Lady Snowblood (1973) poster
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 389 users
# of Watchers: 849
Reviews: 4 users
Ranked #3896
Popularity #9202
Watchers 389

Based on the manga series of the same name, the film recounts the tale of Yuki, a woman who seeks vengeance upon three of the people who raped her mother and killed her half-brother. The film's narrative is told out of chronological order, jumping between present and past events. In 1874, a woman named Sayo gave birth to a baby girl in a women's prison. Naming the child Yuki from seeing the snow outside, Sayo confides to the inmates who helped deliver the baby how she was brutally raped by three of the four criminals who murdered her husband Tora and their son Shiro a year ago. While she managed to stab her captor, Shokei Tokuichi, to death when the chance presented itself, she was arrested and imprisoned for life. Sayo then seduced many prison guards in order to conceive Yuki. Due to difficulties during the birth, she dies shortly after telling her story. Her final words are for the child to be raised to carry out the vengeance against the three remaining tormentors. In Meiji 15 (1882), the child Yuki undergoes brutal training in sword fighting under the priest Dōkai to become her mother's wrath incarnate. (Source: Wikipedia, Letterboxd, TMDb) ~~ Adapted from the manga series "Lady Snowblood" (修羅雪姫) written by Kazuo Koike (小池 一夫) and illustrated by Kazuo Kamimura (上村一夫). Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Norsk
  • Country: Japan
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Dec 1, 1973
  • Duration: 1 hr. 37 min.
  • Score: 7.8 (scored by 389 users)
  • Ranked: #3896
  • Popularity: #9202
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Where to Watch Lady Snowblood

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Purchase (sub)

Cast & Credits


Lady Snowblood (1973) photo
Lady Snowblood (1973) photo
Lady Snowblood (1973) photo
Lady Snowblood (1973) photo
Lady Snowblood (1973) photo
Lady Snowblood (1973) photo


The Butterfly
9 people found this review helpful
Mar 3, 2023
Completed 10
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This review may contain spoilers

"Even before we entered the world we were marked by karma."

Lady Snowblood is the film that inspired Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films. Yuki's blood spewing revenge is a cautionary tale of feminine vengeance. Splendidly filmed with an impassioned OST, the unique style based on a manga, and the excellent acting make this film one worth seeking out if you enjoy this genre.

Born to a dying mother in a prison on a snowy day, Yuki was charged with her family's vendetta against the villains who murdered her father and brother and viciously raped her mother. She grew up trained by a ruthless master to become the hand of death to the group that had decimated her family. One by one she hunts the villains down, in her lovely kimonos with a deadly umbrella to gracefully slash her way through the people who had inspired this life she'd never asked for. Beneath her beautiful veneer lay a dark and fiery need for payback for her dead family, one she had never known. Tasked with never feeling emotion, Yuki retains shreds of compassion as she interacts with those she comes across in her rampage. Ironically, she opens another cycle of vengeance by her actions.

The film lays the blood spewing on thick, every slash sends the gooey red paint flying everywhere. Puddles of blood enough for a slain army float around the unlucky bodies. As the story begins on a snowy day with a child born pure but commissioned with her first breaths with the bloody job of vengeance, so the ending scene leaves the beautiful assassin with her butterfly kimono covered in blood in the snow wondering if there is life after revenge.

There were some subtle and not so subtle political messages about corruption in the upper echelons of the military and government. And though the plight of the poor was pointed out, it dispelled the myth that the poor are always good hearted. I wish there had been more of an attempt to understand what a woman must feel growing up with brutal training and an unbreakable oath for people she had never met.

As many older martial arts films with swordplay tended to do, this one used the almost dance and slash technique. Best to not think too hard about the fight choreography from a realistic stance but to admire it for the stylistic forms.

Lady Snowblood was in many ways similar to other revenge fueled martial arts movies but elevated by the haunting music, colorful cinematography, and the stellar acting of Kaji Meiko. If eyes were knives, her targets would already be dead with the cold steely glare she honed in on them with. Kaji's expressive face and graceful moves enhanced the tension filled moments of her hunting her prey even when she had to settle for satisfaction instead of revenge.

If you are looking for a modern movie you may be disappointed. This is a film rich in character with old style effects. Revenge is a dish best served cold and Lady Snowblood served it on a silver blade.

"Forgive me! Spare me!"
"I shall do neither."


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8 people found this review helpful
Mar 5, 2017
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
I might be among the few, but I really dig older Japanese cinema. A lot. "Lady Snowblood" being no exception to this.

For those familiar with the Kamimura Kazuo manga, this is the film adaptation that was given her blessing. You could even say it's among the very first manga into film adaptations that Japan has ever done! Which makes this film a treat.

Lady Snowblood is the story of revenge passed from mother to daughter, and artfully done. While it deviates from the original story from the manga, it still captures the main essence of the story and maintains all critical characters. Their are some minor adjustments made to everyone but Sensei, Mother, and Yuki (Lady Snowblood), but all are done in good taste to adjust to technology of times and time constraints. Be warned this is a SPLATTER FEST, with implied rape scenes. It wasn't for everyone then, it isn't for everyone now.

The music pulls from the original timeline of the manga, as well as current trends in music at the times. A little loud at times, but doesn't detract from the story or dialogue.

I adored the manga, and I adore this film. If you're looking for classic cinema from Japan, or are a fan of 'Kill Bill' please give Lady Snowblood a shot!

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  • Movie: Lady Snowblood
  • Country: Japan
  • Release Date: Dec 1, 1973
  • Duration: 1 hr. 37 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated


  • Score: 7.8 (scored by 389 users)
  • Ranked: #3896
  • Popularity: #9202
  • Watchers: 849

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