The Loyal 47 Ronin of the Genroku Era (1941) 720p

Movie Poster
The Loyal 47 Ronin of the Genroku Era (1941) - Movie Poster
Action | Drama
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
Japanese 2.0  
Run Time:
241 min
IMDB Rating:
7.3 / 10 
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Directors: Kenji Mizoguchi [Director] ,

Movie Description:
In 1701, Lord Takuminokami Asano has a feud with Lord Kira and he tries to kill Kira in the corridors of the Shogun's palace. The Shogun sentences Lord Asano to commit suppuku and deprives the palace and lands from his clan, but does not punish Lord Kira. Lord Asano's vassals leave the land and his samurais become ronin and want to seek revenge against the dishonor of their Lord. But their leader Kuranosuke Oishi asks the Shogun to restore the Asano clan with his brother Daigaku Asano. One year later, the Shogun refuses his request and Oishi and forty-six ronin revenge their Lord. —Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


  • The Loyal 47 Ronin of the Genroku Era (1941) - Movie Scene 1
  • The Loyal 47 Ronin of the Genroku Era (1941) - Movie Scene 2
  • The Loyal 47 Ronin of the Genroku Era (1941) - Movie Scene 1

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Slow-moving but entertaining telling of the famous Japanese legend

After their Lord is unjustly forced to commit hara-kiri, his loyal counsellor Kuranosuke Ooishi (Chojuro Kawarasaki) and 46 of his samurai retainers struggle with conflicting issues of honour and obedience after swearing to avenge his death by murdering the Lord that they feel is responsible. The film was commissioned by the Imperial Government in the early days of WW2 (shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor) as a morale builder and a reminder of the importance of loyalty, obedience and sacrifice (the film opens with a message translated as "Defend the homes of those who fight for a greater Asia"), although oddly the Shogunate, the government at the time the story takes place, is implied to be vindictive and nepotistic, and the heroic samurai seem to be more honour-bound vigilantes than loyal agents sacrificing themselves for the state. The two-part B/W film is very long, quite 'talky', and there is very little of the 'action' (ie swordplay) that is the usual highlight of chanbara films, but the story is compelling, the cinematography interesting, and the actors/characters quite good (I watched a well English-subtitled version of moderate visual quality). While the story of the 47 Ronin seems to be a Japanese classic of 'honourable men doing the right thing', I find some of the discussions about how their behaviour was not in truly keeping with the strict 'bushido code' of the samurai to be interesting reading. Likely not the most exciting version of the venerable vendetta epic but watchable for anyone with four hours to spare, especially anyone with a litre of good sake on hand.

Way way way way WAY too long.

Can we be honest?


I'm a fan of japanese cinema and especially samurai films, but this 1941 flick was considered too long even by 1941 Japanese viewers.

There is no action the first two hours of this four-hour sanity test. It's just talking among courtiers with occasional nice cinematographic visuals of the grounds. Be forewarned: the ronin samurai are a dim afterthought here. This is almost exclusively about "government" bureaucrats scheming and infighting. In other words, this 4 hours is almost non-stop talking in medium shots.

A samurai movie with no swordplay??

One Japanese lord takes offense at another Japanese Lord's remarks, attempts to kill him, gets sentenced to death, and his samuria vow revenge. Pretty decent plot outline for a movie.

However, if you're going to make a four-hour movie about samurai, you better mix in some decent swordplay. Because if you don't, all you've managed is to create an over-long education film. With a lot of talk, talk, talk, talk and more talk.

Did the Imperial Japanese War Department actually think this was going to convince the peasants to sign up to dive-bomb U. S. aircraft carriers? At least Hollywood propaganda efforts involved action while trying to convince Iowa farm boys to sign up and get themselves killed on some beach in France, African desert, or windswept Pacific island.

I wouldn't even call this a samurai movie, to be honest. It's more of a movie about manners, like The Remains of the Day. To be honest, the latter movie had more dramatic tension.

If someone recommends this movie to you, they don't like you very much.
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