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The Samurai Trilogy (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1956)

Toshiro Mifune , Hiroshi Inagaki  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)

List Price: $69.95
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Blu-ray 2-Disc Version $38.99  
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The Samurai Trilogy (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Yojimbo & Sanjuro (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Seven Samurai (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Price for all three: $115.87

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Product Details

  • Actors: Toshiro Mifune
  • Directors: Hiroshi Inagaki
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 26, 2012
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007N5YJZM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,298 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restorations of all three films
  • New interviews with translator and historian William Scott Wilson
  • Trailers
  • New English subtitle translations
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film historian Stephen Prince and Wilson

  • Editorial Reviews

    The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki (The Rickshaw Man) and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune (Seven Samurai), was one of Japan’s most successful exports of the 1950s, a rousing, emotionally gripping tale of combat and self-discovery. Based on a novel that’s often called Japan’s Gone with the Wind, this sweeping saga fictionalizes the life of the legendary seventeenth-century swordsman (and writer and artist) Musashi Miyamoto, following him on his path from unruly youth to enlightened warrior. With these three films—1954’s Oscar-winning Musashi Miyamoto, 1955’s Duel at Ichijoji Temple, and 1956’s Duel at Ganryu Island—Inagaki created a passionate epic that’s equal parts tender love story and bloody action.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
    The content has been summarized by others. For the person who has not seen these films, the summary cannot convey the content of these 3 films.

    In short, the story of perhaps the greatest master of Japanese sword skill ever, a historical/almost mythical figure from 1600 feudal Japan.

    The 3 movies tell of his evolution from a young hot head with exceptional ability, to a master of both his martial art and of life from a Japanese Shinto perspective.

    These films are full of Japanese culture and mentality.

    The actors are spell binding.

    The fight sceens are believable and of the highest standard. (No, the actors cannot walk up walls!!! and fly through the air!!!).

    The story for me, was and is deeply moving.

    Do not misunderstand, my insight and identification does not parallel that of the main character, but it is a story which has become part of me.

    I do not know if this will appeal to every one.

    It is in Japanese with subtitles.

    Some parts of the film become slow.

    Nonetheless, for me, this is a masterpiece and one of my all time favorites.

    It is timeless.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray: AMAZING transfer and picture June 24, 2012
    By Rider
    Blu-ray picture is simply amazing, especially considering this film is almost 60 yrs old. Many scenes are so crystal-clear and detailed you truly feel like you're actually there as an observer instead of watching a film. Detail is razor-sharp; you can see intricate fabric textures and very fine face details in closeup shots. In carefully-lit interior scenes, color is rich but not over-saturated; outdoor scenes are good but not quite as vibrant. Insert says "These new high-definition digital transfers were created on a Spirit Datacine from 35mm low-contrast prints struck from the original camera negatives." Also color fluctuations, scratches, splices, jitter, flicker, etc. were corrected.

    Highly recommended - definitely a big step up from the DVD version.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    98 of 110 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Regarding the films and the DVD transfer November 13, 2004
    While I don't think these films are quite up to the level of the other great Japanese samurai films of the 1950s (such as Sansho the Bailiff & Seven Samurai), the really great things about the Samurai Trilogy for me were in the marvelous use of natural surroundings, the attractive Japanese leading ladies, and above all being able to see Toshiro Mifune starring in color.

    Regarding the DVD transfer, let me first say that I am a frugal guy who does not think that any DVD, however good the transfer, is ever worth 30 bucks. That said, I don't know what all the fuss is about over the image quality on these disks. The film was not released in widescreen so the full-screen image is correct. The only scenes which are perhaps too dark are in the end of the second film, because it was filmed that way originally! The VHS is even darker as far as I could tell. I have 20/40 vision, yet I had absolutely no problem reading the subtitles ever in any of the three films. The image quality in general is not Jeanne d'Arc but it certainly never came close to impairing my ability to enjoy the films. Finally, there are no special features beyond theatrical trailers on any of the DVDs, but the three-pack is also priced cheaper than any other Criterion issues (less than $20/disc) so why complain!
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    23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars the great Toshiro Mifune June 4, 2005
    I do not wish to compare these films to the works of Kurosawa as others have done (of course they aren't as modern or innovative) but to assess their impact as a trilogy and as a great realized vision of a historical figures' spiritual development. Their are not too many trilogies that hold together this well - maybe 'Star Wars' gives us this sort of vision as well. Toshiro Mifune, of course steals the show, and is very convincing in this kind of role. The cinematography is quite nice (especially in the first and last film) and we get to see a lot of beautiful natural images throughout the film - I am reminded of the Japanese love for nature that has been written so much about (read D.T. Suzuki's 'Zen and Japanese Culture' as another fine example). Overall, I am satisfied with this purchase. I think it has the power to inspire.
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    39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Much Improved over previous iterations June 26, 2012
    By zeb
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    The main thing missing is the much anticipated commentary track. I got so used to Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, and others that I got spoiled with. I know this is not a Kurosawa masterpiece but it's still a masterpiece on its own. Wish they had a commentary track with Stephen Prince. Anyways...for each of the 3 films, William Wilson, gives the historical info on the real Musashi Miyamoto and how it relates to the film where many parts are fictitious for entertainment purposes and you'll find them in the "supplements" section.

    They put the 2 bluray discs on one spindle which is divided top and bottom and the booklet on the left side on a single bluray case. I have a slight gripe about this set up. First, the films can't be sold separately because 2 movies are on 1 50gb bluray dual layer and the 3rd movie is on the 2nd bluray 25gb single layer. So, wanting a collector's item goes right out the door due to not having individualized packaging just like Yojimbo and Sanjuro.

    The films are in it's original 1.33:1 aspect ratio at 1080p HD and amazon's listing at 1.77:1 is incorrect. When viewing on your widescreen TV, you'll see 2 black bars to the sides just like Seven Samurai. The picture quality is definitely leaps and bounds superior to that of the 2004 criterion DVD release. The colors are vibrant and the contrast is maxed out. Almost feels like I'm watching something new entirely. Some might be turned off by the heavy grain quality but keep in mind this film is old. In todays standards with recent films, the grainy quality would be unacceptable. Audio has been improved as well with a noticeable higher Mhz monaural. If you're watching on a 120Hz or 240Hz refresh rate TV, go ahead and turn them off, it gets distracting with the blurriness of movements.

    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!
    An old favorite and nice to have on DVD
    Published 28 days ago by Gerald Kontos
    5.0 out of 5 stars Samurai and Mifune - what's not to love?
    Being a fan of the Samurai era in Japan and of Toshiro Mifune I had high hopes for this collection. And I wasn't disappointed. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Molly
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Very good copy and promp mailing service
    Published 1 month ago by flyhigh
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great movie
    Published 1 month ago by Chris Guyton
    5.0 out of 5 stars Quality trilogy of masterpieces
    A three film masterpiece about the life of mushashi miyamoto . Very interesting , draws you into the tale beyond the legendary duels as this movie depicts the evolution of a self... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Eric T.
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    loved the series!!, will watch it many times, a must for any Japanese movie buff, Dave
    Published 1 month ago by Dave Jones
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    As advertised. Prompt service
    Published 2 months ago by Richard Mauro
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellente!
    Excellent movie if you like Samurai movies this is a must for your collection. Even better its based on real events. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Israel Gamino
    5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Samurai Series
    ive heard about this story for years. im a big japan fan and this trilogy did not disappoint. The only part about this that was hard to watch was the fighting. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Jehuty101
    5.0 out of 5 stars MUST SEE!!
    Some of the best Samurai action ever!!
    Published 2 months ago by Patricia MacKay
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