Jim Jarmusch

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Jim Jarmusch combined his love for the ice-cool crime dramas of Jean-Pierre Melville and Seijun Suzuki with the philosophical dimensions of samurai mythology for an eccentrically postmodern take on the hit-man thriller. In one of his defining roles, Forest Whitaker brings a commanding serenity to his portrayal of a Zen contract killer working for a bumbling mob outfit, a modern man who adheres steadfastly to the ideals of the Japanese warrior code even as chaos and violence spiral around him. Featuring moody cinematography by the great Robby Müller, a sublime score by the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, and a host of colorful character actors (including a memorably stone-faced Henry Silva), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai plays like a pop-culture-sampling cinematic mixtape built around a one-of-a-kind tragic hero.

Film Info

  • Jim Jarmusch
  • United States
  • 1999
  • 116 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #1057

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate isolated stereo music track
  • New Q&A with Jarmusch, in which he responds to questions sent in by fans
  • New conversation between actors Forest Whitaker and Isaach De Bankolé, moderated by film scholar Michael B. Gillespie
  • New interview with casting director Ellen Lewis
  • New interview with Shifu Shi Yan Ming, founder of the USA Shaolin Temple
  • Flying Birds: The Music of “Ghost Dog,” a new video essay on RZA’s score by filmmaker Daniel Raim
  • The Odyssey: A Journey into the Life of a Samurai, a 2000 program on the making of the film
  • Deleted scenes and outtakes
  • Archival interviews
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: Essays by critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Greg Tate, a 2000 interview with Jarmusch, and quotations from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, by the early-eighteenth-century monk Yamamoto Tsunetomo

New cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

Released Nov 17, 2020

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised and approved by director Jim Jarmusch, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate isolated stereo music track
  • New Q&A with Jarmusch, in which he responds to questions sent in by fans
  • New conversation between actors Forest Whitaker and Isaach De Bankolé, moderated by film scholar Michael B. Gillespie
  • New interview with casting director Ellen Lewis
  • New interview with Shifu Shi Yan Ming, founder of the USA Shaolin Temple
  • Flying Birds: The Music of “Ghost Dog,” a new video essay on RZA’s score by filmmaker Daniel Raim
  • The Odyssey: A Journey into the Life of a Samurai, a 2000 program on the making of the film
  • Deleted scenes and outtakes
  • Archival interviews
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: Essays by critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Greg Tate, a 2000 interview with Jarmusch, and quotations from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, by the early-eighteenth-century monk Yamamoto Tsunetomo

New cover by Eric Skillman

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Cast
Forest Whitaker
Ghost Dog
John Tormey
Louie
Cliff Gorman
Sonny Valerio
Henry Silva
Ray Vargo
Isaach De Bankolé
Raymond
Tricia Vessey
Louise Vargo
Victor Argo
Vinny
Gene Ruffini
Old consigliere
Richard Portnow
Handsome Frank
Camille Winbush
Pearline
Gary Farmer
Nobody
Credits
Director
Jim Jarmusch
Written by
Jim Jarmusch
Produced by
Richard Guay
Produced by
Jim Jarmusch
Director of photography
Robby Müller
Edited by
Jay Rabinowitz
Production designer
Ted Berner
Costume designer
John Dunn
Sound designer
Chic Ciccolini
Music by
RZA
Coproducer
Diana Schmidt
Casting by
Ellen Lewis
Casting by
Laura Rosenthal

From The Current

Ghost Dog: By the Book
Ghost Dog: By the Book

Two Zen masters of contemporary American cinema—Jim Jarmusch and Forest Whitaker—explore masculine codes of honor in this postmodern mix of the samurai and gangster genres.

By Greg Tate

Ghost Dog as International Sampler
Ghost Dog as International Sampler

In his final film of the twentieth century, Jim Jarmusch evokes the tragic weight of history while also anticipating the mythical identities of a social-media-saturated future.

By Jonathan Rosenbaum