James Clavell’s SHOGUN
Many years before I discovered such films as Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, Sanjuro and Yojimbo, the 1980 NBC TV epic based on James Clavell’s novel SHOGUN was my introduction to legendary actor Toshiro Mifune, the world of ancient Japanese culture and the samurai.
Longtime fans of this classic 547 min. miniseries will be excited to know that it is set to be released by Paramount Home Video on July 22nd in a brand new 5 disc Blu Ray edition.
Set in the 17th century, Richard Chamberlain stars as John Blackthorne an English navigator who finds himself shipwrecked off the coast of Japan. He is soon taken in by the people and bears witness to the feud taking place which involves Toranaga (Toshiro Mifune) a feared warlord seeking to become Shogun (Supreme Miltary Dictator) of the land. Blackthorne is introduced to the lifestyle of the Japanese people while they in turn get to know more about him. The movie combines human drama with action and was a truly special event in the history of television. The excellent supporting cast includes Yoko Shimada, John Rhys-Davies, Frankie Sakai, Damien Thomas and features Orson Welles as the Narrator.
Official Synopsis: From best-selling author James Clavell (“King Rat,” “Noble House”) comes the sweeping award-winning story of love and war, set against the spectacular background of feudal Japan at the beginning of the 17th Century. Richard Chamberlain (TV’s “Dr. Kildare,” “The Thorn Birds”) stars as John Blackthorne, an English navigator shipwrecked off the coast of Japan. Rescued, he becomes an eyewitness to a deadly struggle involving Tornaga (Toshiro Mifune), a feuding warlord intent on becoming Shogun, the Supreme Military Dictator. At the same time Blackthorne is irresistibly drawn into the turmoil, he finds himself vying to become the first-ever Gai-Jin (foreigner) to be a made a samurai warrior.
Paramount Home Video hasn’t released all the technical details yet but we do know that the movie is remastered to 1080p and is in Full Frame Aspect Ratio.
Special Features include:
– Audio Commentary with Director Jerry London
– Historical Perspective Featurettes (SD)
– The Making of Shôgun (SD)