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Hunter in the Dark


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sonny Chiba, Yoshio Harada, Keiko Kishi, Tatsuya Nakadai, Tetsuro Tamba
  • Directors: Hideo Gosha
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Import
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Panorama
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002JC5G6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,996 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

A one-eyed hired assassin impresses Yakuza boss & is hired as his bodyguard, or Yojimbo, to protect him during an inter-clan conflict. He quickly rises in stature in the clan, but finds his boss's enemies almost overwhelming. 1979 film directed by Hideo Gosha (Oil-Hell Murder) & starring Tatsuya Nakadai (Ran, Seven Samurai) & Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill, Stormriders). Code 3/NTSC. Original Japanese dialogue. Optional English & Chinese subtitles.

Customer Reviews

This film is VERY DARK.
Ernest Jagger
The DVD version (Korean Print)has paraphrased much of the diologue.
Morgan
It tells a story of love and betrayal, friendships and ambitions.
W

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Taehyoun Kim on January 9, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I have seen many Japanese films but this one really stands out along with Gosha's own classic, Goyokin (1969) and Tenchu (1969). If you think samurai movies deal with nothing but sword playing, you'd better try Hunter in the Dark. The plot and main characters are as rich and complex as Godfather, and its beautiful, haunting images will grab your attention like no other films until the last scene where two opponents (played by Tatuya Nakadai & Sony Chiba) take their one final moment in a great fight. All the action sequences are extremely well done and the story plumbs into the mythic legends of the dark side of Samurai era. The acting, screenplay, cinematography, and lighting all go hand in hand to create one of the most beautiful yet intense films ever made. This is Hideo Gosha at his best. It is urgent to issue other Gosha masterpieces as well, preferably on DVD.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jon Graham on December 1, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I saw that the review already posted here was wrongly attributed to this movie.This is actually a Yakuza/Samurai film set in mid 18th century Japan and is a beautifully filmed and powerful film on corruption and double dealing in a world where the underworld simply mirrors the manipulative ways of the ruling class. A samurai carrying a traumatic secret becomes the yojimbo of a gang boss (played by Tetsuya Nakadai) involved in a power struggle with a rival gang boss. The new yojimbo is enticed with offers to betray his new patron but chooses to remain loyal, thus setting into motion a tragic chain of events. Hideo Gosha is one of the world's great directors and it is unfortunate his films Tenchu and Goyokin are not more readily available, as well as his early classics such as Three Outlaw Samurai and Sword of the Beast.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By W on February 17, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I like many of Gosha Hideo's work in the 1960's, such as Three Samurai(Sanbiki no Samurai), Goyokin, and the one-eyed swordsman Tange Sazen. In the 70's he produced a few ambitious works and the results varied, I found "Hunter in the Dark" to be the most successful among them. It tells a story of love and betrayal, friendships and ambitions. The characters are satisfactorily developed; they are varied, interesting and well presented - Sonny Chiba's overwhelming ambitions, Nakadai Tatsuya's commitment to the clan code of honor and friendship, Harada Yoshio's tragic past and confusions, and Kishi Keiko's helplessness and loneliness. Gosha did an excellent job in casting the movie, and all were excellent in their roles. At the end men died for their ambitions and their believes, while women gave up their lifes for love. It echoes the very primitive curses in our genetic code.
I saw the Far East DVD release in 2002, the transfer of video and audio were not very good. I look forward to a better transfer work in the U.S. DVD release.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Okimoto on May 26, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Other reviewers have already nailed this as a great Japanese samurai movie for many reasons which I need'nt repeat.

However, having just made this purchase, I would like to WARN any prospective purchasers of this release version of "Hunter in the Dark" that the quality is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE! First off, this Panorama(HK) version over-compresses a 2 hr. 17 min. movie into 3.82 GB of a single layer disc resulting in grainy, blurred visuals. Secondly, the editing from original widescreen to this full screen version is horrendously flawed abounding with stretch distortions and badly positioned & overblown pan/scans.

Widescreen version DVDs are available, but unfortunately they appear to be bootlegs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ernest Jagger on January 3, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the more complex films by by Director Gosha Hideo, who brought us such cinematic classics as "Three Outlaw Samurai," and the great film "Goyokin," among others. Although, I must admit, Gosha Hideo made some very complex films. The films narrative is set in 18th-century Japan. The are actually several narratives moving at the same time, however, the primary one deals with loyalty and betrayal. In the film, one of the films main protagonists, Gomyo Kiyoemon, (Tatsuya Nakadai) stars as a gang boss embroiled in a power struggle with another Yakuza boss. The film provides the viewer with the corruption, betrayal and backstabbing that is part of this world which claims to have a moral code of honor. Even the yakuza women are portrayed as corrupt and deceptive.

First one important thing to mention. If you have the VHS, you might want to keep it for the time being, as I have purchased the DVD twice thinking I had a bad copy, and the VHS is much better. Hopefully the DVD has been given better treatment since I last purchased mine. The film gives the viewer a good look at what honor means to these 18th-century Yakuza, and if they live the Bushido code they themselves boast so much about. However, nothing could be further from the truth. There are no moral virtues in this setting among the bosses, and this is where another one of the films main protagonists enters the picture. As a warning, many of the sword fights and killings are very ruthless, and this includes the female assassins in the film. This film is VERY DARK. Hence the title: Hunter in the Dark. Moreover, these yakuza refer to themselves as 'hunters in the dark.
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