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Red Lion [VHS]

Toshir˘ Mifune , Shima Iwashita , Kihachi Okamoto    Suitable for 15 years and over   VHS Tape
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Toshir˘ Mifune, Shima Iwashita, Etsushi Takahashi, Minori Terada, Nobuko Otowa
  • Directors: Kihachi Okamoto
  • Writers: Kihachi Okamoto, Sakae Hirosawa
  • Producers: Toshir˘ Mifune, Yoshio Nishikawa
  • Language: Japanese
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warrior
  • VHS Release Date: 7 Aug 2000
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004WIAW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,920 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

After three centuries of corrupt and oppressive Shogun rule, Japan is ready to revolt. Peasant Gonzo (Toshiro Mifune) signs up with the Imperial Restoration Force, and persuades his new commander to lend him the red 'lion's mane' wig of authority. Gonzo then returns to his home town, where he is hailed as a hero after boasting of his exploits. However, the simple Gonzo soon finds himelf embroiled in local politics as he struggles to live up to his newly created reputation as a righter of wrongs.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars RED LION (Akage), Kihachi Okamoto 1969 17 Jan 2004
Toshiro Mifune (1920-1997) cracking Japanese actor best known for his roles in Kurosawa's masterpieces in the 1950's and 1960's. Red Lion is unlike the work done for the BFI releases. The encoding is blocky with too low a compression rate. The subtitles are burnt-in rather than a seperate file. The audio is VERY out of sync with the video. (DVD has a +/- 6 frame error rate making it worse than VHS!!!) So this reviewer stopped watching proberbly one of the best visual comics in film after twenty minutes and got a refund. No zero star on offer.
Great alternative: Sanjuro 5X, Yojimbo 5X, Seven Samurai 5X & Red Beard 4X.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, mediocre DVD 25 May 2004
By S. P. Maxwell VINE VOICE
This excellent film is, it's true, not presented in the best condition on this DVD. However, it is more than watchable: it is highly enjoyable. Perhaps the BFI would have done a better job, but this is irrelevant as they would never have released this film (at least not in our lifetimes). Buy this DVD to watch a complex, dramatic masterpiece of film making, and one of Toshiro Mifune's best performances. If less than perfect transfers and audio bother you to the point of hysteria this is not for you, but if you take the attitude that it is better to watch a less than perfect version of a film than not watch it at all, I recommend this highly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting and atypical samurai movie 29 Jan 2008
By Maciej TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
RED LION is a less known position in Toshiro Mifune rich career, but this is one of the most interesting samurai movies I ever saw. It is clearly influenced by the events of 1968 around the world - the story is about a peasant revolt (and its suppression) in time of a great regime change and it has some (limited) quasi marxist accents.

Mifune plays a peasant soldier serving imperial troops during the fight of emperor Meiji against the Tokugawa shogunate in 1867-69 civil war. He is send by his commander to his native village to check the situation there - and his arrival will start a peasant rebellion against local bosses. The story begins with almost slapstick comism before turning much darker...

I appreciated this movie greatly and unlike other reviewers I didn't even notice that there was something wrong with the image or sound on DVD. The film is visually very beautiful, with the costumes of samurais being particularly impressive. The director (Kihachi Okamoto) does a great job, like in his earlier production "Kiru!". Mifune is at the top of his form and he clearly just loved doing this movie, because he displays possibly every expression available in his actor arsenal... Takahashi Etsushi, who also played in "Kiru!", is playing an important role of Hanzo, the "fast drawing swordsman".

This movie is really atypical - its message ("Beware of all governments - they are all equally bad!") is openly subversive, but the story proves the point really well. I still can not rate it as high as "Seven samurai", "Ran", "Chushingura" or even "Kiru!", but this movie made me really think more than most of other samurai films I saw...
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