The Battle of Port Arthur


Drama / History / War

IMDb Rating 6.6 10 203


Downloaded times
December 27, 2020



Toshirô Mifune as Tsuruchiyo Niiro
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.66 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
185 min
P/S N/A / N/A
3.08 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
185 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by robertsvard 6 / 10 / 10

Old fashioned gut and glory with a sentimental subplot

This is not exactly a masterpiece of of a movie. It depicts, generally, the "glorious" battle for Hill 203 during the Russo-Japanese war in 1905. The hill was eventually captured at stupendous loss of life on both the Japanese and Russian sides. The capture of the hill enabled the Japanese army to put pressure on the Russian pacific fleet, thus securing the Japanese victory together with Admiral Togo's "lucky" win in the coming naval battle. The movie is sometimes quite heavy, complete with thick pancake make up even in close-ups and stunningly unrealistic beards. The fighting scenes are full of hands thrown up in the air and death cries, ketchup blood and people yelling banzai. All in all it reminds me of the kind of war movies put out in Hollywood about 30 years earlier. For history buffs and those interested in seeing a war movie with a more "oriental" flavour, I'd recommend it. I've never found a subtitled copy though the Japanese is not so difficult. Worth noting are the actors playing Emperor Meiji, General Nogo and the young idealistic lieutenant who also provides the movie with a subplot of love, a woman left behind and the angst of combining an internationalist pacifist world view with a burning patriotism. Super stuff.

Reviewed by topitimo-829-270459 6 / 10 / 10

War epic, that failed to make an impact.

A little context first. Mifune and Nakadai previously starred in "Battle of the Japan Sea" (Nihonkai daikasen, 1969), a movie about the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). The film painted the political context of the war nicely, but failed to create two-dimensional characters. Mifune later reprised his role as famous naval officer Togo Heihachiro in "Battle Anthem" (Nihonkai daikasen: Umi yukaba, 1983), which told the narrative from the perspective of the young soldiers who fought in the war, but lacked proper contextualization. It was directed by Masuda Toshio, who helmed this movie three years prior. "Port Arthur" (203 kochi, 1980) is in many ways the fusion of the two other films. It gives you the historical background and the politics, but also a youthful protagonist (Aoi Teruhiko) and a sappy love -story. Both Nakadai and Mifune are present, but neither is playing Togo this time around. Whereas Masuda's "Battle Anthem" told the story of the battle in Tsushima Strait, which brought an end to the war, this film concentrates on the beginning part, and the bloody conflict in "Port Arthur". We begin with the politicians, who see no other alternative, but to go to war with Russia. As was the case in "Battle of the Japan Sea", the colonial ambitions of Japan are left unmentioned, and Japan is only going to war, because if Russia manages to annex Korea, they threaten Japan as well. The film starts with a Russian firing squad executing two Japanese, so this is at times very old-fashioned propaganda. The main character of the film is a young teacher and an officer played by Aoi Teruhiko. He is a lover of Russian culture (Tolstoy especially), and he is crushed that he is now forced to fight against Tolstoy's countrymen, people with whom he shares the same faith. He is also in love with a lady, and there is a super-traditional "promise me you come back" -plotline, which felt endless. The film is more anti-war than the two other ones I mentioned, but the traditionality still is a burden to the whole. Even though this is a war that rarely gets depicted in cinema, the scenes are so basic and even cliché, that everything starts to feel to familiar. Perhaps we are also talking about a war, to which the filmmakers did not have a personal stance. The Japanese have directed dozens of great anti-war war-films about WWII, since everybody had a personal relationship to it, as well as memories of the hard times. This is not the case with The Russo-Japanese War. This film feels remote and general, not well thought-out and important. And this definitely should be two hours, and not three. It's a shame that none of these three films hit home. This one comes maybe the closest, though the romance does water it down a bunch. Nakadai is good whenever he is on screen, as this tired admiral who worries about his men dying in the battle. Mifune's role as the emperor is much smaller. All in all, if you are interested about the time-period, you might want to check this, otherwise, maybe not.

Reviewed by maresukenogird 6 / 10 / 10

Its an old movie and it definitely shows

In response to the "Why did they campaign in China?" review. At the time, Japan had been forced open to foreign influence by the Americans in the mid 1800s. They saw what was going around with Westerners essentially turning China into their play thing and meddling as they wished in East Asia. Japan concluded that it would have to begin colonizing like the European powers in order to become more power such that they would be free of foreign influence. In that way, the Russo-Japanese war can be see as a defensive action. Russia and Japan had made a treaty before the war, but Russia kept encroaching on more and more land in violation. The movie is old and it shows. The special effects aren't the best. The deaths are overly dramatic and as stated above, there is ketchup blood. The recoil on the cannons are nonexistent (which becomes rather laughable when you see the 28cm guns fire). There is a lot of saber rattling and Banzais, but there are some subplots away from the war. For history buffs. I would watch this just because there is little else on Port Arthur. This is not a documentary of the whole siege however (the run time might fool you). The whole siege is not portrayed. The lieutenant main character is part of the 7th regiment of the ninth division which fought in some important actions of the siege but the whole effort was much greater. There is a small departure to the 203 meter hill as it has become a sort of symbol of the Siege of Port Arthur (why this is, I am not exactly sure, there was much desperate fighting in many other places as well).

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