The mother of a feudal lord’s only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
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The social dilemma of the film - bureaucratic traditionalism vs. the sanctity of the family unit - is just as heartbreaking and wrought as Kobayashi's other works. This is Sirk with katanas; heightened family melodrama underscored by incredible B&W cinematography. The extended-family-encounter scene is as brilliantly staged and handled as the action-heavy ending.
Toshiro Mifune is the greatest samurai in the history of cinema and whoever denies it should do harakiri. This is an excellent film. Made with knowledge of rhythm, impeccable performances, balanced tables and an unforgettable story.
My new favorite samurai movie which I guess kind of makes it my new favorite film! This is one of those rare "flawless" films and also stars Mifune and Nakadai! At the moment I would say Masaki Kobayashi is the greatest director of all time. The Human Condition, Hara-Kiri, Samurai Rebellion, come on!
Kobayashi is one of my favourite directors, this does not disappoint. It is extremely angry and passionate, a trademark of Kobayashi's best work (bar Kwaidan) and Mifune was the perfect choice, as he is such a passionate onscreen performer. The atmosphere, like Harakiri, is pressure cooker and we care for the characters. However, it did drag a little at the end which was a shame. 4/5 Brilliant
In my opinion one of if not the greatest Samurai film ever made. It's the battle of the individul against a social system based on loyalty. But where does loyalty end and one's own concept of justice begin? The moment where the father finally has had enough and lashes out in a fiery rage of violence against anyone who dare attack him is one of the finest moments in Japanese cinema.