The beauty of classic samurai films is their utter lack of self consciousness.  They are about villains, heroes and heroines.  The stories are set in a feudal, mostly rural world.  They are beautifully and lovingly shot with special attention given to the poetry of nature and the simple pleasures of life. They profess basic values of honesty, compassion, humility, and selflessness.  The villains are usually out for themselves and the hero/heroines defend the poor.  The plots often celebrate working people and punish parasitic tyrants large and small.  They are not martial arts films which focus on athletics and supernatural abilities. Sometimes martial arts films borrow from samurai films when they need a good plot.

Some famous Samurai films well worth your time:

  • Zatoichi (blind swordsman) series
  • Seven Samurai
  • Samurai Trilogy
    • Musashi Miyamoto
    • Duel at Ichijoj Temple
    • Duel at Ganryu Island
  • Samurai Rebellion
  • The Sword of Doom
  • Sanjuro
  • Yojimbo
  • Throne of Blood
  • The Hidden Fortress
  • The 47 Ronin
  • Three Outlaw Samurai

jbm 7/19/2016