Three outlaw samurai

Three outlaw samurai

DVD - 2012 | Japanese
Average Rating:
Rate this:
An offshoot of a Japanese television series of the same name, "Three outlaw samurai" is a classic in its own right. A wandering, seen-it-all ronin becomes entangled in the dangerous business of two other samurai hired to execute a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of a corrupt magistrate. With remarkable storytelling economy and thrilling action scenes, it's an expertly mounted tale of revenge and loyalty.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Sep 29, 2020

Three Outlaw Samurai, director Gosha's first feature, came out in the same year that Sergio Leone's first characteristic feature, Fistful of Dollars, and seems determined to do for the chanbara or sword-fight film what Leone wanted to do for the western--switch its focus from romance to action, from characterization to archetypalization, and from a broad, open, easily comprehended visual style to one that is tight, constricted, deliberately obfuscating or confusing. Both Gosha and Leone are inspired, to the extent of plagiarism, by a Kurosawa film. Leone apes Yojimbo quite sedulously (and was sued for it), while Gosha relies more generally on The Seven Samurai, though reducing its central forces from seven to three. Both Gosha and Leone strive to fill the 'scope frame as fully and shallowly as possible, orientating most compositions within it horizontally and in close-ups and medium close shots. But whereas Leone exploits facial close-ups and minimal movement with gusto and daring, Gosha places the camera low, so that figures are truncated and the actors' movements occupy the centers of the wide images; there is a lot of running around in TOS. Both directors make fight scenes hard to follow and highly incredible; in this, they differ from their common source, Kurosawa, who takes great pains to make every lethal thrust visible and believable. This is because both Gosha and Leone are abstracting the genres in which they're working, making live-action cartoons of them. If TOS is much more attractive than FOD, which I think it is, it's because the actors, the score, and the cinematography are better, and because TOS is much less amoral than FOD. --Ray Olson

Nov 30, 2015

A great tale of samurais with varying levels of honor and dishonor. Honorable samurais keep their word, aid the defenseless, and support other honorable samurai. Just as with any basically honorable group, there are a number of individuals in the group that haven’t bought into the idea of honor.

May 19, 2015

A well-paced and structured story with some wild sword-fighting throughout.

Jul 18, 2014

This is a 1964 Japanese action film by director Hideo Gosha.
The film is an offshoot of the original Japanese television series of the same name.
Shiba, a wandering samurai, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial and corrupt magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes.
Shiba takes up their fight, later joined by two renegades: kikyo, the magistrate's guard, and Sakura, another wandering samurai.
The three outlaws find themselves in a battle to the death for their own beliefs and causes.
It somewhat reminds me of "Seven Samurai" directed by the legendary filmmaker---Akira Kurosawa.
In any case, this is a gripping and exciting action film with thrilling sword-fighting.

kevfarley Jan 06, 2014

Wonderful !! Swift action, strong production values, engaging actors, richly photographed in b&w ,.. along the spiritual lines of Seven Samurai.

Jul 23, 2012

Love these old samurai movies with "manly" selfless characters fighting for peasants against crooked imperial servants in old Japan:

May 18, 2012

Better than average samurai flick perhaps best described as 流体

Note to Toshiaki Tsushima: Loose the electric harpsichord!


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SLPL

To Top