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|The Samurai Trilogy|
|Directed by||Hiroshi Inagaki|
|Produced by||Kazuo Takimura|
|Written by||Hideji Hōjō (play)|
Eiji Yoshikawa (novel)
|Music by||Ikuma Dan|
|Distributed by||Toho Studios|
The Samurai Trilogy is a film trilogy directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring Toshiro Mifune as Musashi Miyamoto and Kōji Tsuruta as Kojirō Sasaki. The films are based on the novel by Eiji Yoshikawa, about the famous duelist and author of The Book of Five Rings.
The three films are:
- Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954)
- Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (1955)
- Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956)
Together, they are a trilogy following the character growth of Musashi from brash—yet strong—young soldier to thoughtful and introspective samurai, culminating in Musashi's duel with the greatest opponent he would ever face.
Reception and influence
Samurai I won the 1955 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
The trilogy also became an influence for future films. In Kill Bill, for example, The Bride kills O-Ren Ishii with exactly the same swallow's tail move that Kojirō Sasaki uses to try to kill Musashi Miyamoto, and the filming for this scene is almost identical as well with the same parallel run, blood splash, and unknown victor until the faces are revealed. Bill himself references the ending to Samurai III when he suggests an "old school" duel on the beach at sunrise.
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