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Goyokin (1969)

Tatsuya Nakadai , Tetsur˘ Tanba , Hideo Gosha  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tetsur˘ Tanba, Y˘ko Tsukasa, Ruriko Asaoka, Kunie Tanaka
  • Directors: Hideo Gosha
  • Writers: Hideo Gosha, Kei Tasaka
  • Producers: Hideo Fukuda, Hideyuki Shiino, Masayuki Sat˘, Sanezumi Fujimoto
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Tokyo Shock
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000C6NP7M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,221 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Goyokin" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Trailers

Editorial Reviews

A samurai, Magobei, returns to face the clan he abandoned when he learns that they intend to instigate another massacre. Protecting the last survivor of that massacre, a woman called 'Taken by the Gods,' Magobei absorbs a truly phenomenal amount of punishment before taking down his brother-in-law, the clan leader.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
120 of 134 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
BY ALL MEANS, RENT THIS FILM! But, for the truly discriminating viewer of jidaigeki*, might I suggest that viewers hold out for a better DVD version to purchase -- one with superior English translation compared to this DVD by Media-Blasters/Tokyo Shock. Otherwise, the movie itself well merits five stars.

"Goyokin" is a subtle, utterly compelling work. Superb direction (action sequences and mise-en-scène composition), acting (including the great Tatsuya Nakadai), writing, and cinematography do ample justice to this deceptively straightforward, yet culturally and thematically complex, drama.

Devotees of this remarkable yet undeservedly obscure film have waited decades for a quality print, and for years a DVD version. What a disappointment, then, this version -- the only saving grace of which IS the print, which thankfully retains the film's impressive cinematography.

Julia Rose's translation, though technically serviceable, is at times wincingly glib for such a mature, understated work as "Goyokin." (Accountability should also rest with the DVD's translation manager Anna Yamamoto.)

The translation often fails to grasp the suggestive nuances and complexities of the Japanese people, their language, history, and culture. This film demands not only a command of all these elements, but a mastery of English as well, in order to convey traditional Japanese refinement to an English-speaking audience. That is to say, a depth of sophistication worthy of the film's artistry.

Fine and noteworthy motion pictures merit long life in a loyal and dedicated audience, who deserve to see them exactly as their creators envisioned in the final cut.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little known, but worth seeing January 26, 2006
By S. Hada
"Goyokin" is probably one of the least-known of the samurai films from Japan. That's a pity, because it is also, arguably, one of the best ever made of that genre. Released in 1969, the film had a limited release in the US, and then languished in storage due to legal matters.

The story focuses on Wakizaka Magobei (Nakadai Tatsuya), a samurai who returns to face the clan that he'd left meany years before. A subterfuge, performed to steal the official gold of the title; a massacre, done to eliminate any convenient witnesses or informants. All create the psychological tension that forms the drama surrounding Nakadai. The director, Gosha pits clan loyalty against morality, or doing what is right. In this respect, Gosha is similar to Masaki Kobayashi, who explored similar themes in "Harakiri," (also starring Nakadai) as well as his "Human Condition" trilogy.

Several other folk have mentioned that this film reminds them of the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. That observation isn't so far-fetched. This film was copied and made into a forgettable Hollywood western: "The Master Gunfighter," with Tom Laughlin, of "Billy Jack" fame. Think of it as Cowboys with Swords.

An intelligent script, superb direction, outstanding cinematography ("Goyokin" was the first film in Japan to be filmed in Panavision) and the excellent acting of Nakadai. The climactic duel in the snow, with Nakadai and Nakamura Kinnosuke as the clan head (his brother-in-law), is visually stunning.

Hopefully, the re-release of this film will allow a wider audience to appreciate it.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb January 3, 2006
Goyokin "Official Gold" I have watched this film several times and rate it as one of the best in it's genre. Tatsuya Nakadai is superb as Magobei Wakizaka the guilt ridden samurai who attempts to stop a massacre taking place. The film directed by Hideo Gosha reminds me very much of a spaghetti western..leers, strange camera angles, facial close ups, long silent pauses with stares into nothingness...however it holds your attention and maintains the suspense and the photography is beautiful. It also has some of the best lines, for a movie of this type for example, at the water tower, the killers catch up with Magobei..."Don't ask why you have to die" Nakadai is just superb at this moment, I dont want to give to much away as it will spoil the film for those that have not seen it. A truly superb film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Blind Eye to Injustice may Eat at One's Soul... May 10, 2008
"Standing By and Turning a Blind Eye to Evil is akin to committing the Sin Itself.."
GOYOKIN (1969) is the second film by Hideo Gosha, the director also responsible for the Criterion released "Sword of the Beast" and "Three Outlaw Samurai". I'm rather surprised as to why Criterion hasn't picked this film up, but nonetheless, Media Blasters did manage to release this film in re-mastered form. Toshiro Mifune was supposedly picked to play the character of Samon, but dropped out at the last minute due to sickness. "Goyokin", while a lesser known film compared to "Hara-Kiri" and "Sword of Doom" is an excellent chambara film which also stars Tatsuya Nakadai as the main character. It is still an awesome tale of conflicting emotions about loyalty or the interpretations of, the guilt and atonement of the past's sins and feudal political greed.

Synopsis partly derived from the dvd back cover:
The film is a tale of a haunted samurai named Magobei Wakizaka (Tatsuya Nakadai), who returns home to the site of the past massacre to seek atonement and redemption for his soul. The clan he abandoned intends to instigate another heartless massacre akin to an earlier reign of terror that caused Magobei to resign his position and leave the clan. The original massacre has become a legend that is attributed to an evil spirit. Protecting the last survivor of the massacre, a beautiful woman named Oriha (Ruriko Asaoka), Magobei absorbs a phenomenal amount of punishment as a way of atoning for the sins of his clan.

Gosha's film is a awesome spectacle of blood and swordplay that uses the Tohoku Locales as a backdrop of the film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome samurai action!
This is a great samurai action film! It's a great morality tale and it's greatly directed. The plot moves along very fast so at times it's hard to follow, but if followed, it is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by The_Unknown_Rebel
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic movie!
Geat movie! Worth buying and having in my collection. Only issue I had was the case was flimsy and brittle and came broken. The disk was fine and I just replaced with better case. Read more
Published 4 months ago by crit randall killen
3.0 out of 5 stars malcolm white
I liked it. Samurai stories forever! This kind of stories and simple and to the point. Revenge always come into play. If the bad guy is great the movie is usually great.
Published 11 months ago by malcolm white
5.0 out of 5 stars Real old time "Chambara" (Swordfighting) movie.
Great color. Actors are from Kurosawa's *RAN* and Tambo is from James Bond's *You Only LIve Twice" and PBS's *Ginger Tree*.
Published 13 months ago by Peggy S. Oba
2.0 out of 5 stars Goyokin or The steel edge of revenge
I can believe Amazon is selling this movie with all problemas tha it has, poor subtitles and worst translation language ( japanese to english ). Read more
Published 14 months ago by Cristobal R. Garcia
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Gosha Classic
Most of Hideo Gosha's films waver from really gripping (The Wolves, Three Outlaw Samurai and Hitokiri) to pretty average and dull (Sword of the Beast and Hunter in the Dark) but... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Joseph
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this movie
I love this movie. I lost the disk but still had the box lying around, taunting me, so I had to buy it again. Definitely a great watch. Read more
Published on April 19, 2012 by MatthewJWS
1.0 out of 5 stars Great video, extremely poor translation.
I have fifty years of fluent Japanese in reading, writing, speaking. The subtitles are without doubt very very very poor. Read more
Published on October 18, 2009 by Hihyooka
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning film
This is an underappreciated classic - while the editing is disjointed, the visuals are stunning. My quess is that the director was influenced by Hitchcock - the beginning scene... Read more
Published on January 9, 2007 by PrettyKitties
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Yet Little Known Samurai Classic!
I first saw this great film in the early 1970s, at the now defunct Fox Theatre in Venice, California. Read more
Published on December 31, 2006 by Ernest Jagger
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