Top Ten Samurai Films


5. The Samurai Trilogy

The number five spot on this list is actually three films. Referred to as the Samurai Trilogy, these three flicks tell the tale of the most famous Samurai of all time, Miyomoto Musashi. Toshiro Mifune steps into the role of Musashi and it is an absolute delight to watch him go through a complete character arc over the course of three films. In the beginning he’s arrogant, brash and out of control, but by the end he’s the Samurai to end all Samurai. This is nearly a master class in acting. The character you see at the end of the third film barely resembles the character we were initially introduced to in the first film. These films, along with so many other Samurai flicks, can be found in the Criterion Collection so if you haven’t seen these yet I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Fun Facts:

  • The first film in the trilogy won the1955 Oscar for Best Foreign Film
  • Was referenced twice in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films. Once in the duel against O-Ren Ishii and again during the final conflict with Bill himself.
  • The first installment premiered the same year as Seven Samurai, also starring Toshiro Mifune
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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


  • Good Man

    Is this list a joke?