Rebel Samurai:  Sixties Swordplay Classics

Rebel Samurai:
Sixties Swordplay Classics

Rebel Samurai:  Sixties Swordplay Classics (Criterion DVD)

DVD Collector's Set

4 Discs

SRP: $99.95

Criterion Store price:$79.96

Collector's Set Info

REBELLION! The political and cultural tumult of the early 1960s shook Japan as it did the rest of the world. Japanese filmmakers responded to the changing times by disguising themes of dissent in the traditional form of the swordplay film, or chanbara. Previously populated by heroic samurai, self-sacrificing ronin, and historical figures who exemplified noble Japanese virtues, the genre began embracing a new kind of hero, or antihero: the lone outcast, distrustful of authority but maintaining a personal code of honor. These four classic films, from four masters of Japanese cinema, turn a genre upside down, redefining for a modern generation the meaning of loyalty and honor, as embodied by the iconic figure of the samurai.

Collector’s Set Includes

Kill! box cover


Kihachi Okamoto 1968

In this pitch-black action comedy by Kihachi Okamoto, based on the same source novel as Akira Kurosawa’s Sanjuro, a pair of down-on-their-luck swordsmen arrive in a dusty, windblown town, where they become involved in a local clan dispute.

Samurai Rebellion box cover

Samurai Rebellion

Masaki Kobayashi 1967

Toshiro Mifune stars as an aging swordsman in director Masaki Kobayashi’s Samurai Rebellion, the gripping story of a peaceful man who finally decides to take a stand against injustice.

Samurai Spy box cover

Samurai Spy

Masahiro Shinoda 1965

Years of warfare end in a Japan unified under the Tokugawa shogunate, and samurai spy Sasuke Sarutobi, tired of conflict, longs for peace. When a high-ranking spy named Tatewaki Koriyama defects from the shogun to a rival clan, however, the world of swordsmen is thrown into turmoil.

Sword of the Beast box cover

Sword of the Beast

Hideo Gosha 1965

Legendary swordplay filmmaker Hideo Gosha’s Sword of the Beast chronicles the flight of the low-level swordsman Gennosuke, who kills one of his ministers as part of a reform plot. His comrades then turn on him and, his sense of honor shaken, he decides to live in the wild, like an animal.


Kyle K.

Updated 11/21/2017


Ryan Williams

Updated 11/19/2017


Will Suvak

Updated 11/11/2017



Updated 03/07/2017


Ron Simmons

Updated 03/30/2017



Updated 10/09/2017


Archie Tchakedjian

Updated 10/12/2017


Shelly M. Sampon

Updated 11/22/2017



Updated 11/14/2017



Updated 11/26/2016


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