(aka 'Official Gold' or 'Steel Edge of Revenge')

Directed by Hideo Gosha
Japan 1969

Hideo Gosha's "Goyokin," an elaborate but undistinguished Japanese samurai movie with a bleeding, liberal heart, is about Mogobei (Tatsuya Nakadai), an enlightened Oriental equivalent to Tonino Valerii + Sergio Leone's My Name is Nobody.

Magobei becomes a renegade samurai when he refuses to put his clan's welfare above that of some common fisher folk, murdered so that the clan may obtain gold enough to pay its taxes to the corrupt shogun. "See how a bad government makes us dirty our hands," says one of Magobei's former clansmen, and it's apparent that a perfectly respectable 19th-century adventure genre has been updated, if not corrupted, by 20th-century liberalism of the sort that is so anachronistic in some of our own Westerns.

The movie's real interest is not politics but the kind of swordplay and slaughter that anesthetizes without giving preliminary pleasure. The time is 1834, toward the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, whose collapse is as much a reference point for samurai films as the Civil War is for American frontier movies.

Excerpt from Vincent Canby's review at the NY Times located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 1st, 1969 - Tokyo

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DVD Review: Tokyo Shock - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Tokyo Shock - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:04:36 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.9 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English,  None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Tokyo Shock

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Trailers

• Previews

DVD Release Date: February 14th, 2006

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Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

One of the better films of the samurai genre that I have ever seen but the DVD is a bit weak. Although tight to the edges of the frame it is not progressive and exhibits fine combing in all horizontal pans (see last capture). With nothing to compare it to it is hard to know whether it was simply taken from an unconverted PAL standard source - which is possible. The 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio has been maintained and I see no digital manipulation (unless the blacks are slightly boosted) - always a good sign to give a film-like representation. Hence it appears quite dark. Subtitles are clear and seem accurate although perhaps a little on the large side. There are no extras aside from a trailer and some other Tokyo Shock DVD previews. It seems a shade on the higher priced side but the highly lauded film is essential (and rare) samurai viewing. Hardcore genre buffs will absolutely want this disc in their DVD libraries.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Evident combing...
 

 


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Distribution Tokyo Shock - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

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