7.5/10
78,183
351 user 176 critic

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)

Trailer
1:29 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

An African-American Mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob.

Director:

Jim Jarmusch

Writer:

Jim Jarmusch
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Dead Man (1995)
Drama | Fantasy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange North American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Crispin Glover
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A series of vignettes that all have coffee and cigarettes in common.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Bill Murray, Tom Waits, Roberto Benigni
Mystery Train (1989)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Three stories are connected by a Memphis hotel and the spirit of Elvis Presley.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Masatoshi Nagase, Yûki Kudô, Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An anthology of 5 different cab drivers in 5 American and European cities and their remarkable fares on the same eventful night.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Winona Ryder, Gena Rowlands, Lisanne Falk
Down by Law (1986)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A New Yorker's life is thrown into a tailspin when his younger cousin surprise visits him, starting a strange, unpredictable adventure.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of a mysterious loner, a stranger in the process of completing a criminal job.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Isaach De Bankolé, Alex Descas, Jean-François Stévenin
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young man wanders New York City searching for some meaning in life and encounters many idiosyncratic characters.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Chris Parker, Leila Gastil, John Lurie
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A depressed musician reunites with his lover. Though their romance, which has already endured several centuries, is disrupted by the arrival of her uncontrollable younger sister.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska
Paterson (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Nellie
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

This shortcut repeats the structure of Coffee and Cigarettes. This time, Iggy Pop and Tom Waits meet in a bar. But, again, we don't know why they agreed to do that in the first place, ... See full summary »

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Iggy Pop, Tom Waits
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Forest Whitaker ... Ghost Dog
John Tormey ... Louie
Cliff Gorman ... Sonny Valerio
Dennis Liu Dennis Liu ... Chinese Restaurant Owner
Frank Minucci Frank Minucci ... Big Angie
Richard Portnow ... Handsome Frank
Tricia Vessey ... Louise Vargo
Henry Silva ... Ray Vargo
Gene Ruffini Gene Ruffini ... Old Consigliere
Frank Adonis ... Valerio's Bodyguard
Victor Argo ... Vinny
Damon Whitaker ... Young Ghost Dog
Kenny Guay Kenny Guay ... Boy in Window
Vince Viverito Vince Viverito ... Johnny Morini
Gano Grills Gano Grills ... Gangsta in Red
Edit

Storyline

A hitman who lives by the code of the samurai, works for the mafia and finds himself in their crosshairs when his recent job doesn't go according to plan. Now he must find a way to defend himself and his honor while retaining the code he lives by. Written by Scott Jarreau

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All assassins live beyond the law... only one follows the code See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official webpage in Poland

Country:

France | Germany | USA | Japan

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

24 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ghost Dog See more »

Filming Locations:

Jersey City, New Jersey, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

FRF 5,895,446 (France), 14 October 1999, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$166,344, 5 March 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,308,029

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,072,444
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The character Sonny Valerio is a big fan of Public Enemy. Jim Jarmusch was inspired to write this after reading that incarcerated Mafiosos loved listening to hardcore hip-hop. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Ghost Dog practices his kenjutsu (sword technique), his sword is tucked into his sash with the curve of the blade pointed downwards. In the majority of iaijutsu (sword drawing) styles, the sword is tucked into the belt with the curve of the blade pointed upward, so that the act of drawing the sword from the scabbard (saya) can also serve as the first cut (kiri). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one's body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears, and swords. Being carried away by surging waves. Being thrown into the midst of a great fire. Being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake. Falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease, or committing seppuku at the death of one's ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Not the Executive Producer Bart Walker See more »

Connections

Featured in Brows Held High: Dead Man (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Raise Your Sword
(Samurai Showdown)
Written, produced, mixed and arranged by RZA
Featuring RZA
Engineered by Dr. No. Studio 36 Chambers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The tale of an inner-city, New York, Samurai warrior by Jim Jarmusch
24 February 2000 | by dparrotSee all my reviews

This new film, written and directed by the Dean of Independent film makers ("Down by Law," "Night on Earth," and "Dead Man," just to name a few of his masterpieces), is a WONDERFUL, entertaining, and powerful work about a New York City inner city young man, played marvellously by Forest Whitaker, who studies and lives the way of the ancient Samurai warriors. He has adopted the role of retainer to a minor mob boss, whose orders he carries out with flawless precision. Jarmusch once again pairs up with cinematographer Robby Muller, with the predictable result that the film is visually magnificent. In typical Jarmusch fashion, the hip hop sound track (music by RZA) is also masterful. "Ghost Dog" is exciting, emotional (even touching), engaging, and, most unexpectedly, funny.


22 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 351 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed