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James Clavell's Shogun [5 Discs] [DVD] [1980]

Release Date:09/23/2003
Shogun is widely regarded as one of the best miniseries in the history of the form. The entire nine-hour endeavor is presented on this five-disc set. The show is presented in its original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.33:1. English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Mono. English subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by director Jerry London on a handful of sequences, as well as an exhaustive documentary that covers nearly every aspect of this epic production. This is a very entertaining set from Paramount.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (18 out of 18)

    Special Features

    • 13-segment documentary on the making of Shogun
    • Historical featurettes: "The Samurai," "The Tea Ceremony," "The Geisha"
    • Full-screen format
    • Dolby Digital English 5.1 surround
    • Dolby Digital English restored mono
    • English subtitles
    • Audio commentary by director Jerry London on select scenes
    • Closed Captioned


    Based on the epic novel by James Clavell, Shogun originated as an epic five-part television miniseries, filmed on location in Japan. Richard Chamberlain stars as John Blackthorne, a 17th century British sea pilot in charge of a Dutch vessel. Shipwrecked off the coast of Japan, Blackthorne is in danger of being executed by the suspicious, reclusive Japanese hierarchy, but before long he has been accepted into the local culture. Accordingly, he begins to think of himself as Japanese, adopting the nation's customs and, while wearing the robes of a Samurai warrior, helping to defend the land against its enemies. The arrival of Blackthorne unfortunately arouses the interest of European empire-builders, who hope to add Japan to their holdings. Toshiro Mifune costars as Toranaga, a warlord who befriends Blackthorne, and Yoko Shimada appears as Mariko, the interpreter who eventually falls in love with the Englishman. When it first aired in September of 1980, Shogun caused eyebrows to raise with its seemingly reckless disregard of certain TV taboos: for example, one man is beheaded in full view of the audience, while another relieves himself on the body of an enemy. Most of the early dialogue sequence are in Japanese, which resulted in complaints from many monolingual viewers. As a result, the 1983 rebroadcast of Shogun included English narration by Orson Welles. The 125-minute feature version of Shogun, prepared for home video, includes English subtitles--as well as several originally excised scenes of nudity and excessive violence. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Richard Chamberlain
      Richard Chamberlain - John Blackthorne
    • Toshiro Mifune
      Toshiro Mifune - Toranaga
    • Yoko Shimada
      Yoko Shimada - Mariko
    • Frankie Sakai
      Frankie Sakai - Yabu
    • Alan Badel
      Alan Badel - Father Dell'Aqua

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.