Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji (Tomu Uchida, 1955)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji.

criterion logoAlready established and celebrated as an exemplary filmmaker in the 1920s and 1930s, Tomu Uchida returned to Japanese cinemas after a near decade-long absence in Manchuria to make Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, a compassionate tale about a lowly lancer named Gonpachi (Chiezô Kataoka) who travels with his young samurai master and another servant to Edo along the Tokaido road, repeatedly encountering the same peasant travelers.  A community is gradually formed between them as they become familiar with each other and their personal struggles despite the class barriers that separate them.  Made with assistance of fellow filmmakers Yasujirô Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Daisuke Itô, and Hiroshi Shimizu, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji is a picaresque story that deftly blends humor and drama to reveal the contradictory nature of Japanese society and stands as one of master director Tomu Uchida’s greatest films.

Disc Features:

  • High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New video interviews with critics Tadao Sato, David Bordwell, and Kristin Thompson
  • Trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by scholar Tony Rayns and an excerpt from Donald Richie’s essay “Rediscovering the Work of Tomu Ichida” written for the 2004 Tokyo FILMeX International Film Festival.

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