Samurai Cinema

Seven Samurai - Tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire seven out-of-work warriors to protect them from invading bandits.  Directed by Akira Kurosawa. (DVD 8201) 

Samurai Spy - Spy networks gather information for the clans supporting and opposing the shogunate.  Directed by Masahiro Shinoda. (DVD 4950)

Lady Snowblood - Trained in the arts of death by the priest who adopts her, Yuki sets out to find the four villains who destroyed her family. Directed by Fujita Toshiya. (DVD 6016)

Sanjuro - In this companion piece to Kurosawa's Yojimbo, the cynical, masterless samurai Sanjuro is enlisted to train a group of idealistic young warriors to battle corruption in their town. (DVD 1764)

Zatoichi - A blind, gambling masseur and former samurai becomes embroiled in the middle of a gang war in this first film of a series. (DVD 2145)

Taboo - In this film, Nagisa Oshima explores homosexuality among the ranks of the much hallowed samurai. The film is set in Kyoto in 1865 during a critical moment of Japanese history--the country's 300-year-long self-imposed isolation was coming to an abrupt halt leading to the end of the Shogunate. (DVD 1935)

Azumi - A young orphan is raised to be a deadly assassin. With Japan at war the only hope is for the murder of the deadly warlords who wreak havoc on the country, leading to some fearsome battle scenes as the young, female assassin goes to work. (DVD 8272)

Throne of Blood - A ruthless lord, driven by an old woman's prophecy and his wife's ambitious cravings, cuts a bloody swath to power; a transposition Shakespeare's MacBeth from medieval Scotland to medieval Japan.  Directed by Akira Kurosawa. (DVD 1950)

Sword of the Beast - A low-level swordsman decides to live in the wild after being betrayed by his former comrades. (DVD 4949)

Samurai Champloo - A journey of a trio, Mugen and Jin, two fiercely independent warriors, and Fuu, a ditzy waitress, to find a mysterious samurai "who smells of sunflowers". (DVD 6809, discs 1-7)

47 Ronin - This fact-based account is a cinematic exploration of heroism and self-sacrifice which provides a rare glimpse at the price heroes sometimes paid to preserve their honor. (DVD 1266)

Kill! - A pair of down-on-their-luck swordsmen arrive in a dusty, windblown town, where they become involved in a local clan dispute. One, a former farmer, dreams of being a samurai. The other, a former samurai, prefers living anonymously. (DVD 4951)

Harakiri - Peace in 17th-century Japan causes the Shogunate's breakup of warrior clans, throwing thousands of samurai out of work and into poverty. An honorable end to such fate under the samurai code is ritual suicide, or hara-kiri. (DVD 4898)

Sword of Doom - This is the thrilling tale of a man who chooses to devote his life to evil. A gifted swordsman plying his trade during the turbulent final days of Shogunate rule, Ryunosuke kills without remorse, without mercy. Directed by Kihachi Okamoto. (DVD 4218)