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Samurai Rebellion

Toshir˘ Mifune , Y˘ko Tsukasa , Masaki Kobayashi    Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Samurai Rebellion + The Sword of Doom (Criterion Collection)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking man's samurai movie Jan. 18 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie asks several basic questions. Just how far should a samurai's loyalty to his master go? When does the master's demands become unreasonable? And what should a samurai do, when faced with a master's injustice? To modern-day Westerners, the answers may seem obvious. But in 18th century Japan, personal feelings took a backseat to duty.
In Samurai Rebellion, the main character Isaburo (played by Toshiro Mifune) must decide whether to challenge his overlord's decision to take back a former mistress who had become Isaburo's daughter-in-law. The title of the movie should give you a clue to Isaburo's decision. The big sword fight in this film is worth watching, simply because of the rage boiling inside Isaburo. This is swordplay that actually has passion, as opposed to the run-of-the-mill fighting you often see in lesser movies.
The film's director Masaki Kobayashi always made thoughtful dramas that often examined injustice in society. Those who like this movie should also check out two of his other masterpieces, Harakiri and The Human Condition (a nine-hour trilogy).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A matter of honor, swordplay and social dynamics Nov. 8 2005
By Torval Mork TOP 500 REVIEWER
Kobayashi's Samurai Rebellion is a lesson in the social heirarchy of feudal Japan during the Edo period. We open on some interesting camera-work that uses focus pulling and quick cutting to convey the sword mastery of our hero, Mifune's Isaburo. Through dialogue and the respect given to Isaburo from his colleagues, we derive that he is not a Samurai to be trifled with. In fact, there is very little swordplay throughout the film, with innuendo conveying the brilliance of Isaburo's skills. This lends much to the central story-line, which revolves around Isaburo's son being forced into marriage with a dismissed former mistress of the local ruler. When the ruler asks for her back after she has given birth to a daughter with her new husband, Isaburo is adamant that she stay with his family. Isaburo is finally driven to unsheath his sword at around the 3/4 mark; the final rebellion of a man who can only give so much in trying to appease the ruling class.
Kobayashi uses the metaphor of the samurai to portray the plight of an honorable man who has been asked too much of his government. Much as the director's of the French New Wave used film to serve as a barometer of the 60's social climate, we can also see this element at play in the work of Japanese auteurs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Man, a Woman, a Sword, and Family Honor July 17 2002
Format:VHS Tape
To be a samurai meant owing nearly absolute allegiance to the leader of one's clan, the daimyo. One often filmed story is about 47 loyal samurai committing harakiri en masse when their clan is disbanded. But what happens when the daimyo is unjust and plays with the lives of his loyal samurai?
In SAMURAI REBELLION, a young samurai is forced by his daimyo to marry a difficult mistress who had dared to manhandle him. Lady Ichi surprisingly turns out to be a jewel, and Yogoro, her new husband, grows to love her. When the daimyo changes his mind and has her kidnapped after several unsuccessful attempts to bully the family, Yogoro and his father Itaburo (Toshiro Mifune) singlehandedly take on the whole clan.
Before you know it, the blades are out of their sheathes, and bodies are falling all over the place. Particularly spectacular is a duel between Itaburo and his friend Tatewaki (played by the great Tatsuya Nakadai) in a windswept field of grass. Director Masaki Kobayashi (KWAIDAN, HARAKIRI) is at his best here; and numerous scenes are icily controlled and eerily beautiful as he guides his camera, breaking down sequences into abstract geometrical patterns.
I can't help remembering the song in the musical BANDWAGON which summarizes HAMLET as "The king and the prince meet / And everyone ends up mincemeat." As in HARAKIRI, there is a point to the mayhem here: The honor of a single family CAN outweigh the honor of the clan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good chambara June 1 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Although this does not have the same intensity as Hara Kiri, this film is definitely worth seeing. Like all good Japanese sword fight movies it has a very deep message. The message is about honor and upholding principles even if it involves giving up one's life.
Toshiro Mifune plays a retainer, Sasahara, to a certain lord who divorces his very headstrong wife, Ichi. This wife, Ichi, eventually is given to Sasahara's son resulting in a happy marriage. However the lord asks, no demands, that Ichi be returned to him despite the fact that she is happily married. Sasahara and his son become enraged and refuse to comply with the order given by their lord. The consequences are dreadfully intense!
The sword fights at the end are awesome especially the duel between Sasahara and Tatewaki, Tatsuya Nakadai. Again, although not as moving as Hara Kiri, this is definitely worth seeing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Now this remarkable....... June 8 2001
By "forti"
Format:VHS Tape
While "Harakiri" is extremely stretched and almost too long and transparent, this is a much more thrilling movie! Yet, it never loses Kobayashi subtle style while the story proceeds. It doesn't just side with the oh so poor retainer, overpowered by his almighty and selfish master, it also never fails to show the rebellious samurai's complex thoughts which led to his treacherous (following bushidoo) deed. I like "Harakiri" too, but this is definitely my favourite. It is also the reason why I even forget about great Akira for a moment.....Actually, Kobayashi now ranks first in my japanese director listing. Bring on Kwaidan etc!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Samurai Movie
One of the best samurai movies ever made. This film shows a darker side of the Japanese films. Tells of a time when a warrior is asked if he should follow the orders of his... Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2004 by "deadkenny311"
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroic tragedy
A classic heroic tragedy. Mifune's character is a samurai who has devoted his life to service and the samurai code. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2002 by "vertumnus"
5.0 out of 5 stars A great samurai drama.
Another great Mifune Toshiro movie and another great film by Kobayashi. Beautifully filmed with some incredible Mifune sword work as a climax. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2001 by Mark Judge
5.0 out of 5 stars I am proud of being a descendant.
This is a story founded on historical facts, and the film was based on it.
As I am one of descendants, it is impossible to write a objective review. Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2001 by Hideo Sasahara
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the top twenty films, ever
If you want to watch this film with others, the trick here is to get past the title and the subtitles. Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2000 by John S. O'Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars It's more than a great samurai movie.
It's a great movie. If Kwaidan is Masaki Kobayashi's legacy of colour, Samurai Rebellion is it's final word in black & white. Read more
Published on June 21 2000 by Joaquim Coelho
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film
Extremely moving film about a samurai family that defies the will of a lord, and in so doing questions the moral and social order in feudal Japan. Read more
Published on Dec 18 1999 by PAUL DAMATO
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful film! Mifune and Nakadai are excellent!
Oh, how I love this film! Few things give me as much pleasure as seeing Toshiro Mifune and Tatsuya Nakadai together on screen--and here they really shine. Read more
Published on July 28 1999
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