7.7/10
396,462
1,049 user 170 critic

The Last Samurai (2003)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.

Director:

Edward Zwick

Writers:

John Logan (story), John Logan (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Popularity
1,068 ( 138)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 62 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Watanabe ... Katsumoto
Tom Cruise ... Nathan Algren
William Atherton ... Winchester Rep
Chad Lindberg ... Winchester Rep Assistant
Ray Godshall Sr. Ray Godshall Sr. ... Convention Hall Attendee
Billy Connolly ... Zebulon Gant
Tony Goldwyn ... Colonel Bagley
Masato Harada ... Omura
Masashi Odate ... Omura's Companion
John Koyama ... Omura's Bodyguard
Timothy Spall ... Simon Graham
Shichinosuke Nakamura ... Emperor Meiji
Togo Igawa ... General Hasegawa
Satoshi Nikaido Satoshi Nikaido ... N.C.O.
Shintaro Wada Shintaro Wada ... Young Recruit

Remember Tom Cruise's First Roles?

In recent years Tom Cruise is most known for his action movie roles such as Mission Impossible, The Last Samurai, and Jack Reacher. What were some of his early credits?

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Storyline

In the 1870s, Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a cynical veteran of the American Civil War, who will work for anyone, is hired by Americans who want lucrative contracts with the Emperor of Japan to train the peasant conscripts for the first standing Imperial Army in modern warfare using firearms. The Imperial Omura (Masato Harada) cabinet's first priority is to repress a rebellion of traditionalist Samurai, hereditary warriors, who remain devoted to the sacred dynasty, but reject the Westernizing policy, and even refuse firearms. Yet, when his ill-prepared superior force sets out too soon, their panic allows the sword-wielding samurai to crush them. Badly wounded, Algren's courageous stand makes the samurai leader Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe) spare his life. Once nursed to health, he learns to know and respect the old Japanese way, and participates as advisor in Katsumoto's failed attempt to save the Bushido tradition, but Omura gets repressive laws enacted. He must now choose to honor... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the face of an enemy, in the Heart of One Man, Lies the Soul of a Warrior.

Genres:

Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and battle sequences | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to a popular misconception, the title of this movie does not refer to Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), nor Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe), as the Last Samurai. The word "Samurai" here is in its plural form, and is actually referring to Katsumoto's clan as a whole. See more »

Goofs

The armor the samurai wear is from the mid- to late-Sengoku Jidai era in Japan, over 250 years before the Meiji Jidai era the film takes place in. This was deliberate: costume creators were aware that no armor would have been worn at the time the movie takes place, but they chose to have them in armor to show that the band of samurai wanted to go back to old values and rejected modernity. See more »

Quotes

Simon Graham: [first lines]
Simon Graham: [narrating] They say Japan was made by a sword. They say the old gods dipped a coral blade into the ocean, and when they pulled it out four perfect drops fell back into the sea, and those drops became the islands of Japan. I say, Japan was made by a handful of brave men. Warriors, willing to give their lives for what seems to have become a forgotten word: honor.
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Crazy Credits

The opening Warner Bros. logo is light blue on a solid black background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in XMA: Xtreme Martial Arts (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Kagura-No-Netori
Performed by Tokyo Gakuso
Courtesy of Columbia Music Entertainment, Inc.
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User Reviews

gripping and visually stunning
26 March 2004 | by Special-K88See all my reviews

Powerful, well-crafted epic set in 19th century Japan about a disillusioned American soldier who's hired to train a group of fledgling soldiers and lead them into battle against a rebellious samurai. Having been defeated and held captive by the enemy, he gradually begins to understand and develop a great respect for the man who should be his adversary. Long, but faultlessly performed and richly detailed with compelling battle scenes and vivid, breathtaking scenery. Cruise—sporting authentic Japanese tongue—is outstanding, but Watanabe steals the film in a moving and forceful performance as the fierce but honorable samurai warrior. Only letdown is the finale, which seems a bit too conventional, but it's still a remarkable tale of life, honor, and courage. ***½


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | New Zealand | Japan

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

5 December 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Samurai: Bushidou See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,271,354, 7 December 2003

Gross USA:

$111,127,263

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$454,627,263
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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