Genre: Action / Adventure
Director: Eiichi Kudo
Starring: Chiezo Kataoka, Kô Nishimura, Ryôhei Uchida, Isao Natsuyagi
Duration: 125 min.
A group of unemployed samurai are enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a war-torn future.
13 Assassins is a Japanese film directed by Eiichi Kudo in 1963. It is an epic samurai film set during the late 19th Century, a time when the old ways of the samurai are dying out. Naritsugu, the brother of the Shogun, is a cruel and sadistic lord whose upcoming promotion to chief advisor threatens the stability of the country. So Lord Doi summons the samurai Shinzaemon Shimada, and orders him to take out Naritsugu before he returns home from the capital. This sets the stage for an epic showdown that takes place in a remote village.
Heavily inspired by Jidaigeki films like Seven Samurai this is a very good effort with a well written scenario filled with memorable characters, beautiful cinematography, and the most impressive aspect, a brilliantly choreographed and executed thirty plus minute long action sequence at the end of the film.
Click HERE for the 2010 Takashi Miike remake.