Top Ten Samurai Films

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8. Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Directed by the masterful filmmaker Takashi Miike, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai is actually a remake of the 1962 classic Harakiri. I chose the remake because of how starkly beautiful it is. I mean, look at this shot above. Sword fight in the snow. Absolutely stunning. The story is not a grand one, but Takashi Miike is such a disciplined, talented filmmaker that it’s 2 hour run time never over stays it’s welcome. It’s a quiet, introspective piece that slow boils until eventually exploding into a massive multi-man sword fight brawl. Oh, and there’s a scene where a Samurai has to commit seppuku with a wooden sword. It’s a painful, gut wrenching moment that burned it’s way into my mind the first time I saw it and never left.

Fun Facts:

  • First 3D film to be screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival
  • Scored by renowned Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto
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  • steve hubbell

    Top 10 Samurai films (sort of) listed by release date rather than arbitrary ranking

    1. Seven Samurai (Kurosawa 1954)
    2. Yojimbo (Kurosawa 1962) / Sanjuro (Kurosawa 1963)
    3. Hara Kiri (Kobayashi 1962)
    4. Three Outlaw Samurai (Gosha 1963)
    5. Revenge (Imai 1964)
    6. Sword of the Beast (Gosha 1965)
    7. The Sword of Doom (Okamoto 1966)
    8. Samurai Rebellion (Kobayashi 1967)
    9. Kill! (Okamoto 1968)
    10. Goyokin (Gosha 1969)

    Honorable Mentions….

    11. Thirteen Assassins (Kudo 1963)
    12. The Great Killing (Kudo 1964)
    13. Eleven Samurai (Kudo 1966)
    14. Incident at Blood Pass (Inagaki 1970)

    No remakes, no Hollywood imitations, no animation, just the cream of the crop of samurai films available in the US on officially released DVDs with English subtitles.

    • Going old school I see. Nice list!

    • Niels Koomans

      Azumi?

  • Good Man

    Is this list a joke?