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Produced by George Lucas and Frnacis Ford Coppola, the samurai film Kagemusha is set in the 16th Century feudal Japan and centres on the power struggle between the powerful warlord Shingen Takeda (Tatsuya Nakadai) and teo rival clans. Directed by Akira Kurosawa, this emotionally touching and philosophical story won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980.
Feature Running time: 152 minutes
Subtitles: Hard of hearing English, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish.
Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (16x9)
Sound Quality: Japanese 4.0 Stero 2.0 Mono
The 1970s were difficult years for the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Having been unable to secure full Japanese backing for his epic project Kagemusha, the 70-year-old master found American support from George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, who served as co-executive producers (through 20th Century Fox) for this magnificent 1980 production--to that date the most expensive film in Japanese history. Set in the late-16th century, Kagemusha centres on the Takeda clan, one of three warlord clans battling for control of Japan at the end of the feudal period. When their leader Lord Shingen (Tatsuya Nakadai) is mortally wounded in battle, he orders that his death be kept secret and that his "kagemusha"--or "shadow warrior"--take his place for a period of three years to prevent clan disruption and enemy takeover. The identical double is a petty thief (also played by Nakadai) spared from execution due to his uncanny resemblance to Lord Shingen--but his true identity cannot prevent the tides of fate from rising over the Takeda clan in a climactic scene of battlefield devastation. Through stunning visuals and meticulous attention to every physical and stylistic detail, Kurosawa made a film that restored his status as Japan's greatest filmmaker, and the success of Kagemusha enabled the director to make his 1985 masterpiece, Ran. --Jeff Shannon
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KAGEMUSHA marked a welcome return for the legendary director, who had not made a movie since 1974. Nakadai, a supporting player in earlier Kurosawa films, expertly portrays the leading role(s), almost always filled in the past by Toshiro Mifune. KAGEMUSHA also features the final screen appearance of longtime Kurosawa actor, Takashi Shimura. In order to help the film get an international release, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas served as executive producers.
As the grimy and morally bankrupt criminal who happens to be the double to a powerful warlord our hero learns to become the master, his loyalty to his adopted clan and understanding of the man he has to impersonate grows over time leading to a tragic climax of betrayal and defeat. DON'T get an inferior grainy copy because you'll lose the gorgeous colours and imagary of a beautifully crafted film. At times surreal, at others packed with amazing action scenes and a cast of thousands. but always a thing of Beauty.
Swift as the wind... Quiet as a forest... Fierce as fire... Immovable as a mountain - based around a true story of the fall of theTakeda clan