Rotten Tomatoes
Cancel Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

The Fall of Ako Castle

1978 2h 39m Drama List
Reviews 60% Audience Score 50+ Ratings Loyal vassals and samurai join forces to avenge the unjust execution of a lord in Japan. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

Where to Watch

The Fall of Ako Castle

Fandango at Home Prime Video Apple TV

Rent The Fall of Ako Castle on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV, or buy it on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV.

Critics Reviews

View All (3) Critics Reviews
Anton Bitel Little White Lies plays a waiting game, focusing on the psychological tensions of a revenge that took place some 14 months after..., requiring extraordinary trust and forbearance on the part of rōnin often as unsure as the authorities what, if anything, Ōishi was plotting. Dec 23, 2023 Full Review Pieter-Jan Van Haecke Psychocinematography The composition of The Fall Of Ako Castle offers a combination of deliberate fluid dynamism, more dramatic visual flourishes and long static takes. Feb 16, 2024 Full Review David Cornelius For all its problems, Vengeance is a stunning work. Rated: 4/5 Oct 8, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (7) audience reviews
Audience Member I've watched 4 versions of Ch?shingura (47 ronin) including Reeve's silly Hollywood remake, but this one, is the best. Sonny Chiba's performance is undisputed. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/13/23 Full Review Audience Member In watching this we confronted two things: the story itself, and the film. Cinema is a familiar language: action, meaning, character, story, dialogue. We understand the language of narrative progression, cutting, montage. We see the story. Then there's the story itself, in this case the central story of Japan, the great tale of the 47 Samurai. It's puzzling, especially to our culture, I think, when it seems violence is venerated to a point of being a religion, or at least a code of conduct. Imagine if Jesus before allowing himself to be sacrificed first decided to hand-kill his enemies and a religion was based on a code of personal vengeance. The righteousness of revenge, then self-sacrifice, is unmistakeably upheld in this story. What is wonderful to consider are the questions this idea raises, not only for ourselves, but also for everyone in the world. If anyone can demonstrate a sense to this very human impulse it is the Japanese in this story, and perhaps Shakespeare. Revenge followed by death, in all the bloodiest terms, as a positive value. We loved this movie because there is a nobility in the treatment, a refinement of feeling unsurpassed. As with Japanese water colors, the lines are slender and clear, and unmistakeable, and the meaning resonates when all the lines are drawn out across the canvas of the film and the whole play is done. Cinematography was lovely, the violence, when it happened, brutal(though nothing resembling Fukasaku's Battles Without Honor and Humanity films about the rise of the yakuza). The characters easy to love and the questions raised were profound. It's a story worth revisiting many times, as it has been done since it happened in actuality in the 1700s. The most puzzling and intriguing thing of all, perhaps, is the entire code of conduct revealed by the story, a code of action that surpasses the authority of the Shogun, a code that, at least in principle, seeks to preserve dignity and honor for warriors, and in some cases, non-warriors. And as with all warrior codes there is a downside, and perhaps Kobayashi's films show us some of that, or the evolution of the samurai ideology into factions of yakuza in the modern era, the degeneration of values, the unmasking of the higher principle to reveal corruption hiding behind the noble face. There's a bit of that in the story itself, and in Fukasaku's treatment. Yet the noblest examples of these ideals are compelling examples, and we were transfixed throughout all the discussions and political intrigues leading to the final action, the alliances, the despair and hope and drama, and in our hearts we were with them. It is compelling and vivifying to partake of such complex and rich ideas that influence and guide so many lives and raise such intriguing and deep questions. To see other cultures pull away the visible front of authority and find a gap between word and deed, and in the struggle seek the strengthen the code itself, and perhaps succeed. Fascinating. And then there's Sonny Chiba kicking ass. That's pretty cool too. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Audience Member Chiba and Mifune need I say more? No Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/23/23 Full Review Audience Member Much, much better in the second half and an uncompromising ending. Complete waste of Mifune, though. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Audience Member Good, though rather slow, rendition of the legend of the 47 Ronin. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Audience Member Gripping and epic for a nearly three hour talkie. The very little swordplay in this movie is a very long but worthwhile wait, the build-up is a bit tiresome at times. Characters are richly written; I had never seen anything with Kinnosuke Yorozuya in it, let alone as the lead guy, he's carry this film effortlessly. Sonny Chiba and Toshiro Mifune have also smaller but just as interesting roles. The production values here are incredible, thanks mostly to the late Kinji Fukasaku (better known for Battle Royale) who was a very underrated filmmaker in his career. I was expecting some cheesy chambara flick but got a beautiful, intense epic classic. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Fall of Ako Castle

My Rating


Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis Loyal vassals and samurai join forces to avenge the unjust execution of a lord in Japan.
Kinji Fukasaku
Kôji Takada
Production Co
Toei Co. Ltd.
Original Language
2h 39m
Most Popular at Home Now