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Twilight Samurai (5.1/DTS)

Released on 22 November 2004

Featuring: Hiroyuki Sanada, Rie Miyazawa & Nenji Kobayashi

Format: DVD | Rating: 12 years & over

4.0 out of 5 (5 customer reviews) | Write a review

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In pre-Meiji Japan, low ranking samurai Seibei Iguchi leads a simple life without glory. As a widower, he does not drink and socialise with fellow samurai, preferring instead to tend to his two daughters and his senile mother. Earning the nickname 'Tasogare Seibei' (Twilight Seibei) as he is always home by nightfall, he struggles in poverty to make ends meet.

Suddenly re-entering Seibei's life is his long time unrequited love Tomoe, who wishes to divorce her brutal husband. However, the samurai code is strict and with social conventions against them, the consequences for the pair may be tragic...
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Tartan trailer reel
  • Film notes from Tim Robey
  • Interactive menus
  • Scene selection

customer Reviews

 Average rating (5 reviews)

 Beautifully Mesmerizing!

| | See all Jessalba's reviews (7)

Twilight Samurai is the first of three samurai based films by dir. Yoji Yamada.

I feel obliged to write this short review and urge you to take time for this film.
If you have not yet been affected by Japanese cinema and the heart of their cultural values then, here is a film that provides that choice.

I managed to persuade my mother to watch this with me when it was released, and we still talk about today.
I have recently watched this film without the english subtitles and found it even more astonishing.

If there is one Japanese film you buy this decade, it is safe to choose Twilight Samurai. In fact it is important that you see.

 Yamada directs a classic.

| | See all gavtherock's reviews (15)

The first of Yamada's samurai trilogy explores what honour really means and that duty can mean many things. Excellent adition to anyones DVD collection.

 Honor and Pride

| | See all stuartfear's reviews (768)

Top 100  Reviewer Top 100 DVD Reviewer

It's a new style of Samurai movie, it has has a originality with a classic touch of heritage. It displays characteristics of the classic Samurai movies but brings with it a freshness. It's not a slasher movie with gallons of blood, this is a tasteful movie about the life of a Samurai. A man who wishes to make a straight life but is unable to escape the his role. It's shot brilliantly well, it's written well and it has good performances from all the cast. Very Good movie, MUST SEE!

 The Twilight Samurai

| | See all HovisBread's reviews (27)

I recorded 'The Twilight Samurai' when it was shown on BBC4 a week or so back (at time of writing) and only watched it last night with my dear old mother (again, at time of writing)! I have a fair knowledge of Far Eastern cinema and knew that this film wasn't an action romp or embellished piece of film-making. Neither was it a sweeping epic show-casing massive battle fields, beautiful landscapes and / or gigantic cities. This was a drama through-and-through, and a very good one at that. Anyone expecting an ultra-violent samurai flick or something on those lines will be disappointed, but I like to think they would persist with their viewing experience because there is a good chance they may come away rewarded with their preserverance (here's hoping).

I was captivated with The Twilight Samurai on multiple levels. The small cast of characters were all genuinely interesting and particular the main lead I found highly engaging. This was a character I cared about. The film oozed the feeling of history and culture, and the atmosphere amplified this aspect no end. This was simple and highly effective film-making (it was nice to watch a relatively modern film that didn't use flashy editing techniques, jerky hand-held cameras and elaborate visual trickery to keep people with short-attention spans interested. In fact, this film wouldn't have worked if it had tried to be to elaborate!). I loved the way it was shot and the camera angles really impressed me. Even the sound had a subtle quality to it (whether it was the background sounds or the musical score).

Indeed, my mother who has never really watched a "proper" Japanese film (or a film from the Far East region in general) was transfixed from beginning-to-end. I suspect a lot of her stereotypical notions of what Japanese film-making is all about had been nicely chipped away with this effort. She even said she would certainly be more willing to watch films from the Far East region after her enjoyment of this wonderful movie. And who can blame her on the evidence of this, eh?

On a personal note, one aspect I loved about our lead character was his contentment and happiness in the simple things. He wasn't interested in the pursuit of power, wealth or "improved" status. He wasn't a cheap-thrill seeker. He just cared about his family. This is an aspect in life (particulary modern-life) that people should pay more attention to. I know and have known many people who always want more, thanks to multiple factors such as media and the obsession with "celebrities" as well as the insatiable desire for materialistic gain. There may be nothing wrong with ambition, but in no way does it guarantee one shall live a more fulfilling life than someone content in the more simple things (probably the reverse in my opinion). Thought I'd add that!

Overall I thought The Twilight Samurai was an absolutely superb film and an example of what one misses out on if they have the prejudice of only sticking with english spoken films (fools!).

The DVD may not have any substantial extra features but it does offer Japanese language (with english subtitles) Dolby Digital 2.0, 5.1 and 5.1 DTS sound options and a beautiful picture.

My verdict: brilliant, brilliant film!

 Good Japanese Cinema

| | See all AfroNathan's reviews (7)

This movie centres around a humble and somewhat low ranked samurai who looks after his family on his lowly wages, this is not the centre of the film but is important none the less.

The movie was held in high regard by other reveiws with 5 stars but I must give it a 4/5.

This movie is a good movie and is worth seeing but I do not think it is essential viewing, it has a good story and plot but not as good as Yoji Yamada's other movie called 'The hidden blade' which I think is an essential watch.

Overall good movie but 'The hidden blade' is a better choice, search for it on play.


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ActorsHiroyuki Sanada, Rie Miyazawa, Nenji Kobayashi, Ren Osugi, Hiroshi Kanbe, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Min Tanaka Keiko Kishi & Tetsuro Tanba
DirectorYoji Yamada
Certificate12 years and over
ScreenWidescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic
LanguagesJapanese - Dolby Digital (5.1) ; DTS
Additional LanguagesJapanese - Dolby Digital (2.0) Stereo
Duration2 hours and 9 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.