Blu-ray, DVD Release: Three Outlaw Samurai

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 14, 2012
Price: DVD $19.99, Blu-ray $29.99
Studio: Criterion

Three Outlaw Samurai movie scene

Swords slash in the Japanese action-drama Three Outlaw Samurai.

Three Outlaw Samurai, the first film by legendary Japanese filmmaker Hideo Gosha (Sword of the Beast) is among the most canonized chambara (sword-fighting) films.

An origin-story offshoot of a Japanese television series phenomenon of the same name, the 1964 action-drama movie tells of a wandering, seen-it-all ronin (Tetsuro Tamba) who becomes entangled in the dangerous business of two other samurai (Isamu Nagato and Mikijiro Hira) who’ve been hired to execute a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of a corrupt magistrate.

A tight story filled out with well-mounted action sequences, this classic revenge tale is presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

The Criterion Blu-ray and DVD doesn’t have a heap of special features like most of the supplier’s releases, but the movie did get a high-definition digital restoration and new English subtitle translation. And the Blu-ray has an uncompressed monaural soundtrack.

On the extras side, the Blu-ray and DVD only have a trailer and a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Bilge Ebiri.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.