Dutiful swordsman Isaburo (Mifune) is dismayed when the local ruler he’s loyal to, Lord Matsudaira (Matsumura), coerces Isaburo’s eldest son Yogoro (Kato) to marry disgraced mistress Lady Ichi (Tsukasa). Surprisingly, Yogoro accepts the offer without a struggle, and soon after settling in together, the young couple has fallen in love. But Lord Matsudaira’s fickle nature won’t let the matter rest, forcing Isaburo to take a stand against him...
Masaki Kobayashi (“Hara-Kiri”) is one of the least well-known Japanese masters on our shores, yet his reputation should be greater on the strength of “Rebellion” alone, which tells the story of a samurai (the legendary Mifune) battling to save the union of his son and daughter-in-law from a feudal lord’s meddling. Kobayashi’s beautiful compositional sense and Toru Takemitsu’s traditional flute score complement the film’s riveting meditation on power, loyalty, and the honor of disobedience.