Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Charles Bronson, Toshirô Mifune, Alain Delon, Ursula Andress, Capucine
Director: Terence Young
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
Underappreciated Spaghetti Western Classic
Brent A. Anthonisen | Alpharetta, GA, USA | 10/16/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Upon its original release this movie was far more successful in overseas market than in the United States (not surprisingly, as two of its stars, Ursula Andress and Toshiro Mifune, were bigger stars in their respective home markets than pre-"Death Wish" Charles Bronson was in the States). But I would say that "Red Sun"'s reputation as an "Art House" favorite still shouldn't keep American Western fans from giving it a look, even those casual fans of the genre who believe that a Western requires either the presence of Clint Eastwood or John Wayne for a Western to be considered any good.
As a point-of-reference for those whose tastes in Westerns (or movies in general) run along more contemporary lines, I would categorize "Red Sun" as an "Old School" variation of "Shanghai Noon" (that takes itself far more seriously). The obvious hook for the movie is the "East Meets West" theme, as well as the "discipline vs. lawlessness" and "faith vs. betrayal" conflicts that provide additional energy to the story. If the multiple subplots aren't enough, there is a brief frontal nude shot of Ursula Andress that makes it easy to remember why she was cast in "Dr. No" (and was thus subsequently identified in "Trainspotting" as "THE quintessential 'Bond girl'") in the first place.
Now, the quality of the DVD itself isn't that good, I'm afraid. Yes, it is formatted, which for a Spaghetti Western qualifies as a crime against humanity. The transfer itself is as good as can be expected, going on the questionable quality of the original print. There aren't any additional features (a documentary piece regarding the international quality of the cast would have been interesting at the least, but the movie likely wasn't considered worthy of such pretention at the time it was made).
In truth, if I hadn't found the DVD used (I'm not even sure if they're actively being printed anymore), I probably wouldn't've bought it at full price. I'm hoping that its "limited availability" at this time means that someone (hopefully the folks who re-issued "Repo Man" and "The Wicker Man") will put together a proper re-issue package for this film. Surely Charles Bronson fans alone at least deserve that much.
In conclusion, I do recommend this movie to anyone who has a soft spot for Westerns and/or abstract productions...it's not one of Mifune's best works, but it is (all things considered) one his more interesting efforts as an actor. I just wish this DVD included a better presentation."
Good yet unconventional western
Cory D. Slipman | Rockville Centre, N.Y. | 03/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"East meets west as legendary Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune teams up with Charles Bronson in Terence Young's "Red Sun".
Bronson is the leader of a band of desperadoes who have endeavored to rob a train, with Alain Delon playing Bronson's lieutenant "Gauche". Coincidentally traveling on the same train which is traversing the remote 1870's western frontier is the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. He is guarded by two loyal samurai, one of which is Mifune playing Kuroda Jubie. In the ambassador's possession is a ceremonial samurai sword destined to be a gift to the president. Delon decides to steal the sword killing the other samurai in the process. He double crosses Bronson by dynamiting the train attempting to kill him and stealing all the money.
Mifune is commissioned by the ambassador to retrieve the sword within one weeks time. He and Bronson collaborate to form a shaky partnership as they both are after Delon. During their odyssey their initial mistrust for each other gradually gets replaced by a mutual respect. Along the way they pick up Delon's prostitute girlfriend Cristina played by Ursula Andress.
While "Red Sun" was a novel idea for a western it fell short in a few areas. Bronson's character Link Stuart was overly comedic for my liking. Ursula Andress, while a fine looking woman is no great actress. The star of the movie was unquestionably Mifune. The stoic samurai he has played in so many classics by Kurosawa was once again magnificently created by him."
gobirds2 | New England | 08/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an interesting and amusing internationally co-produced Western directed loosely by Terence Young. Charles Bronson (outlaw) teams with Toshiro Mifune (samurai warrior) in search of spoils, honor and Alain Delon (gambling con man). Ursula Andress and Capucine provide the major love interests. The highlight is Maurice Jarre's lively score integrating Eastern and Western musical idioms. This is a very entertaining film and which gets its inspiration from the Italian Westerns that were beginning to disappear into the sunset at the time of this film's release."
Refreshing cultural overlap of Old West and Old East
firstname.lastname@example.org | Florida | 04/23/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This has been a favorite movie of mine since it was released in the 70's. It's a western for people who aren't crazy about westerns. This flick was partly responsible for the upsurge of interest in things Eastern, especially Samurai folklore, thanks to a very entertaining portrayal by Toshiro Mifune, of The Seven Samurai fame. Of course, Bronson IS Bronson, and that ain't so bad in this one. You'll also enjoy Alain Delon, a sadistic killer cowboy with a French touch. Plenty here to keep you along for the ride, including a splash of Ursula now and then. A true sleeper (in the GOOD sense!)"