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Harakiri (Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD) [Masters of Cinema] [1962]

4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita
  • Directors: Masaki Kobayashi
  • Format: CD+DVD, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Sept. 2011
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005C99XRK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,764 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Of all Masaki Kobayashi's attacks on the cruelty and inhumanity perpetrated by authoritarian power (including The Human Condition and Samurai Rebellion), perhaps none are more brilliant than his visceral, mesmerising Harakiri [aka Seppuku].

In a magnificent performance, Tatsuya Nakadai (Yojimbo, The Face of Another, Ran) stars as Hanshiro Tsugumo, a masterless down-and-out samurai who enters the manor of Lord Iyi, requesting to commit ritual suicide on his property. Suspected of simply fishing for charity, Hanshiro is told the gruesome tale of the last samurai who made the same request but Hanshiro will not be moved...

With its intricate structure and pressure-cooker atmosphere, Kobayashi's first jidai-geki period drama is a full-scale demolition job of samurai ideals and feudal hypocrisy, filmed with artistry and surgical precision, and scored by celebrated composer Toru Takemitsu. Adapted from the same source novel in 2011 by notorious auteur Takashi Miike, the original winner of the 1963 Special Jury Prize at Cannes still stands as a startling moment in Japanese cinema.

The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the UK home viewing première of one of the great blood-soaked revenge epics of the cinema, alongside Oldboy, Kill Bill, and Dead Man's Shoes. Harakiri will be released in a Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD edition on 26 September 2011.

SPECIAL DUAL-FORMAT EDITION FEATURES:

  • New, officially licensed, Shochiku high-definition transfer (1080p on Blu-ray)
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Excerpt from a 1993 Directors Guild of Japan interview with Masaki Kobayashi discussing the film with director Masahiro Shinoda
  • An illustrated 28-page booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Philip Kemp, a 1963 interview with Kobayashi, and rare archival production stills

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Harakiri (or seppuku) is the ancient samurai act of redeeming lost honour by committing suicide through disembowelment. In this masterful 1962 film, set in Japan in 1630, a ronin enters the house of a powerful clan and requests to commit suicide through harakiri. The leader of the clan is reluctant to permit this as he has been recently deceived by another ronin, who was trying to obtain charity from the house through this way. This ronin, however, is permitted to tell the house the story of how he came to be in such a situation, and a fantastic, surprising, and often very dark story is told. The main character, Hanshiro Tsugmo, is played by Tatsuya Nakadai (who'd appeared in Akira Kurosawa's classic Yojimbo [1961] [DVD]); he really does put in a masterful performance here, calling on a massive range of emotions during the film's 133 minute running-time. Most interesting is how a surprisingly anti-samurai theme develops.

This is one of the best Japanese films around, but has been notoriously difficult to find until this recent release in the Masters of Cinema Series. It was worth the wait. Taken from a new transfer of the film, this looks absolutely amazing on Blu-ray, with deep blacks - and closeups where you can see the individual, sweat-drenched pores on the faces. For those who haven't yet got a Blu-ray player, this includes a DVD containing the film as well, but the Blu-ray version really is breathtaking at times, and I'd encourage anyone to watch it this way.
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Comment 34 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A film that gives you both a great story and inspired visuals, if you liked the Twilight Samurai, Hidden Blade or When the last sword is Drawn you need to watch this but dont expect the same infact its quite different almost anti-samurai but not quite, i will avoid the story because if you know beforehand it will slightly spoil the experience, its very much the story that draws you in and it will feel familar to you as many parts reminded me of newer films howerver Harakiri is the grandfather of so much, watch it and you will see what i mean, excellent!!
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By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Mar. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A superior type of film, shot in a pristine black and white noir, depicting the bleak, nihilistic worlds of those who inhabit the Eastern codes of masculinity, men who brim with those barbs aimed fixedly at the world of manners and robotic deportment.

Excruciating in its emotional intensity as the blade twists and slides within the innards.

A film which spares not one extra drop of sweat within its deft execution. Riveting, brutal, seemingly without sentiment, it drops several human bombshells, ringing with a clear message that life is based upon attachment bonds. As these disappear it leaves a huge gaping hole as it all finishes and a whole where bereavement enter.

Highlights that two nations during the 1950's/60's were streets ahead of anyone else in film making, so far beyond the rest in terms of style, emotional literacy, power, composition and construction that no one has caught them since.

These films travel to the journey to the end of the night and then willingly on beyond - Japan and Soviet Russia - two of the greatest film cultural nations ever.
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Format: Blu-ray
Years ahead of its time and 50 years later still a hard film to watch. Elegantly restrained but also violent and gritty with the perpetual association between death and the unshakable honour of the samurai in 17th century Japan. While not as action packed as some Jidaigeki or the more martial arts centric entries into the genre, it is violent and deceptively bloody for a film of its vintage. With each scene that including violence being visually striking and harrowing. Bleak, grim spirited with a huge existential streak, Harakiri is an undisputed classic of the samurai genre and Japanese cinema. From Tatsuya Nakadai's stately performance to the flawless use of storytelling within a story, to the gorgeous cinematography this is a film with the visceral power to knock its viewers speechless. Harakiri is sublime. Going a level further than that, Masaki Kobayashi's film is one of the half dozen or so perfect films I have ever experienced.
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Format: Blu-ray
i was at uni when i was into my jidai geki samurai films , back 3 years ago.

i was unfortunate to get this film on a poor cheap dvd with bad quality. I knew then i had to get the best quality transfer. it meant me spending £16
on a region one criterion from the U.S , which came with a great transfer and info. And now eurka who are exellent in transfer of dvds, have taken on this classic, something i wished they would of done 5 years ago! but its too late for my region 2.

The movie itself is one of the best movies to come out of japan/asia.. and the one of the greatest samurai movies of all time. You are not reading this review , or stumbled on this page by accident , its because you either exloring japanese cinema , or your looking for a samurai film.
Anyone whos into world cinema / japanese cinema MUST watch this film. Its one of the films that show why tatsuya nakadai is one of the best in his profession, and also why tetsuro tamba is also none the less.

The film is sooo well written that it puts 80 per cent of nowdays films based on the same genre and theme, look amuteur and literally of a really poor standard. The acting in this film is superb , its natural the japanese in this period along with hong kong cinema during the 60s and 70s were a rare breed of opera/ period film experts.

The film portrays the life of a veteran samurai whos life is turned upside down, as peace enters japan. And unemployed samurai roam the streets in search of work. What becomes of this is , poverty and depression. And many samurai resort to desperate measures in order to feed their families, which in turn leads to abuse and exploitation.

The film is dark , depressing and intense. This is not dark humour like sanjuro and yojimbo kurosawa films..
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