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Lady Snowblood (1973)

Shurayukihime (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Thriller | 1 December 1973 (Japan)
A young girl is born and raised to be an instrument of revenge.



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Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Lady Snowblood is caught in the politics of early 20th century Japan.

Director: Toshiya Fujita
Stars: Meiko Kaji, Jûzô Itami, Kazuko Yoshiyuki
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After being used and betrayed by the detective she had fallen in love with, young Matsu is sent to a female prison full of sadistic guards and disobedient prisoners.

Director: Shun'ya Itô
Stars: Meiko Kaji, Rie Yokoyama, Yayoi Watanabe
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of a Ronin (i.e. a masterless samurai) who wanders the countryside of Japan with his small child, having various adventures.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Fumio Watanabe, Gô Katô
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After spending a year in solitary confinement, Matsu escapes from prison with six more convicts, followed by the guards led by the vengeful warden who wants her dead at all costs.

Director: Shun'ya Itô
Stars: Meiko Kaji, Fumio Watanabe, Yukie Kagawa
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Trailed by a clan of female ninja, Ogami is paid to assassinate a clan traitor accompanied by three killers known as the Gods of Death.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Kayo Matsuo, Minoru Ôki


Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshio Kurosawa ...
Masaaki Daimon ...
Miyoko Akaza ...
Shinichi Uchida ...
Takeo Chii ...
Noboru Nakaya ...
Yoshiko Nakada ...
Kaoru Kusuda ...
Otora Mikazuki
Sanae Nakahara ...
Hôsei Komatsu ...
Makoto Matsuzaki ...
Hiroshi Hasegawa ...
Daihachi Kachime
Takehiko Ono ...
(as Susumu Kuroki)


Yuki's family is nearly wiped out before she is born due to the machinations of a band of criminals. These criminals kidnap and brutalize her mother but leave her alive. Later her mother ends up in prison with only revenge to keep her alive. She creates an instrument for this revenge by purposefully getting pregnant. Though she dies in childbirth, she makes sure that the child will be raised as an assassin to kill the criminals who destroyed her family. Young Yuki never knows the love of a family but only killing and revenge. Written by Fred Cabral <ftcabral@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 December 1973 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Lady Snowblood  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Meiko Kaji was originally supposed to say the word "tears" at the end, but this line was ultimately cut from the film. See more »


The revolver that Gishiro fires at Yuki is a Webley, which is capable of holding but six rounds. Gishiro fired 7 rounds without reloading. See more »


Narrator: People say you can't wash away the mud of this world with pure white snow. You need asura snow - stained fiery red.
See more »


Referenced in Little Red Riding Hood (2009) See more »


Shura no Hana
Sung by Meiko Kaji
See more »

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User Reviews

Lady Awesome
1 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

Version: Eastern Eye's R4 DVD release. Japanese / English subtitles.

I probably would not have been able to see 'Lady Snowblood' had it not been for Quentin Tarantino and 'Kill Bill'. I've seen the 'Lone Wolf and Cub' movies several times on SBS, and I think they're great, but I probably would not have been able to find a copy of Lady Snowblood without the popularity of 'Kill Bill'. Luckily for me, I still managed to see 'Lady Snowblood' before 'Kill Bill'. I don't want to sound smug, but I'm probably one of the few people my age who can say that, and seeing 'Lady Snowblood' before 'Kill Bill' is a lot better than seeing 'Kill Bill' and then expecting 'Lady Snowblood' to be exactly like 'Kill Bill'.

In the 3rd year of Meiji Japan (1871 or thereabouts, I think), a family is attacked by bandits. The father and child are killed, the mother Sayo (Miyoko Akaza) taken by one of the evil-doers as a slave. When Sayo is imprisoned and unable to exact her vengeance, she bears another child, Yuki (Meiko Kaji), to carry on where Sayo. Yuki is born for vengeance, and that may be all she ever knows.

Normally I comment on revenge stories and say "wow awesome vengeance!". However, in this case, I've been studying this period of Japanese history for a university course, and I can appreciate this as more than just a tale of vengeance. 'Lady Snowblood' is a tragedy, a story about sweeping social upheaval and the people caught up in change. Of course, I can't resist pointing out the fact that this is also an awesome revenge story. 'Lady Snowblood' is an awesome revenge story.

Despite the high amount of fake blood, 'Kill Bill' and 'Lone Wolf and Cub' are better action movies than 'Lady Snowblood'. Meiko Kaji's Yuki is fearsome, and she fights well, but the over-the-top fights of 'Kill Bill' and 'Lone Wolf and Cub' are better. The camera is shaky at times, and the action is often hard to distinguish, but any fan of 'Kill Bill' or the classic samurai movies should still be able to appreciate it.

'Lady Snowblood' stands as one of the best classic samurai movies around. The remake 'Princess Blade' doesn't hold a candle to this, nor does the similar Etsuko Shihomi film 'Dragon Princess'. I even think fans of the recent 'Azumi' should check out 'Lady Snowblood'. Those who haven't seen 'Kill Bill' should see this first, and then 'Kill Bill' after. 'Lady Snowblood' isn't just a revenge story, but its still a a damn good revenge story - 9/10

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