The Loyal 47 Ronin of the Genroku Era

Film

Time Out says

Made during the work-up to war, Mizoguchi's retelling of the traditional tale of the four dozen loyal feudal samurai who, in 1700, avenged the clan lord Asano's death (he committed seppuku after impetuously attacking a lord who had insulted him) is concerned with the place and meaning of the Bushido warrior code, which was in decline after 70 years of peace. An immense popular success, the film was approved by the propaganda authority and at near four hours may strain viewers not unduly interested in military ethics. Lovers of Mizoguchi, however, will marvel at the technical accomplishment, the elegance of compositional line and camera movement, and note the relegation of battle to reported speech and the concentration on human drama, notably the role of the chief vassal Oishi and the end sequence concerning the plight of a samurai's betrothed.

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