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Action / Drama / History

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Toshirô Mifune Photo
Toshirô Mifune as Genba Tawaraboshi
Kumi Mizuno Photo
Kumi Mizuno as Saho
Akira Takarada Photo
Akira Takarada as Gunbei Takada
Mie Hama Photo
Mie Hama as Woman 1
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.86 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
3 hr 27 min
P/S 5 / 36
3.45 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
3 hr 27 min
P/S 6 / 51

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by barleeku10 / 10

Cinematic pinnacle

I first saw Chushingara in 1972 in Boulder, Colorado on the CU campus. I racked up 3 additional viewings in the next couple of years, one at Boston's Park Square Cinema, long gone and lamented. The Park Square often showed Japanese films and I saw the Samurai Trilogy there as well as some of the other classics. I've since seen in again in theaters and now have the video. I was struck, reading some of the other viewer comments, by how many people felt exactly as I did, remembering each viewing as though it were a superb meal to be savored the rest of our lives, rather than simply "seeing a great film". The other comments articulate the reasons why quite well, but I'll add my two cents. Aside from being perhaps the most gorgeous film ever made, its beauty is integral to the psychological mood of heroism intensified by each moment's transience and each life's fragility. The great trial and seppuku scene, framed by that stunningly beautiful music and the equally intense cherry blossoms, stands as one of the most concise statements of life's tragic beauty as well, of course, as the soul of Bushido. The course of action pursued by Chamberlain Oishi creates the emotional hook and the humorous scenes, highlighted by Toshiro Mifune's wonderful character, keep things barreling along. In the end, though, it is the whole package - the stunning sets, many of them modeled fairly closely on classic Japanese woodcuts; the brilliant acting and direction; the loving detail of so many aspects of Japanese culture; the unfolding of justice; the close relationships and their exacting depiction; the revelation of a code that is so alien to anything in contemporary western life; the self-conscious gamble to make this film a cultural monument that breathes life; and of course, the final battle - wow! - certainly one of the greatest movies ever made. It is a shame that it is not more accessible on the large screen - the bigger the better - but as it sustains multiple viewings, see it on video anyway - it's worth it and you can always watch it again.

Reviewed by planktonrules8 / 10

Very good...and one of about 457 versions of these historical events!

This story of the 47 loyal ronin (ronin is a Japanese word for a master-less samurai) is based on actual events that took place in 1701 and 1702--although some of the exact details are uncertain (including the actual number) . What is certain is that a feudal lord attempted to murder on of the Shogun's trusted men in one of the royal castles. As a result, the attempted murderer was ordered to commit ritual suicide and his retainers (now ronin) vowed revenge on the man almost killed. What the exact insult was is lost to history, but the tale is considered a classic and most Japanese people are very familiar with it.

It would have a very hard time giving any version of this story a 10 because there are so very many that you can't give them anything for originality. According to IMDb, on Japanese TV alone, something like a dozen different versions were made just during one decade! And, as far as movies go, there are also quite a few. I've seen the classic 1941 version and found it to be very, very different from CHUSHINGURA because it was much more nationalistic and seemed, at times, like wartime propaganda (albeit, very good propaganda) AND because the film was much more fast-moving--skipping much of the setup that you find in this remake. In other words, in 1941, the insult and the attempted murder take place very early into the film and here in 1962, it doesn't occur until about an hour into the film. In fact, while an amazingly well made film, CHUSHINGURA is perhaps too deliberately paced and could have used an edit. While I like very long films, this one just wasn't paced well enough to merit its 3-1/2 hour running time. At 2-1/2 or 3 hours, it would have played better.

As for the acting, sets and everything else about the film, it was all first-rate. The film was obviously a prestige film and as a consequence was filmed in lovely full-color. In fact, other than the pacing and ubiquity of the plot, it's a very well made and interesting film--probably even more so in Japan, where it's a beloved tale illustrating loyalty and honor.

Finally, it should be noted that although Toshirô Mifune is shown on the DVD art and all the pictures here on IMDb, his role is very small and this is definitely a film with a large ensemble cast--not a Mifune film per se. His fans might be disappointed by this and you might want to consider this before you watch.

Reviewed by pmc7710 / 10

Very Satisfying

I have actually seen this film several times because it was my college boyfriend's favorite movie and I was dragged to the local art house to see it 5 times. But I have to say I found something new in it each time. While I agree with the previous reviewer that it can be confusing, the story is legendary in Japan and the film makers didn't feel the need to explain elements the Japanese audience would be familiar with. I suggest a second viewing will make it more coherent. I have yet to see a more recent samurai/martial arts film match the suspense and beauty of the snow scene or the heartbreak at the end of the first half. It is a visually rich and rewarding movie experience.

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