digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Ghost Dog.jpg
Theatrical Release Poster
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
Produced by Richard Guay
Jim Jarmusch
Written by Jim Jarmusch
Starring Forest Whitaker
Music by RZA
Cinematography Robby Müller
Edited by Jay Rabinowitz
Distributed by Artisan Entertainment
Release dates
  • May 18, 1999 (1999-05-18)
Running time 116 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million
Box office $9,380,473

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a 1999 American crime action film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. Forest Whitaker stars as the title character, the mysterious "Ghost Dog", a hitman in the employ of the Mafia, who follows the ancient code of the samurai as outlined in the book of Yamamoto Tsunetomo's recorded sayings, Hagakure. Critics have noted similarities between the movie and Jean-Pierre Melville's 1967 film Le Samouraï.

Plot[edit]

Ghost Dog (Whitaker) sees himself as a retainer of Louie (John Tormey), a local mobster, who saved Ghost Dog's life years ago. While living as a hired hitman for the Italian Mafia, he strictly follows Hagakure.

Louie tells Ghost Dog to kill a gangster, Handsome Frank, who is sleeping with the daughter (Tricia Vessey) of the mafia boss Vargo (Henry Silva). Ghost Dog arrives and kills the gangster, before seeing that the girl is also in the room at the time; she lends him a book; he leaves her alive, and exits. In order to avoid being implicated in the murder of a made man, Vargo and his associate Sonny Valerio decide to get rid of Ghost Dog. Louie knows practically nothing about Ghost Dog, and the hitman communicates only by homing pigeon. The mobsters start by tracing all the pigeon coops in town. They find Ghost Dog's cabin atop a building and kill his pigeons. Ghost Dog realizes he must kill the entire mafia or otherwise they will kill him and his master.

During the day, Ghost Dog frequently visits the park to see his best friend, an ice cream salesman named Raymond (Isaach De Bankolé) who speaks only French. Ghost Dog does not understand French and Raymond does not understand English, but the two seem to understand each other. Ghost Dog also makes friends with a little girl named Pearline (Camille Winbush), to whom he lends the book—Rashōmon and Other Stories—he received from Vargo's daughter. Paralleling a major theme of Rashōmon, Louie and Ghost Dog have different accounts of the circumstances of their meeting: in Louie's flashback he shoots Ghost Dog's attacker in self-defense, while in Ghost Dog's flashback, Louie shoots the attacker just as the attacker is about to kill Ghost Dog.

Eventually, Ghost Dog attacks Vargo's mansion single-handedly and kills almost everyone he encounters, sparing only Louie and Vargo's daughter. Though Louie feels some loyalty to Ghost Dog, he also feels that he must avenge the murder of boss Vargo, but it was stated that Vargo's daughter ordered him to murder Ghost Dog. At night, Ghost Dog kills Sonny Valerio in his house, shooting a bullet through Valerio´s bathroom pipe.

Louie finally confronts Ghost Dog at Raymond's ice cream stand with Raymond and Pearline watching, after he gave his copy of Hagakure to the latter. Ghost Dog is unwilling to attack his master and allows Louie to kill him. His last act is to give Louie the copy of Rashōmon and encourage him to read it.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was shot mostly in Jersey City, New Jersey, but the movie never mentions where the story is set. License plates reveal it is in "The Industrial State"[1] and a vehicle from another state has on its license plate "The Highway State", both of which are fictional state nicknames.

Cartoons are also used as a metaphor to scene or plot dynamics. Handsome Frank watches a cartoon featuring Betty Boop corralling her pigeons moments before Ghost Dog, a fellow pigeon raiser, arrives to assassinate him. Ghost Dog is later seen handling his pigeons in the same manner as Betty. Boss Vargo watches a Felix the Cat cartoon wherein the Professor voices his frustration at capturing the elusive Felix and his magic bag, mirroring the mafia's inability to find and eliminate Ghost Dog, who carries his weapons and equipment in a black briefcase. Vargo and his daughter, Louise, watch a Woody Woodpecker cartoon in the car, immediately after Ghost Dog has been distracted by a woodpecker while sniping in the woods. The cartoon features a staring contest between Woody and the Grim Reaper. Vargo's daughter watches The Itchy & Scratchy Show before the equally violent battle which concludes the film.

Reception[edit]

Critical response to the film was largely positive. On the Rotten Tomatoes review site, the film received an 81% "Certified Fresh" rating. The critical consensus was that the movie is "An innovative blend of samurai and gangster lifestyles."[2] The film was nominated for a few awards but did not win any of them. Among the nominations were the Grand Prix of the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics, the César Award for Best Foreign Film of 2000[3] and the Palme d'Or award at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.[4] The film grossed a worldwide total of $9,380,473, of which $3,308,029 was in the United States.[5]

Casting notes[edit]

Gary Farmer is credited as playing a character named "Nobody", the same name as his character in Jarmusch's 1995 western Dead Man. After he is confronted by some mob hitmen on his roof, Nobody repeats one of his lines from Dead Man: "stupid fucking white man!" Forest Whitaker's younger brother Damon Whitaker plays the role of the young Ghost Dog in the flashback sequences.

Soundtrack[edit]

The Japanese release of the soundtrack album has different tracks from the US release.

The film's score and soundtrack is the first produced by the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA.

US and Japanese versions of the soundtrack album have been released, each with a different set of tracks. The Japanese release also has some songs not in the film.[6] Songs in the film that don't appear on either soundtrack album include From Then Till Now performed by Killah Priest, Armagideon Time performed by Willi Williams, Nuba One performed by Andrew Cyrille and Jimmy Lyons and Cold Lampin With Flavor performed by Public Enemy.[7]

Cultural references[edit]

The film has been interpreted by critics as an homage to Le Samouraï, a 1967 crime-drama by Jean-Pierre Melville starring Alain Delon. That movie opens with a quote from an invented Book of Bushido and features a meditative, loner hero, Jef Costello. In the same manner that Ghost Dog has an electronic "key" to break into luxury cars, Costello has a huge ring of keys that enable him to steal any Citroën DS.[8][9] The endings share a key similarity. Moreover, the peculiar relationship between the heroes of both movies and birds, companions and danger advisers, is another common point.

The film contains a number of references to Seijun Suzuki's Branded to Kill, such as when a bird lands in front of Ghost Dog's rifle scope, referencing the incident with a butterfly in Suzuki's film.[10] Ghost Dog shooting Sonny Valerio up the drain pipe is taken directly from Branded to Kill.

Guardians of Order published the Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai role-playing game in 2000.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cold Warrior Jeannette Catsoulis on Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai". reverse shot. 2005. Retrieved 2006-10-13. 
  2. ^ "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai". Rotten Tomatoes. 1999. Retrieved 2006-08-30. 
  3. ^ "Awards for Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai". Internet Movie Database. 2001. Retrieved 2006-08-30. 
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  5. ^ "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai". Box Office Mojo. 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-30. 
  6. ^ "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai". Soundtrack Collector. 1999. Retrieved 2006-10-12. 
  7. ^ "Soundtracks for Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai". Internet Movie Database. 1999. Retrieved 2006-09-06. 
  8. ^ "Into the Void". Village Voice. March 2000. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  9. ^ "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (2000) Reel Review". Reel.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  10. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (March 23, 2000). "The Way of Jim Jarmusch". Miami New Times. Retrieved May 7, 2009. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Dog:_The_Way_of_the_Samurai — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
16757 videos foundNext > 

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai trailer

An assignment for my New Media class. Done on Final Cut Pro. Fan made trailer for Ghost Dog. Starring Forrest Whitaker. Soundtrack by the RZA. Directed by Ji...

Ghost Dog - Emptiness is Form

In ancient times bears were considered equal with men.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (3/12) Movie CLIP - He Calls Himself Ghost Dog (1999) HD

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Movie Clip - watch all clips http://j.mp/Mmf57g click to subscribe http://j.mp/sNDUs5 Louie (John Tormey) has a sit-down wi...

RZA - Samurai theme (Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai OST)

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) soundtrack Help us caption & translate this video! http://amara.org/v/Bxoe/

RZA - Flying Birds (Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai)

RZA - Flying Birds Video from the movie "Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai" ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0165798/ )

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (9/12) Movie CLIP - The Bird Man (1999) HD

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Movie Clip - watch all clips http://j.mp/Mmf57g click to subscribe http://j.mp/sNDUs5 Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) makes his...

GHOST DOG : The Way Of The Samurai - Trailer ( 1999 )

Trailer for Jim Jarmusch's film.

Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samurai

The Way of the Samurai. Give a few minutes to honour the ghost dog.. and the code he loves and lives for. Ta. Roachy. WARNING - big spoilers! see the film fi...

Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samurai - BEST SOUNDTRACK

Song from Casablanca: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNrA5QgNd7Y.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) Trailer

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) Trailer Director: Jim Jarmusch Forest Whitaker, John Tormey, Cliff Gorman.

16757 videos foundNext > 

265 news items

 
Screen International
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:22:30 -0800

... Festival best director award and the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award for her second feature, Middle Of Nowhere. RZA is the creator-producer of the Wu-Tang Clan and his feature scores include Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Ghost Dog: The Way Of The ...
 
The Concordian (subscription)
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 07:56:15 -0800

Notably, Jarmusch worked with hip-hop musician and producer, RZA, of Wu-Tang Clan, to compose material for Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999). RZA was hired to do the score and would allegedly disappear, watch the rushes, record material, then ...
 
Diário do Grande ABC
Mon, 15 Dec 2014 05:30:00 -0800

Western (Dead Men), policial (Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samurai), melodrama (Broken Flowers). Jarmusch continuou a frequentar o circuito dos festivais, a receber elogios - mitigados - dos críticos. No ano passado, em Cannes, ele admitiu que fez Only ...
 
YouTube
Wed, 23 May 2012 02:21:56 -0700

Film Description: A surreal crime drama told as only Jim Jarmusch could, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai stars Forest Whitaker as Ghost Dog, a hit man living in an unidentified but run-down city in what license plates call "The Industrialized State ...

Todo Literatura

Todo Literatura
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 23:44:14 -0800

Jim Jarmusch ofreció también la magistral Ghost Dog, el camino del samurái (Ghost Dog: the Way of the Samurai, 1999). Y por cierto, nuestro Paul Naschy llevó a su hombre-lobo al Japón de los Shogun, fabricando La bestia y la espada mágica (1983), ...
 
Wall St. Cheat Sheet
Mon, 13 Oct 2014 06:52:37 -0700

While this film bears Jarmusch's unmistakable stamp of quirky surrealism, many critics have noted the similarities between Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai and French director Jean-Pierre Melville's seminal hit man movie Le Samouraï. Ghost Dog: The ...
 
California Literary Review
Wed, 07 Mar 2012 21:03:45 -0800

He's a hit man with a sense of honor, working for a crime family that doesn't have one anymore. He lives in a shack on a roof next to a pigeon coop. His best friend is a Haitian who sells ice cream in the park and only speaks French, a language Ghost ...
 
Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (Pressemitteilung)
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:30:00 -0800

Die Universität des Saarlandes bietet in diesem Wintersemester eine Reihe öffentlicher Ringvorlesungen an, die sich an ein breites Publikum wenden. Sie beleuchten ganz unterschiedliche Wissensgebiete. Unter anderem geht es montags um die Rolle der ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight