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Legend of the Eight Samurai (1983)

Satomi hakken-den (original title)
Princess Shizu's family is wiped out by an family of undead seeking revenge. The eight samurai can save her, but who and where are they?

Director:

Kinji Fukasaku
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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hiroko Yakushimaru Hiroko Yakushimaru ... Princess Shizu
Hiroyuki Sanada ... Inue Shinbei Masashi
Etsuko Shihomi ... Inusaka Keno Tanetomo
Minori Terada Minori Terada ... Inumura Daikaku Masanori
Masaki Kyômoto ... Inuzuka Shino Moritaka
Shunsuke Kariya Shunsuke Kariya ... Inuta Kobungo Yasuyori
Takuya Fukuhara Takuya Fukuhara ... Inukawa Sosuke Yoshito
Kenji Ohba ... Inukai Genpachi Nobufuchi
Keiko Matsuzaka Keiko Matsuzaka ... Princess Fuse (voice)
Akira Shioji Akira Shioji ... Genjin
Mamako Yoneyama Mamako Yoneyama ... Funamushi
Nagare Hagiwara ... Yonosuke
Akira Hamada Akira Hamada ... Akushiro
Tatsuo Endô ... Hikiroku
Taiji Tonoyama ... Hikojii
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Storyline

Eight mysterious crystals from the body of a long-dead princess now identify the eight samurai who are destined to help a beautiful young princess overcome a curse on her family. They go against an evil queen who bathes in blood to retain her youthfulness. The queen and her son live in a castle protected by many monsters and goblins and assorted apparitions, including giant flying snakes. Many swords, lots of sorcery and plenty of blood. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A princess and her band of eight samurai, battle against a powerful witch and her army of warrior ghosts.


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Shinbei goes "evil" and attacks the princess and her friends when he jumps off the back of the horse you can see the black wire that's attach to his back that's keeping him off the ground. Futhurmore if you check out the top corner of the screen you can see the winch that the other end of the wire is connected to swinging around. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ninja Scroll (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Hakken-shi no Têma (White Light)
Written by Joey Carbone, Richie Zito, David Palmer
Performed by John O'Banion
See more »

User Reviews

 
Charming and Entertaining
19 January 2009 | by fred3fSee all my reviews

This is one of many Japanese sword and fantasy films, but in that genre it stands out. This comes as no real surprise since it is directed by Kinji Fukasaku, who is one of the masters of Japanese cinema. But if you are looking for a masterpiece here, you won't find it. There are many flaws. The character development is non-existent and even silly. One character, who had been a bloody killer of women and children, suddenly reforms. His explanation: "I heard a flute and it awoke something inside me." Well, don't let that or any of the many plot holes bother you. It is simply not that kind of movie. And you probably won't notice these flaws anyway, because you will be so wrapped up in the excellent action sequences that you won't care. Fukasaku uses his considerable skills to pull out all the stops on pure entertainment. Aside from the action sequences, the special effects are excellent and the production values are high.

Fukasaku was known for getting the best from his players and this is no exception. Among the actors, Sonny Chiba is up to his usual antics here, but Fukasaku brings out a certain charm that makes him a plausible romantic lead. Hiroko Yakushimaru plays the female lead. In this type of film, her type of character is usually just a pretty face that other, more interesting characters revolve around. But she takes the role beyond this and is not only beautiful, but charming and exciting. She gives the character a kind of positive energy that makes her character interesting and can't help but make you smile. The other characters also represent themselves well.

What really makes the film work is the pace. It is quick and pulls carries you through the story so that you don't notice its flaws. And really, do these flaws matter that much? To a purist perhaps, but a purist would miss the obvious good time of watching this film. So just let the film carry you away into that fantasy land that we all need to go to once in a while. It is fun and refreshing. Enjoy - it is one of the best rides like it that you can find.


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

10 December 1983 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Legend of the Eight Samurai See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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