Genroku Chûshingura (The 47 Ronin) (1941)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Genroku Chûshingura (The 47 Ronin) Photos

Movie Info

Produced over a two-year period, Kenji Mizoguchi's version of the oft-filmed Seika Mayama story The 47 Ronin was too big to be confined to a single film. Thus, it was released in two parts, each running between 105 and 115 minutes. The story begins in feudal Japan in December of 1701, when warrior leader Lord Asano is tricked into committing Hara-Kiri. Oishi, Asano's loyal clansman, holds the wicked Lord Kira responsible. 14 months after Arano's death, Oishi assembles 47 loyal Ronin (samurai) to exact vengeance. Director Mizoguchi abandoned his usual fascination with modern-day social problems in favor of epic patriotism (remember, the film was made while Japan was still winning World War II. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Drama
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Critic Reviews for Genroku Chûshingura (The 47 Ronin)

All Critics (2)

This was possibly the best film of Japan's war period.

Full Review… | January 30, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The relatively muted tone of The 47 Ronin doesn't prevent the ending from having emotional impact.

Full Review… | April 28, 2002

Audience Reviews for Genroku Chûshingura (The 47 Ronin)

This is a slow and patient film. It's fairly simple in execution. Split into two parts a little less than 2 hours a piece. The first half tell the story of a clans shaming and quest for revenge. We get to know many of the central characters and the people around them. The second half is all about the carrying out of said revenge. Mizoguchi takes his subject seriously, almost too much so in a way. Some scenes do feel long as a football field. Still what's here is a lot of quality in every technical aspect. The design, costumes, acting and cinematography are all great and precursor's to the director later styles. All in all this is for the die hard samurai fans only. Most others may find it dull.

Michael Stuhlman
Michael Stuhlman

[img][/img] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]In 1701 Japan, the Shogun is well liked by his people; however, that does not keep corruption from occurring within his government. Lord Takuminokami Asano knows of such corruption and will not go along with it. Asano makes an attempt to kill Kozunosuke Kira, a man behind many of the local corruptions. When Asano’s attempt fails he is sentenced to hara-kiri. After Asano death, the local ronin are sent out of the city as outcasts, no longer needed. They band together in an attempt to obtain revenge for Asano’s demise.[/color][/size][/font] [color=white][/color] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]“Did you intend to kill him?”[/color][/size][/font] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]“My sword missed killing him. I regret it.”[/color][/size][/font] [color=white][/color] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]Kenji Mizoguchi, director of A Chronicle of the May Rain, Under the Crimson Sunset, A Paper Doll's Whisper of Spring, The Mountain Pass of Love and Hate, and The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums, delivers the 47 Ronin parts 1 & 2. The storyline for this film starts with great promise but drags on as the assisting ronin help with strong reluctance. There is little to no action in this picture while the film attempts to be carried by its dialogue.[/color][/size][/font] [color=white][/color] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]“Losing samurai spirit, he only thinks of profit.”[/color][/size][/font] [color=white][/color] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]The paintings on the walls, the request to alter the hara-kiri, the servants taking care of the wife’s hair, the last poem, the mother’s conversation with the children, the son’s request for aid, the father and son conversation about storming the castle, the father and son’s hara-kiri scene, the children practicing archery, and the divorce request were amongst the better portions of the film.[/color][/size][/font] [color=white][/color] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]“Reading this must puzzle you.”[/color][/size][/font] [color=white][/color] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]The 47 Ronin, part 1 is a methodical moving picture with intriguing dialogue and no action. This film is carried by seeing samurai, who are all responsible and respectable, differ on the revenge plot. All the samurai need money, jobs, and a cause. Despite everything they are looking for becoming available, this might not be the job for them. The outcome of this tale, present in 47 Ronin part 2, may be interesting, but the methodical approach to get there may not be.[/color][/size][/font] [color=white][/color] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=white]“More frail than petals scattered in the wind…”[/color][/size][/font] [color=white][/color] [font=Times New Roman][size=3][color=#000000][color=white]Grade: C[/color] [/color][/size][/font]

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

Mizoguchi's version of this oft-filmed story seems to focus almost entirely on the politics of the situation and the samurai code, and feels very cold and inhuman. However, in the last hour of the movie it gains a spark of humanity that almost redeems the first three hours. It was commissioned to inspire a sense of loyalty, but to me the effect is quite the opposite -- in this film, the samurais and their code of honor seem foolish. Overall, a disappointment.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

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