Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Bushido Blade|
Actors: Richard Boone, Toshir˘ Mifune, Mike Starr, Timothy Patrick Murphy, Frank Converse
Director: Tsugunobu Kotani
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Educational
There's cheese-ball fun to this 1979 misfire, an American-Japanese coproduction made to cash in on Shogun-mania. Richard Boone (in his last role) plays the real-life Commodore Perry, who ended centuries of Japanese isolati... more »
Worst Samurai Film Ever
Jason Long | Columbus, OH USA | 04/04/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I am a big fan of samurai films and Japanese cinema. Toshiro Mifune is my favorite actor. I own about sixty or so samurai and/or mifune movies. With that said, I purchased Bushido Blade in hopes that it would be tolerable. I was sadly mistaken. Don't let your curiousity get the better of you and your money. The plot is missing, the acting is terrible (except for Mifune, who speaks English in this film without understanding the language, yet he is dubbed anyway), and the quality is unbearable. In one part, a US naval officer beats a samurai in a sword fight. Give me a break!"
A fascinating event, worthy of a far better film.
Darren B. O'Connor | Norfolk, Virginia United States | 06/03/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The meeting between Commodore Perry's flotilla, and the Japanese has always been one of the most fascinating events of history, as far as I am concerned. It really is a pity that it is something that has never been done well on film. This film is no exception. The first official contact between the United States and Japan is used here as a setting for a pulp adventure story. If you keep this in mind, and don't do into this with overly high expectations, this is a reasonably enjoyable picture. It's an adventure film, nothing more. But anyone who expects high art or historical accuracy is sure to be disappointed. I do wish, though, that someone would make a historically accurate film about this pivotal and fascinating historical event. It's a pity this film isn't that movie, since Richard Boone does make a good Commodore Perry.
I must say a word, however, to those who sneer at the very idea that an American military officer of the 19th century could even hope to be a match for a samurai in swordsmanship. The idea is not as farfetched as you might imagine. In the first place, not all Western swords are the inferior trash imagined. Nor are katanas lightsabers. Some 19th century Western swords were mass produced blades of indifferent quality. Others were very well made weapons of very fine steel (and usually less brittle and prone to chipping than Japanese swords, even if they wouldn't hold an edge so well as a superbly made katana). Not every samurai's sword was a Masamune masterpiece. The Japanese, even in the feudal period, were no strangers to mass produced, lesser quality blades. Nor was every samurai a master swordsman (any more than every Wild West cowboy was an expert gunfighter). One must remember that for the samurai, the sword was only one of three major weapons, along with the bow, and the yari (a thrusting spear) -- and was in fact, the least of the three. In fact, the sword really did not even become the premier weapon of samurai culture and reach its cult status until the mid to late 17th century when the period of civil wars ended. It is instructive to note that the expression so associated with bushido is "the Way of the horse and bow", not "the Way of the sword." By the same token, Western military officers could also be master swordsmen. The sword had almost reached the very end of its use as a military weapon in the Western world, but it was not quite dead yet, and there were still a number of schools that instructed students in its use at that time. Nor are Western styles of swordsmanship so vastly inferior to the style of swordsmanship practiced in Japan. In general, the average samurai of the 19th century WAS indeed far more likely to be a master swordsman than the average Western military officer. But the idea that an American officer of that period couldn't possibly possess a level of skill with a blade equal to that of a 19th century samurai is not quite accurate either. Those who dismiss the western martial arts so blithely are usually those who know nothing about them."