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Author Topic: For Sanjuro: Japanese titles I have yet to watch. Opinions wanted.  (Read 1605 times)
Arizona Colt
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« on: December 24, 2006, 08:12:45 PM »

Here is a list of titles that some day I will get around to viewing. An advance notice of these would be greatly appreciated.

OKAMI YO RAKUJITSU O KIRE (aka THE LAST SAMURAI) Stars Takahashi Hideki, Ogata Ken. The final film from Misumi Kenji (LONE WOLF & CUB). 1974 159 minutes

GOYOKIN (already heard much good about this one.)

KUMOKIRI NIZAEMON (aka BANDIT VS SAMURAI SQUAD) Stars Nakadai Tatsuya, Tanba Tetsuro. Directed by Hideo Gosha. 1978

YAMI NO KARYUDO (aka HUNTER IN THE DARK) Nakadai Tatsuya, Chiba Shinichi(!), Tanba Tetsuro. Directed by Hideo Gosha. 1979

GOHIKI NO SHINSHI (aka CASH CALLS HELL) Nakadai Tatsuya. Directed by Hideo Gosha. 1966 (Not a samurai film but sounds like a good Yakuza thriller).

THE BORED HATAMOTO: LETTER OF DEATH-1979

THE SWORD THAT SAVED EDO-Ichikawa Raizo. Directed by Misumi Kenji. 1966

SHINOBI NO MONO (aka NINJA-BAND OF ASSASSINS) Ichikawa Raizo. 1959(?) Seen it already but I understand there are 9(?) films in this series. Very bloody and violent for the time. B/W.

KENKI-stars Ichikawa Raizo. 1965.

YABU NO NAKA NO KURONEKO (aka KURONEKO) Directed by Shindo Kaneto. 1968. B/W. Looks like a really creepy film. Is this similar to KWAIDAN or GHOST OF YATSUYA?

DAISATSUJIN OROCHI (aka THE BETRAYAL) Stars Ichikawa Raizo. 1966. B/W. Seen most of this and it's very good.

BORYOKU-GAI (aka VIOLENT STREETS) Stars Ando Noboru, Kobayashi Akira, Sugawara Bunta, Tanba Tetsuro. Directed by Hideo Gosha. 1969. Heard this was a really good Yakuza thriller.

MUTE SAMURAI- Excellent tv series starring Wakayama Tomisaburo (LONE WOLF) Katsu Shintaro's brother. I'm at episode 11. This show appears inspired by the italian film THE GREAT SILENCE.

KIBA OKAMINOSUKE (aka SAMURAI WOLF) Directed by Hideo Gosha. 1965. B/W.

KIBA OKAMINOSUKE JIGOKU GIRI (aka SAMURAI WOLF 2) directed by Gosha.

AKO-JO DANZETSU (aka FALL OF AKO CASTLE) Stars Shinichi Chiba(!), Tanba Tetsuro, Mifune Toshiro. Directed by (the great) Kinji Fukasaku. 1978. 158 minutes.

I may have some others around. I haven't seen the last two of the HANZO films with Katsu. I have the box set of those.

Have you ever seen SHURA? I understand that was a banned film for a time in Japan. An incredibly haunting and bleak horror film from 1970. It's B/W except for the opening shot of the sun going down.

Or Takashi Miike's recent remake THE GREAT YOKAI WAR? I have the Region 3 2 disc set from HK. I picked it up in Chinatown the last time I was in NY. It's got some beautiful packaging and the trailer looks really good. Media Blasters released this recently.

« Last Edit: December 25, 2006, 01:12:00 PM by Arizona Colt » Logged

Sanjuro
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2007, 03:48:58 AM »

My God, you've got a great list of chanbara movies!! You are a real hard core Japanese movie fan if not crazy Grin.

OKAMI YO RAKUJITSU O KIRE (aka THE LAST SAMURAI) Stars Takahashi Hideki, Ogata Ken. The final film from Misumi Kenji (LONE WOLF & CUB). 1974 159 minutes
I saw this years ago in Japan. It's not Misumi's best work but entertaining. Takahashi's sword play is quite dynamic. Worth seeing. 


GOYOKIN (already heard much good about this one.)
I like this one. Second duel between Nakadai and Tanba after "Seppuku." Great story line but you can see Gosha's usual problem in his rough direction without much sensitivity. Juxtaposition of the final duel and Ondeko (taiko drums of Sado Island) is unforgettable. "Master Gunfighter" is a remake of this film. 

KUMOKIRI NIZAEMON (aka BANDIT VS SAMURAI SQUAD) Stars Nakadai Tatsuya, Tanba Tetsuro. Directed by Hideo Gosha. 1978

YAMI NO KARYUDO (aka HUNTER IN THE DARK) Nakadai Tatsuya, Chiba Shinichi(!), Tanba Tetsuro. Directed by Hideo Gosha. 1979

GOHIKI NO SHINSHI (aka CASH CALLS HELL) Nakadai Tatsuya. Directed by Hideo Gosha. 1966 (Not a samurai film but sounds like a good Yakuza thriller).

Haven't seen the above three.  Embarrassed

THE BORED HATAMOTO: LETTER OF DEATH-1979
This is what is called "Hatamoto Taikutsu Otoko" in Japan. It was a long popular series starting from 1930 and over 30 films were made. Originally the title role was played by Utaemon Ichikawa and his son Kinya Kitaoji succeeded in recent years (mostly on TV). Without a question, the father's version is so much better. You should see 1958 version of "Hatamoto Taikutsu Otoko" with all star cast of Toei.     

THE SWORD THAT SAVED EDO-Ichikawa Raizo. Directed by Misumi Kenji. 1966
Misumi made 4 films in 1966. What's the original title?

SHINOBI NO MONO (aka NINJA-BAND OF ASSASSINS) Ichikawa Raizo. 1959(?) Seen it already but I understand there are 9(?) films in this series. Very bloody and violent for the time. B/W.
This was a big hit series. Yes, it is very violent but it was effective to show how ninja was mercilessly used for samurai lords' political greed.

KENKI-stars Ichikawa Raizo. 1965.
Probably one of Misumi's best chanbara films. Happy marriage between excellent direction and Ichikawa's acting.

YABU NO NAKA NO KURONEKO (aka KURONEKO) Directed by Shindo Kaneto. 1968. B/W. Looks like a really creepy film. Is this similar to KWAIDAN or GHOST OF YATSUYA?
No, it's more like "Onibaba" and about dark side of humanity.


DAISATSUJIN OROCHI (aka THE BETRAYAL) Stars Ichikawa Raizo. 1966. B/W. Seen most of this and it's very good.
This is a remake of 1925 film, but still it's good. It proved how the original story was good also. 

BORYOKU-GAI (aka VIOLENT STREETS) Stars Ando Noboru, Kobayashi Akira, Sugawara Bunta, Tanba Tetsuro. Directed by Hideo Gosha. 1969. Heard this was a really good Yakuza thriller.
I'm sorry but I'm not a fan of Ando. He was a real yakuza and when he starred in yakuza movies, I could smell his narcissism.

MUTE SAMURAI- Excellent tv series starring Wakayama Tomisaburo (LONE WOLF) Katsu Shintaro's brother. I'm at episode 11. This show appears inspired by the italian film THE GREAT SILENCE.

KIBA OKAMINOSUKE (aka SAMURAI WOLF) Directed by Hideo Gosha. 1965. B/W.

KIBA OKAMINOSUKE JIGOKU GIRI (aka SAMURAI WOLF 2) directed by Gosha.

I've not seen the above three again. Sorry---.

AKO-JO DANZETSU (aka FALL OF AKO CASTLE) Stars Shinichi Chiba(!), Tanba Tetsuro, Mifune Toshiro. Directed by (the great) Kinji Fukasaku. 1978. 158 minutes.
Quite a disappointment. Fukasaku could have been a revisionist of 47 ronin legend but he could not argue with the main star Kinnosuke Yorozuya. I recommend Kon Ichikawa's "47 Assassins" instead. Ichikawa turned the legend upside down and he depicted 47 ronin as a bunch of  terrorists.

HANZO films with Katsu.
I like this series. It's based on an erotic samurai comic. The films are very erotic too. Katsu's sword play is entertaining also.   

Have you ever seen SHURA? I understand that was a banned film for a time in Japan. An incredibly haunting and bleak horror film from 1970. It's B/W except for the opening shot of the sun going down.
If you are talking about Toshio Matsumoto's "Shura", it's excellent! Highly recommended. In fact, I'd love to see it again. I was fortunate to see this film with the director. Story is related to 47 ronin. It's a masterpiece. Matsumoto has a great cinematic sense. The hero is played by Katsuo Nakamura, younger brother of Kinnosuke Yorozuya. 

Or Takashi Miike's recent remake THE GREAT YOKAI WAR? I have the Region 3 2 disc set from HK. I picked it up in Chinatown the last time I was in NY. It's got some beautiful packaging and the trailer looks really good. Media Blasters released this recently.
I've seen the original. I hate to say but, Miike is not my cup of tea.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2007, 03:58:41 AM by Sanjuro » Logged

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Arizona Colt
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2007, 11:39:06 AM »

Yes, this is the same SHURA from Toshio Matsumoto. Excellent, horrifically haunting film. I love how the story has no real redeemable characters and the situation gets progressively worse from lies built upon lies. And the only scene in color at the opening of the sun going down and the entire film taking place in darkness is a stroke of genius.

If you want I can send you a copy or you can order it from my friend at fareastflix. He has more chambara films than me. I've got a lot of everything in my collection. I have more but this is a list of the ones I have yet to view. You should really see the MUTE SAMURAI series. It's very similar to GREAT SILENCE and is incredibly violent for a TV show. I don't think I've seen an episode yet that has a happy ending. Katsu Shintaro shows up every now and then to share the screen with his real life brother "LONE WOLF" Wakayama.

I'll let you know how the titles are you haven't seen yet.

Nemuri Ky˘shir˘ 8: Burai-ken (The Sword That Saved Edo) I think this is the original title. Part of the SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH series?

If KURONEKO is similar tO ONIBABA than I should enjoy it as well.

Have you seen the three MAJIN films which combine chambara and the Kaiju Eiga genre? The first two are the best and the special effects are excellent and rival anything coming out of Hollywood at the time particularly part 2 when Majin parts the river to grant safe passage to the main characters and to give death to the villainous samurai lords.

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