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Sengoku gunto-den – Dai ichibu Toraokami ()

6.8 (41)
  • Country:
  • Genres: , ,
  • Release: 1937-02-11
  • Director: Eisuke Takizawa
  • Writers: Seikan Doi , Shigeji Fujii , Ryo Hagiwara , Hiroshi Inagaki
  • Language: Japanese
  • Stars: Chôjûrô Kawarasaki , Shizue Yamagishi , Kan’emon Nakamura , Kunitarô Kawarazaki , Tsuruzô Nakamura , Sachiko Chiba , Ch. Bando , Sukezô Sukedakaya
  • Runtime: 74 min
  • Awards: N/A
  • AKA: Sengoku gunto-den - Dai ichibu: Toraokami , Le bandit samouraï (France, French Republic) , Saga of the Vagabonds, Part One: Tiger-wolf (Japan) , Sengoku guntō-den - Dai ichibu: Toraōkami (Japan) , 戦国群盗伝 前篇 虎狼 (Japan)
  • Plot: In the 16th century, when Japan is divided into 64 states in a dizzying variety of independence, Chôjûrô Kawarasaki is the heir to a domain paying tribute to another. He is carrying the tribute, when he is attacked, and the money stolen. He goes in search of it, while his father and brother announce he must have stolen it, feel free to chop his head off.At this point, the movie turns into something that begins to look like Robin Hood, with Kawarsasaki leading a bunch of bandits, all pledged to never hurt a peasant, while Princess Sachiko Chiba doesn't look forward to wedding his brother, especially when she is killed as part of a plot to turn this little state over to some one else.At this point it pretty much ends, with a Part Two coming out later that year. Meanwhile I'm wondering about the influence on Kurosawa, because he was third assistant director on this movie. Bits and pieces, bibs and bobs of shots and scenes and plot points, and even characters who would later appear in Kurosawa films, show up here, and I am left wondering how much influence a third assistant director has, the half-life of images in movies - if Kurosawa stole them, how long would he have to wait before someone called him out on the theft, especially given this movie's director, Eisuke Takizawa, was still averaging a couple of movies a year when he died in 1966, only 64 years old.One of the problems of an American like me, trying to understand studio-era Japanese films is that they are so hard to find. Kurosawa, no problem, and late Mizoguchi, but other than that, we were told for decades, it was just for the local market, nothing you'd be interested in seeing. Although the situation remains difficult, stuff has been dribbling through, with variable image quality and often poor translation into English. Looking at this movie, we can see a Japanese film maker who strongly influenced Kurosawa, and so he is not someone who arose out of nowhere, borrowed from the world's literature, and proceeded to give it a handling unlike anything before seen. I see it here, and it's very entertaining.I recognize that some people will think that by writing that, I am slighting Kurosawa. Not at all! If Isaac Newton could write that if he saw further than others, it was because he stood on the shoulders of giants, it was because Bertrand de Chartres had said something very similar in the 13th Century. I bring a message not to sour you on Kurosawa, but to encourage you to dig into old Japanese films as I have: there are giants there too.
  • IMDB:tt0126025
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