director Hideo Gosha
Astoundingly good, Hideo Gosha’s first feature film, Three Outlaw Samurai, is oddly enough a sort of prequel to a television show that Gosha had been directing. It features Tetsuro Tamba, Isamu Nagato, and Mikijirō Hira as the trio of ronin, meeting up for the first time in the midst of a peasant revolt for a cruel and heartless local magistrate. The peasants kidnap the magistrate’s daughter and attempt to negotiate and the three samurai find their places in the changing vantage on the situation.
Three Outlaw Samurai is visually inventive and surprising. Gosha tilts the camera mid-sequence for reframing certain shots as figures move in action. It’s just plain awesome.
I’ve seen about 30 samurai films since I started digging into the genre several years back. I’d seen Gosha’s Sword of the Beast (1965) which I also found impressive. Three Outlaw Samurai was so good, I’m keen now to watch more of his films.