Three Outlaw Samurai


Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80% · 5 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88% · 250 ratings
IMDb Rating 7.6/10 10 3855 3.9K

Plot summary

Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up their fight, joined by two renegades from the magistrate's guard, Sakura and Kikyo. The three outlaws find themselves in a battle to the death.

October 22, 2023 at 10:59 PM


Hideo Gosha

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
862.81 MB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 33 min
Seeds ...
1.56 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 33 min
Seeds ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ChungMo 7 / 10

Entertaining samurai action

Excellent black and white cinematography, solid acting, well done action and a reasonably good story make this a satisfying film. The story of wandering samurai coming to the aid of impoverished farmers is not new and the characters are stock but this isn't a real problem if you are looking for something to sit back and enjoy easily. The direction is very assured and it's remarkable that this is a first directorial effort. The actors are appealing and the film never gets bogged down in long exposition or beauty shots. The comparison to a spaghetti western is apt.

The film seems like it was intended to start a series based on the three characters. Too bad that didn't happen.

Reviewed by planktonrules 9 / 10


In some ways, this film might be a bit anachronistic. I really am not sure it such an event might have happened--particularly with the code of Bushido putting such a premium to authority. But you sure would HOPE that it might have happened! The film begins with a small group of peasants holding the magistrate's daughter hostage. After all, his taxes are literally starving the peasants and he would seem to care nothing about their plight. So, in their minds, doing something as insanely foolish as the kidnapping seemed like only hope. It just happens that three ronin (unemployed samurai) arrive in town about that time. One agrees to work for the evil magistrate, one assists the kidnappers and one stands least at the onset. Eventually, though, because of repeated lies and infamy by the magistrate, the three samurai eventually are drawn together as there is something even higher and more important that obedience--doing what is right.

There is a lot more to the story than this and it comes off like a western that has been relocated to feudal Japan. However, it is so much better than just that--with exceptional acting, action and plot. In many ways, it plays like a typical Zatoichi film merged with the Kurasawa film "The Seven Samurai". Exciting, entertaining and tough--this is one of the better sword and samurai films I've seen--and I have seen hundreds (a lot for an American).

Simple, exciting and very effective.

Reviewed by zetes 8 / 10

Very good samurai picture, and a great-looking Blu Ray from Criterion

Hideo Gosha got his start on television. His biggest hit was Three Outlaw Samurai, and in 1964 he got the chance to direct a prequel to that series with this, his first theatrical film. Tetsuro Tanba plays a wandering samurai who comes upon a hostage situation involving three peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of the local magistrate. The peasants of the district are being treated very poorly and are starving. Tanba sees that these guys aren't bad (the girl, Miyuki Kuwano, is unharmed) and decides to help them stand up to the magistrate. Among the men the magistrate hires to dispatch of the samurai and the peasants are Isamu Nagato and Mikijiro Hira, who will both switch sides and join up with Tanba eventually. Gosha's direction is impressive and the black and white cinematography is gorgeous. Occasionally the story is confusing and could be communicated a bit better, but for the most part it's not difficult to follow. The ending in particular is fantastic. I'd love to see some of the original series, but unfortunately it's lost.

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