Director Eiichi Kudo (1929-2000)

Thirteen Assassins The Great Killing Eleven Samurai

Heavenly Dragon (1960)
Flowers on the Road (1961)
Castle of Owls (1963)
Thirteen Assassins (1963)
The Great Killing (1964)
Eleven Samurai (1966)
Bounty Hunter: Fort of Death (1969)
Shadow Warriors (1980)
Assassination Orders (1984)
Saito Dosan: Rage of Power (1991)

Eiichi Kudo Eiichi Kudo has garnered a reputation as one of the outlaw rebels of Japanese cinema, but he started out his career very much a cog in the Toei studio machine. He initially aspired to work in contemporary films and felt reluctant when the studio assigned him to duty in its jidai-geki department. In the early 1960s Kudo churned out a traditional Shimizu no Jirocho series (which I would so desperately love to see) and a number of musical comedy vehicles for singing star Hibari Misora.

Along with his colleagues Tadashi Imai and Tai Kato, Kudo spearheaded a movement at Toei to explore more realistic and artistically ambitious territory amidst the commercial chambara fare. The result was a flourishing of cruel jidai-geki features, generally shot in black and white scope and focusing on injustice and dishonor in the samurai era. Kudo contributed his loosely connected "Samurai Revolution" trilogy of Thirteen Assassins, The Great Killing and Eleven Samurai.

The Filmmakers

The Jidai-Geki Knights