"The Samurai Trilogy"
Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki
All three chapters in
Hiroshi Inagaki's Samurai trilogy, about Japan's most notorious 17th
century swordfighter, Mushashi Miyamoto (Toshiro Mifune), are included in
this set. The Oscar-winning Samurai I: Mushashi Miyamoto (1954, 93
mins.) details Miyamoto's odyssey from farmer to disaffected killer.
Having fought on the losing side during the civil war, he returns as a
manic outlaw caught between his feelings for a beautiful village girl and
a sympathetic Buddhist priest. In Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple
(1955, 103 mins.), Miyamoto perfects his technical skills, completing his
transformation into a savage warrior. His mythic spiritual quest for inner
harmony is disrupted by the presence of a rival samurai and the loss of
the woman he loved. In the final chapter, Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu
Island (1956, 104 mins.), Miyamoto resolves the tensions in his life,
confronting the emotional pain of the two women who love him and the
roguish swordsman who challenges his domain.