Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Samurai Trilogy

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 26, 2012
Price: DVD $59.95, Blu-ray $69.95
Studio: Criterion

The Samurai Trilogy movie scene

Toshiro Mifune stars as a legendary 17th Century swordsman in The Samurai Trilogy.

The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki (The Rickshaw Man) and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune (Seven Samurai), was one of Japan’s most successful action-adventure film exports of the 1950s.

Based on the rousing, combat-filled novel by Eiji Yoshikawa that’s often called Japan’s Gone with the Wind, the sweeping Samurai Trilogy fictionalizes the life of the legendary seventeenth-century swordsman (and writer and artist) Musashi Miyamoto. Following him on his path from unruly youth to enlightened warrior, the three films—1954’s Oscar-winning Musashi Miyamoto, 1955’s Duel at Ichijoji Temple, and 1956’s Duel at Ganryu Island—come together as a passionate epic that’s equal parts tender love story and bloody action.

Issued previously on DVD by Criterion in 2004, these latest DVD and Blu-ray editions of the classic Samurai Trilogy offer restored image and sound and the following features:

• New high-definition digital restorations of all three films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray edition
• New interviews with translator and historian William Scott Wilson about the real-life Musashi Miyamoto, the inspiration for the hero of the films
• Trailers
• New English subtitle translations
• A booklet featuring essays by film historian Stephen Prince and Wilson

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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.