is clinical in that aspect to say the least. While the pace may be often too slow, this is still a satisfying revenge drama featuring one of the most iconic character of its genre.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com


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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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