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Machiko Kyo is gorgeous; the costumes even more so
This historical romance includes gorgeous period costumes (the women wear hip-length braided hair over their multi-layered brocade gowns), samurai swordplay, a sequence in which real ninja scale the walls of Osaka Castle, and a tragic love story. Machiko Kyo is utterly beautiful as Princess Senhime, a real historical person who was tragically caught up in one of the many dynastic wars that make up Japanese history. Even if you can't find a version with English subtitles, the film is worth watching for the photography alone, and the melodramatic acting typical of Japanese films about this period make it easy to follow the plot. When I visited the castle after seeing the film, we discovered that it boasts an Otis elevator; a Japanese high school boy who was with us observed that it would have made the film's graphic external assault on the castle unnecessary.
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