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Kurosawa Samurai Collection Blu Ray

| Blu Ray

The films of Akira Kurosawa one of the cinema's greatest auteurs have had a profound effect on audiences around the world and his acclaimed samurai epics - featuring international star Toshirô Mifune - have inspired filmmakers a diverse as George Lucas and Sergio Leone. This collection marks the first time all these seminal films have been available on High Definition blu-ray in the UK. Seven Samurai (1954)When the residents of a small Japanese village seek protection they hire seven unemployed ronin' (masterless samurai). Paid only in handfuls of rice the samurai remain distant from the villagers knowing that their assignment may prove to be fatal. Unanimously hailed as one of cinema's greatest masterpieces Seven Samurai has inspired countless films including The Magnificent Seven. Japan | 1954 | 190 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 Throne of Blood (1957)In this brilliant re-imagining of Shakespeare's Macbeth Toshirô Mifune plays a samurai fated to betray his friend and master in exchange for the prestige of nobility. Kurosawa's bloody tale is a triumph of economic style and the climactic battle scene is full of remarkable and brutal imagery. Japan | 1957 | 104 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 The Hidden Fortress (1958)In this classic collaboration between Kurosawa and star Mifune a warrior and a princess try against all odds to return to their homeland with their fortune. Acknowledged by George Lucas as the inspiration for Star Wars The Hidden Fortress combines an epic tale of struggle and honour with modern comic sensibilities to masterful effect. Japan | 1958 | 138 minutes | Original aspect ratio 2.35:1 (16x9 enhanced) Yojimbo (1961)A drifting samurai for hire plays both ends against the middle with two warring factions surviving on his wits and his ability to outrun his own bad luck. Eventually the samurai seeks to eliminate both sides for his own gain and to define his own sense of honour. Yojimbo provided inspiration for A Fistful of Dollars. Japan | 1961 | 106 minutes | Widecreen 4:3 format Sanjuro (1962)After the success of Yojimbo Kurosawa teamed up once again with Mifune one year later to make this comedy of manners. The film which follows a man fighting corruption in local government offers a twist on the classic Samurai tale by gently but perfectly parodying the conventions of the Japanese period action movie tradition. Japan | 1962 | 95 minutes | Original aspect ratio 2.35:1 (16x9 enhanced)

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Five classic samurai films by the legendary Japanese director, Akira Kurosawa. 'Seven Samurai' (1954) tells the story of a group of 17th-century warriors recently detached from the powerful masters who once paid them. Veteran samurai Kambei (Takashi Shimura) is the leader of the group hired by the residents of a village suffering at the hands of a marauding band of thieves. Five of his cohorts are trained warriors, but the sixth, Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune), is actually the son of a farmer, desperate to earn his spurs on the battlefield. The basics of the story served as the blueprint for the western classic 'The Magnificent Seven'. 'Throne of Blood' (1957), Akira Kurosawa's film version of 'Macbeth', transfers the action to medieval Japan. A samurai warrior (Toshiro Mifune) is urged to murder his lord (Takashi Shimura) and his best friend (Minoru Chiaki) by a forest spirit and an ambitious wife (Isuzu Yamada). Kurosawa renders 'the Scottish play' through the conventions of traditional Japanese Noh theatre, creating what was reputedly TS Eliot's favourite film. The famous ending sees Toshiro Mifune caught under hails of arrows. Winner of the Best Director Award at the 1959 Berlin Film Festival, 'The Hidden Fortress' (1958) is regarded by many to be one of Kurosawa's finest, and has been acknowledged by George Lucas as the principle inspiration for 'Star Wars'. Set in 16th-century Japan, the story centres on rival clans, hidden gold and a princess in distress. Tahei (Minoru Chaiki) and Matashichi (Kamatari Fujiwara) are two cowardly soldiers on the run from an advancing enemy army. As they search the country for a cache of secret gold, they join forces with Rokurota Makabe (Toshiro Mifune), a samurai warrior who is escorting a fiesty princess (Misa Uehara) through enemy territory. The mismatched travellers then have to fight a number of battles before they finally come within sight of their goal. Kurosawa combines elements of the western and the film noir in the classic adventure 'Yojimbo' (1961). Yojimbo (Toshiro Mifune), a freelance Samurai warrior, sells his services to rival factions in a small Japanese village. When he is betrayed, he turns his skills against his former employers, determined that the two warring sides should destroy each other. 'Yojimbo' was later remade by Sergio Leone as the Clint Eastwood spaghetti western 'A Fistful of Dollars'. In the samurai spoof 'Sanjuro' (1962), a sequel of sorts to 'Yojimbo', shabby samurai Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune) teams up with eight young warriors who seek out corruption among the elders of their clan. They also embark on a mission to rescue a kidnapped chancellor from a corrupt war lord.

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