The Kuroda Affair (1956)
This adaptation of a Hideji Hojo novel, about the historical uprising of the Kuroda clan in 1633, is told through the eyes of retainer, Daizen. As his clan’s new leader, Tadayuki, becomes increasingly militant in his opposition to the Tokugawa shogunate, Daizen is forced to reconcile his loyalty to the clan with his loyalty to Tadayuki, who seems dead set on entangling the clan in destructive conflict. The Kuroda Affair’s mise-en-scène is said to have influenced future Toei director Eiichi Kudo. The film also features two of the greatest stars of Japanese period cinema, Chiezo Kataoka and Ryutaro Otomo.