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The Last Samurai (2003)

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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 »
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Popularity
548 ( 622)

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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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 62 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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Storyline

In the 1870s, Captain Nathan Algren, 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 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 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 his loyalty to one of the embittered sides when ... 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 | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Warner Bros. [Spain] | See more »

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Cruise took no up front salary for this film. See more »

Goofs

During the final charge of the Samurai, Algren has his sword in a "stabbing" grip, ready to throw it. A few shots later, he has the sword in its regular position, flipping it to the throwing position again. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Top Gear: Episode #6.11 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Kagura-No-Netori
Performed by Tokyo Gakuso
Courtesy of Columbia Music Entertainment, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
a truly epic film, definitely Oscar worthy
15 September 2005 | by oli_rawlingsSee all my reviews

This film is the best Tom Cruise film ever, alongside Ken Watanabe's superb acting. Though slow paced at first it demonstrates the importance of honour, not judging people on first impressions... This film follows a rather sad story of fighting for tradition and avoiding judging anyone until you meet them. It is full of truly breath-taking scenery in Japan and superb battle scenes. The lead actors are truly amazing which goes very well with a great story. This film really proves that Tom Cruise can act! This film deserves more credit however, it is truly Oscar worthy, for Watanabe's acting and battle scenes mainly.

The story is basically about an American captain (Cruise) who is tormented by his gruesome past that is hired to train the army to kill the samurai which are raiding the country. He faces them in battle with rookie soldiers and therefore lost and was captured by the samurai leader Katsumoto (Watanabe) which kept him alive simply because he is like every samurai very spiritual and believes in his dreams and knew their was a purpose for him to live. After a the long slow process of trying to find out information about his enemy, Algren (Cruise) simultaneously begins training in the way of the samurai and comes to love their way of life and develops a friendship with Katsumoto. After a series and turn of events the story develops like a roller coaster ride and fight together for their survival.

This film is honestly one of the best dramas/war dramas I have ever seen, combined with a superb story, and action of amazing creativity in the dialogue, setting and all the scenes! Truly Oscar worthy, ashame it didn't win any, they makers really deserved more credit.

9/10


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