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The Valiant Red Peony: Red Peony Gambler I-III [Blu-ray] [UK]

The Valiant Red Peony: Red Peony Gambler I-III [Blu-ray] [UK]

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Release Date: 17/06/2024

Originally released between 1968 and 1972, the Red Peony Gambler series is a cornerstone of the ninkyo eiga genre and a clear influence on such cult favourites such as Lady Snowblood and Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. The Masters of Cinema series is proud to present the first three Red Peony Gambler films, starring Sumiko Fuji (13 Assassins) and directed by three titans of Japanese genre cinema in Kōsaku Yamashita, Norifumi Suzuki and Tai Katō.

Set during the Meiji era, Red Peony Gambler stars Fuji as Ryuko Yano, the daughter of a gambler. When her father is murdered, Ryuko takes on a new name derived from the crimson flower tattooed on her shoulder – "Oryu, the Red Peony" – and sets out for revenge. Then, in Red Peony Gambler 2: Gambler's Obligation, Oryu falls in with a group of yakuza attempting to monopolise the silk trade. When machinations within the gang lead to a betrayal, the Red Peony takes action. Finally, in Red Peony Gambler 3: The Flower Cards Game, Oryu meets a pair of star-crossed lovers as she becomes embroiled in a conflict between rival yakuza clans.

Fuji would go on to play the Red Peony five more times, cementing the character as the archetype for many of the vengeful women to follow in Japanese cinema and beyond. These early entries in the Red Peony Gambler series are presented here for the first time ever on Blu-ray from brand new restorations of the original film elements by Toei.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • High-definition presentation of all three films from restorations of the original film elements supplied by Toei
  • Original Japanese audio tracks (uncompressed LPCM mono)
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Brand new audio commentary tracks on all three films
  • Tony Rayns on Red Peony Gambler – brand new interview with critic and Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns
  • Trailers
  • A collector's booklet featuring new writing by Jennifer Coates (Making Icons: Repetition and the Female Image in Japanese Cinema, 1945–1964) and Joe Hickinbottom
  • Limited edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Grégory Sacré (Gokaiju) [2000 copies]
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