REBEL SAMURAI: SIXTIES SWORDPLAY CLASSICS (box set & sold separately) - Rebellion! The political and cultural tumult of the 1960s shook Japan as it did the rest of the world. Japanese filmmakers responded to the changing times by disguising themes of dissent in the traditional form of the swordplay film, or chanbara. Previously populated by heroic samurai, self-sacrificing ronin, and historical figures who exemplified noble Japanese virtues, the genre began embracing a new kind of hero, or antihero: the lone outcast, distrustful of authority but maintaining a personal code of honor. These four classic films, from four masters of Japanese cinema, turn a genre upside down, redefining for a modern generation the meaning of loyalty and honor, as embodied by the iconic figure of the samurai. Includes the following films: Cat: SWO050 Title: Rebel Samurai: Sixties Swordplay Classics (Collectors Box Set) UPC: 0-37429-21012-3 SRP: $99.95 Prebook date: 9/6/05 Street date: 10/4/05 SAMURAI REBELLION - Toshiro Mifune stars as Isaburo, an aging swordsman living a quiet life until his clan lord orders that his son marry the lord's mistress, who has recently displeased the ruler. Reluctantly, father and son take in the woman, and, to the family's surprise, the young couple fall in love. But the lord soon reverses his decision and demands the mistress's return. Against all expectations, Isaburo and his son refuse, risking the destruction of their entire family. Director Masaki Kobayashi's film is the gripping story of a peaceful man who finally decides to take a stand against injustice. The DVD also includes the trailer and an excerpt of a 1993 interview with the director. Cat: SAM170 Title: Samurai Rebellion UPC: 0-37429-21002-4 SRP: $29.95 Prebook date: 9/6/05 Street date: 10/4/05 SWORD OF THE BEAST - Legendary swordplay filmmaker Hideo Gosha chronicles the flight of Gennosuke, who kills one of his clan's ministers as part of a reform plot. He is pursued by his former comrades, and the betrayal so shakes his sense of honor that he decides to live in the wild, like an animal. There he encounters a motley group who are illegally mining the shogun's gold and, with the aid of another master swordsman, gets a chance not only at survival but to recover his name and honor. Cat: SWO040 Title: Sword of the Beast UPC: 0-37429-20972-1 SRP: $29.95 Prebook date: 9/6/05 Street date: 10/4/05 SAMURAI SPY - Years of warfare end in a Japan unified under the Tokugawa shogunate, and samurai spy Sasuke Sarutobi, tired of conflict, longs for peace. When a high-ranking spy named Koriyama defects from the shogun to a rival clan, however, the world of swordsmen is thrown into turmoil. After Sarutobi is unwittingly drawn into the conflict, he tracks Koriyama, while a mysterious, white-hooded figure seems to hunt them both. By tale's end, no one is who they seemed to be, and the truth is far more personal than anyone suspected. Director Masahiro Shinoda's tale, filled with clan intrigue, ninja spies, and multiple double crosses, marks a bold stylistic departure from swordplay film convention. The DVD also includes a new video interview with the director. Cat: SAM160 Title: Samurai Spy UPC: 0-37429-20982-0 SRP: $29.95 Prebook date: 9/6/05 Street date: 10/4/05 KILL! - In this pitch-black action comedy by Kihachi Okamoto, a pair of down-on-their-luck swordsmen arrive in a dusty, windblown town, where they become involved in a local clan dispute. One, previously a farmer, longs to become a noble samurai. The other, a former samurai haunted by his past, prefers living anonymously with gangsters. But when both men discover the wrongdoings of the nefarious clan leader, they side with a band of rebels who are under siege at a remote mountain cabin. Based on the same source novel as Akira Kurosawa's Sanjuro, Kill! playfully tweaks samurai film convention, borrowing from established chanbara classics and throwing in a little Italian western. Cat: KIL060 Title: Kill! UPC: 0-37429-20992-9 SRP: $29.95 Prebook date: 9/6/05 Street date: 10/4/05 LE SAMOURAI - In a career-defining performance, Alain Delon plays blue-eyed Jef Costello, a fedora- and trench-coat-wearing contract killer with samurai instincts. When Jef assassinates a nightclub owner, he finds himself confronted by a series of witnesses, who drop his perfect world into the hands of a persistent police investigator and Jef's shadowy employer, both of whom are determined to put an end to the smooth criminal. A razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture--with a liberal dose of Japanese lone-warrior mythology--maverick director Jean-Pierre Melville's masterpiece defines cool. Criterion's DVD will also include new video interviews with two Melville historians, a collection of excerpts from archival interviews with Melville, Delon, and others, the trailer, a reprinted tribute by filmmaker John Woo, and more. Cat: SAM150 Title: Le Samouraï UPC: 0-37429-20852-6 SRP: $29.95 Prebook date: 9/20/05 Street date: 10/18/05 THE WAGES OF FEAR - In the squalid, impoverished South American town of Las Piedras, desperate men and women from all over the world scrape out a living and dream of escape, under the watchful eye of the ruling Southern Oil Company. When a well explodes 300 miles away, the American company conscripts four of these unfortunates to drive trucks loaded with volatile nitroglycerin through treacherous mountains, a suicide mission that is their only way out. With The Wages of Fear, legendary director Henri-Georges Clouzot created one of the greatest thrillers ever committed to celluloid--an epic portrait of courage and cowardice, bursting with white-knuckle suspense and raw emotion. The DVD features a new, restored high-definition digital transfer, new interviews with Clouzot's biographer and assistant director, the trailer, and more. Cat: WAG110 Title: The Wages of Fear UPC: 0-37429-20322-4 SRP: $29.95 Prebook date: 9/20/05 Street date: 10/18/05 The REBEL SAMURAI box set is available for English Canada only. Of the individual titles, SWORD OF THE BEAST and SAMURAI SPY are also English Canada only. KILL! and SAMURAI REBELLION are available for all Canada. LE SAMOURAI is available for English Canada only, and THE WAGES OF FEAR is U.S. only.