(out of 5)
Hiroshi Inagaki’s fantastic Samurai trilogy gets off to a marvelous start in this rousing adventure. Two villagers run off to join the army and fight in the civil war that is tearing feudal Japan apart. One of them (Toshirô Mifune), ends up falling into the hands of a man interested in educating and training him to become a samurai in the oldest tradition of the word. The film ends with his first step away from reckless youth and towards spiritual enlightenment. Beautifully photographed in bright colours, chock full of exciting adventure and interesting characters, you’ll definitely want to rent all three films together because once one is over you won’t be able to wait to continue.
Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki
Cinematography by Jun Yasumoto
Music by Ikuma Dan
Production Design by Makoto Sono
Film Editing by Robert B. Homel, Eiji Ooi
Honorary Foreign Language Film Award (Best Foreign Language Film first released in the United States during 1955)