Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Kurosawa, 1980, 3 hours

The intent of the film is to depict sixteenth century warlike Japan framed in an exciting, colorful, humorous, racy plot. A convict about to be executed is found to have an impossible resemblance to the warlord and is spared for his possible utility as a double. As it happens, the lord dies in battle and in deference to his wish to have his death kept secret for three years, the ex convict has a full time and difficult job of impersonating the lord. He gradually learns to deceive even the concubines and grandson. We have a panoramic depiction of the era, including the codes of honor and war. Firepower is an integral element of weaponry and we see the glimmerings of European influence. This is historical film making of a high order.

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