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THE LAST SAMURAI. Edward Zwick, dir., co-script, prod. (with others). USA, New Zealand, Japan: Warner Bros., The Bedford Falls Company, Cruise-Wagner Productions, Radar Pictures Inc. (prod.) / Warner Bros. (US dist.), 2003. John Logan (story), co-script, with Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. Tom Cruise, star, prod. (with others). In English and Japanese (English subtitles with Japanese for US release).

Mainstream military romance set in late-1870s US and Japan, with flashbacks to US 7th Cavalry fighting (and massacring) Plains Indians. LAST SAMURAI celebrates relatively low-tech. weaponry and warfare of Plains Indians and traditional samurai (bows, swords, spears) against relatively high-tech weapons of the US and Imperial Japanese armies of the time (howitzers, rifles, Gatling guns). CAUTION: For a more balanced view of the costs of the samurai system to non-samurai, see the TV series Shogun (1980), and Akira Kurosawa's RAN (1985); for samurai war-lords using infantry armed with muskets with no to-do over traditional samurai values, see RAN.