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Harakiri

Harakiri
Movie: Harakiri(1962)[tt0056058] Peace in 17th-century Japan causes the Shogunate's breakup of warrior clans, throwing thousands of samurai out of work and into poverty. An honorable end to such fate under the samurai code is ritual suicide, or hara-kiri (self-inflicted disembowelment). An elder warrior, Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai) seeks admittance to the house of a feudal lord to commit the act. There, he learns of the fate of his son-in-law, a young samurai who sought work at the house but was instead barbarically forced to commit traditional hara-kiri in an excruciating manner with a dull bamboo blade. In flashbacks the samurai tells the tragic story of his son-in-law, and how he was forced to sell his real sword to support his sick wife and child. Tsugumo thus sets in motion a tense showdown of revenge against the house. Written byKevin Rayburn <kprayb01@homer.louisville.edu>
Title Harakiri
Release Date 16 September 1962 (Japan)
Runtime
Genres Action, Drama, History
Production Companies Shochiku
Tatsuya Nakadai
Tatsuya Nakadai...
Hanshiro Tsugumo...
Shima Iwashita
Shima Iwashita...
Miho Tsugumo...
Tetsurô Tanba
Tetsurô Tanba...
Hikokuro Omodaka...
Masao Mishima
Masao Mishima...
Tango Inaba...
Ichirô Nakatani
Ichirô Nakatani...
Hayato Yazaki...
Kei Satô
Kei Satô...
Masakazu...
Hisashi Igawa
Hisashi Igawa...
Retainer...
Tatsuo Matsumura
Tatsuo Matsumura...
Seibei...
Akiji Kobayashi
Akiji Kobayashi...
Ii Clan Retainer...
Ryûtarô Gomi
Ryûtarô Gomi...
General...

Reviews

OttoVonB on 7 October 2005
Having seen this film the mind becomes clouded with the innumerable things to say about it. Only praise comes to mind. Kobayashi has crafted The great samurai film for the rebel generation and he mixes a deftly handled criticism of authoritarian hypocrisy with a very touching piece of human drama.The plot is deceptively simple: an old samurai (touchingly portrayed by Tatsuya Nakadai of "Ran", "Kagemusha" and "Sword of Doom") arrives at a clan castle to commit seppuku in their yard, and then tells his tale, seemingly trying to gain time at first. What seems to be the rambling of an old man soon turns out to be a grieving account of how this man (and, more significantly, his loved ones) was wronged by the clan. Then comes the violent revenge (this is where you think "Wild Bunch with katanas", though they do up the ante toward the end with guns...).Kobayashi's direction is masterful, keeping an unbearable suspense during the mostly talky film, handling the touching scenes with care and maturity and giving us a sweeping fight to top all that. The 133 minutes running time never feels half that long! At the heart of it all though, is Nakadai, who, despite an excellent CV, delivers his greatest performance ever. His Tsugumo evokes a wounded panther, grieving an grieving until it gives in to fury. Nakadai's performance alone marks the film as essential viewing.If you're open to samurai flicks, this will rank among the finest films you've ever seen.

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