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‘Shijushichinin no Shikaku (47 Ronin)’

by Mark Schilling

Director: Kon Ichikawa

Language: Japanese (subtitled in English)

This 1994 Kon Ichikawa version of the classic “Chushingura” tale stars Ken Takakura as the leader of the 47 masterless samurai bent on revenge. The film has Ichikawa’s characteristic visual flair, including spirited swordfight action in the blood-flecked snow, but is paced on the ponderous side. A very young Rie Miyazawa briefly lights up the screen as the 60-ish Takakura’s love interest. The U.K. DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment comes with program notes, stills, posters and trailers.