The Hideo Gosha thread

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The Hideo Gosha thread

Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:43

I’ve been covering a lot of Gosha stuff in the Japanese Cult Cinema thread, but now I decided to do what I should’ve done in the first place; give the man a thread of his own. I will re-post my old reviews here and add a whole lot of new stuff later.

Hideo Gosha complete filmography and dvd availability:

Three Outlaw Samurai (Sanbiki no samurai) (1964)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 2)
- HK Video R2 FR
- Shochiku R2J
- Raro Video R2 IT (supposedly cropped from 2.35:1 to 1.33:1)
- Panorama R? HK (supposedly cropped from 2.35:1 to 1.78:1)

Sword of the Beast (Kedamono no ken) (1965)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 3)
- HK Video R2 FR
- Criterion R1
- DVD comparison

Cash Calls Hell (Gohiki no shinshi) (1966)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 2)

Tange Sazen: The Secret of the Urn (Tange Sazen: Hien iaigiri) (1966)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 1)
- Toei R2J

Samurai Wolf (Kiba ookaminosuke) (1966)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 1)

Samurai Wolf 2 (Kiba ookaminosuke jigoku kiri) (1967)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 1)

Goyokin (1969)
- Wild Side Video R2 FR (multiple releases, all are likely to have the same transfer)
- Tokyo Shock R1

Tenchu (Hitokiri) (1969)
- Wild Side Video R2 FR

The Wolves (Shussho iwai) (1971)
- Animeigo R1 UD
- Artsmagic R2 UK (probably poor quality)

Violent Streets (Boryoku gai) (1974)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 1)

Bandit vs. Samurai Squad (Kumokiri nizaemon) (1978)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 2)
- HK Video R2 FR
- Shochiku R2J

Hunter in the Dark (Yami no karyudo) (1979)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 2)
- HK Video R2 FR
- Shochiku R2J
- Raro Video R2 IT (specs unknown)
- DVD comparison

Onimasa (Kiryûin Hanako no shôgai) (1982)
- Wild Side Video R2 FR
- Toei R2J
- Animeigo R1 US

The Geisha (Yokiro) (1983)
- Wild Side Video R2 FR
- Animeigo R1 US

Fireflies in the North (Kita no hotaru) (1984)
- Toei R2J

Oar (Kai) (1985)
- Wild Side Video R2 FR
- Toei R2J

Tracked (Usugesho) (1985)
- Shochiku R2J

Death Shadows (Jittemai) (1986)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 2)

Yakuza Wives (Gokudô no onna-tachi) (1986)
- Wild Side Video R2 FR
- Toei R2J

Tokyo Bordello (Yoshiwara enjo) (1987)
- Wild Side Video R2 FR
- R2J Toei

Gate of Flesh (Carmen 1945) (Nikutai no mon) (1988)
- Toei R2J

Four Days of Snow and Blood (226) (1989)
- Shochiku R2J
- Panorama R? HK (probably poor quality)

Heat Wave (Kagero) (1991)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 3)
- HK Video R2 FR
- R2J Shochiku
- Panorama R? HK (probably poor quality)
- DVD comparison

Oil Hell Murder (Onna goroshi abura no jigoku) (1992)
- HK Video R2 FR (Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 3)

The Japanese and French releases do not feature English subtitles.
Last edited by HungFist on 12 Aug 2009, 14:02, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:45

Here's some excellent HK Video Hideo Gosha trailers

Samurai Wolf: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHhuuOWQA6c
Samurai Wolf 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KRY06h69mw
Tange Sazen: The Secret of the Urn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtCRLurf7_k
Violent Streets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fkNcgS23jM
Hunter in the Dark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ftQJ6a33sQ

Also, original trailer for Kagero. Very cool, very spoiling, and even misleading. Love it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N1U--pmaSk

Trailer for the Geisha is available at Animeigo's website:
http://www.animeigo.com/Other/GEISHA.t

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:46

Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 1

- Samurai Wolf (Kiba le loup enrage) (Kiba ookaminosuke) (1966)
- Samurai Wolf 2 (Kiba l’enfer des sabres) (Kiba ookaminosuke jigoku kiri) (1967)
- Tange Sazen: The Secret of the Urn (Samourai sans honneur) (Tange Sazen: Hien iaigiri) (1966)
- Violent Streets (Quartier Violent) Boryoku gai (1974)
+ 64 page booklet

Truly beautiful set, although the transfers are not quite as goods as you’d hope and show the usual HK Video flaws. The caps speak for themselves, I think. The original audio is fine on each film. The french subtitles are non-removable, but not burnt in. Extras are limited to trailers and a 64 page booklet. None of the films are available separately. This is a must buy set to any fan of Gosha or Japanese cinema in general.

Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 1
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Samurai Wolf 1 / Samurai Wolf 2
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Tange Sazen: The Secret of the Urn / Violent Streets
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A closer look at one of the digipacs (Samurai Wolf 2)
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Inside (the disc would be further on the right)
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Chapters / disc
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The booklet
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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:47

Samurai Wolf (Kiba le loup enrage) (Kiba ookaminosuke) (1966)

If Leone once stole from Kurosawa, now Gosha strikes back. Samurai Wolf is a superb katana western starring Mr. Cool Isao Natsuyagi. The running time is fittingly short, only 70 minutes. Highly recommended.

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:47

Samurai Wolf 2 (Kiba l’enfer des sabres) (Kiba ookaminosuke jigoku kiri) (1967)

An excellent sequel that is almost on par with original. The concept feels a bit less fresh, but it’s still a damn entertaining swordplay adventure.

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:48

Tange Sazen: The Secret of the Urn (Samourai sans honneur) (Tange Sazen: Hien iaigiri) (1966)

Gosha’s take on the one-armed, one-eyed swordsman tale is not one of his best movies. Nevertheless, The Secret of the Urn offers solid 90 minutes for fans of moderately violent 60’s swordplay.

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:49

Violent Streets (Quartier Violent) (Boryoku gai) (1974)

Noboru Ando, Isao Natsuyagi, Asao Koike, Tetsuro Tamba and Bunta Sugawara star in Gosha’s violent and extremely stylish yakuza film. Sam Peckinpah meets Dario Argento with a Japanese crime twist.

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:53

While HK Video’s first Gosha box featured four Toei films, Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 2 comes with four Shochiku films. The content is similiar again; trailers as extras and a 60 page booklet (package states 64) included. The transfers are better, athough still not flawless. The artwork is fantastic again. These digipacks are among the most beautiful ever created.

The films included are:
Three Outlaw Samurai (3 Samourais hors-la-loi) (Sanbiki no samurai) (1964)
Cash Calls Hell (La sang du damne) (Gohiki no shinshi) (1966)
Bandit vs. Samurai Squad (Bandit conter samourai) (Kumokiri nizaemon) (1978)
Death Shadows (Jittemai) (1986)

Three Outlaw Samurai and Bandit vs. Samurai Squad are also available separately.

Coffret Ronins & Yakuza Vol. 2
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Three Outlaw Samurai / Cash Calls Hell
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Bandit vs Samurai Squad / Death Shadows
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A closer look at one of the digipacs (Three Outlaw Samurai)
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Inside (the disc would be further on the right)
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Chapters / disc
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The booklet
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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:55

Three Outlaw Samurai (3 Samourais hors-la-loi) (Sanbiki no samurai) (1964)

Hideo Gosha’s first film was an instant classic, a tough samurai adventure starring Tetsuro Tamba. Chang Cheh remade this film a few years after as The Magnificent Trio. Chang copied almost every plot detail, but made the characters more heroic and patriotic. Gosha’s flawed anti-heroes heroes have more depth.

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:56

Cash Calls Hell (La sang du damne) (Gohiki no shinshi) (1966)

This superbly stylish film noir is an undiscovered gem of Japanese cinema. Tatsuya Nakadai plays a convicted crook who finds it difficult to start an honest life after being released from prison. One of Gosha’s best films, if not the best.

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:58

Bandit vs. Samurai Squad (Bandit conter samourai) (Kumokiri nizaemon) (1978)

This 156 min epic isn’t on par with Gosha’s masterpieces. It feels less coherent and especially the ending is a bit of a mess. Nevertheless, it’s a an entertaining epic filled with sex, nudity and violent swordplay.

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 12:59

Death Shadows (Jittemai) (1986)

Gosha’s manical samurai film loaded with femme fatales and insane officials. This may come as a shock to the fans of Gosha’s 1960’s samurai classics, but should find fans of its own. The visual look is jaw droppingly colourful. The fight choreography isn’t exceptionally good but features some originality.

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Unread postby HungFist » 20 Jan 2009, 13:44

I'm still in the middle of viewing the Wild Side Video dvds and HK Video's final Gosha set. I'll probably review them at a later date. Same with Animeigo's The Wolves.

Yesterday I came across great news. Out of Gosha's 24 films 23 have been released remastered. The one missing was The Four Days of Snow and Blood, which was only available on Panorama HK dvd (most likely very poor quality). But it's seems that's gonna chage soon:

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- February 25, 2009
- amazon.co.jp/226-DVD-%E4%BA%...

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Unread postby oldeschool17 » 22 Jan 2009, 00:59

Awesome thread. Sorry to interrupt, but i have to say i was rather pleased with The Wolves as a movie. Dont know how the videophile purists view its transfer but it was fine on my crt. Dont remember if it was progressive or not

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Unread postby HungFist » 22 Jan 2009, 01:09

Thanks. The Wolves is one of the films I haven't had time to watch yet, but I've heard many people say it's great.

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Unread postby oldeschool17 » 22 Jan 2009, 02:28

Its by no means a masterpiece, but its a solid entry in the classic yakuza genre. Great shots of the peninsula,a rather dark and gritty view into the underworld, and simple yet realistic fighting. Well done movie overall.

Any recommendations on where to purchase these HK Videos?
Just to clarify, but do the HK Video versions have english subs? Im aware of the non-removable french subs

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Unread postby HungFist » 22 Jan 2009, 09:17

No subs on the HK Video dvds. The French subs are non-removable, but not burnt in. Some advanced players may be able to turn them off.

France has always been a bit difficult country to import from as there aren't so many alternatives. Amazon.fr is one but I haven't used them for years (this was because at least back then there was slight compability problems with my visa electron). Nowadays I use asia-diffusion. They have pretty heavy shipping charges, so it's a good idea to make one big order rather than several smaller ones. The website is in French only, but it's easy to navigate through. You can write to their customer support in english in case of any problems.

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Unread postby oldeschool17 » 22 Jan 2009, 11:49

Thanks for the info :)

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Unread postby HungFist » 22 Jan 2009, 19:50

Beaver reviews Animeigo's The Geisha:
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews44/geisha.htm

They've got the wrong poster attached to their review, though. So don't expect a yakuza epic, because that's Kirûin Hanako no shôgai.

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Unread postby HungFist » 11 Feb 2009, 13:01

Here's some posts from another thread:

Classique wrote:I have Cash calls Hell sitting in my to-watch pile for ages now.
Hung, you know my tastes to a certain degree so give me something to make me get off my arse and watch it.

My top 5 for Gosha-

1.Violent Streets-"The Big 4" is deceiving.Bunta has an awesome cameo but Tetsuro Tamba has about as much time in this as he does in
Blackmail is My Life. :lol:
More of a Noburo Ando/Akira Kobayashi vehicle and damn do they shine.
If the mambo esque opening doesn't suck you in Noburo Ando sticking a broken bottle in to a guy's face within the first 10 minutes should do it.

2.Three Outlaw Samurai- Seen this once and it is just perfectly done.
I'm a pretty big Tamba fan so this was a no brainer.
Good to see him play a good guy for a change.

3.Samurai Wolf- Fun little romp.

4.Samurai Wolf 2- Better action but still a followup so it's doesn't really cover any new territory.

5.Goyokin- WTH is wrong with me Hung?Tatsuya Nakadai and Tetsuro Tamba, two top ten actors for me and of course Gosha.
How could I not really get in to this one?
I just didn't find any of it engaging.Makes the top 5 on account of the fact i've only seen 5 of Gosha's movies total.

Sorry I couldn't expand on some of these more but I haven't watched them in a bit.


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Classique wrote:I finally watched Cash Calls Hell hf!

I'm gonna rewatch Violent Streets again before I decide but it may be my new number one Gosha.
I'll keep it as a tie for now.

Someone needs to upload the trailer for Cash Calls Hell to youtube.
One of the best i've ever seen and I don't really go gaga over them or generally care if their present or not.

I haven't seen Sword of the Beast but I remember people grumbling about the transfer when the criterion dvd came out so you may wanna look around for caps first.


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tom2681 wrote:@Hung:
19 Gosha films, you say... all with acceptable (and sometimes great) transfers and proper french subtitles...

Where should a Gosha newbie like me start?
What is (in your opinion) Gosha's best film? (among the ones that have been released in France)


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izo wrote:
tom2681 wrote:@Hung:
Where should a Gosha newbie like me start?
What is (in your opinion) Gosha's best film? (among the ones that have been released in France)


Well, start with 3 outlaw samurais. Anyway, there's nothing bad between 1963-1971. But his best movie, available soon in France is Hitokiri (and I guess The Wolves).

By the way, some caps of Hitokiri (and his beautiful new print) :

(1024x576)

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(found here)


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HungFist wrote:Welcome izo. Excellent first post.

Lets see, I'll try to put the Gosha's I've seen into some sort of order.

1. Cash Calls Hell (b/w crime / noir) ****½
2. Violent Streets (ultra stylish and -violent yakuza film) ****½
3. Goyokin (great, great samurai film set in snowy northern Japan) ****
4. Three Outlaw Samurai (b/w samurai adventure) ****
5. Samurai Wolf (b/w samurai spaghetti western) ****
6. Samurai Wolf 2 (same as above) ****
7. Hunter in the Dark (dark, late 70's samurai filled with sex and violence) ****
8. Sword of the Beast (dark b/w samurai film) ***½
9. Bandit vs Samurai Squad (same as Hunter) ***½
10. Tange Sazen: The Secret of the Urn (samurai adventure) ***½
11. Kagero (new old school yakuza/gambler film) ***

+ Death Shadows (unable to rate it at the moment. I loved it once, but I'm not sure how well my opinion holds. The film is a bit... no, take that back... totally, crazy)

+ Oil Hell Murder yet, which I haven't watched yet. I'm waiting for subs to appear (I've heard they're in the works)

For a beginner I would probably recommend Three Outlaw Samurai and Goyokin, and Violent Streets if you'd like to try something more violent.

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Unread postby HungFist » 11 Feb 2009, 13:02

Wild Side Video releases

Wild Side Video released Goyokin originally in 2003 (2 disc edition), and then later a few times again with different package (first 1 disc edition pocket and then 2 disc with a white cover art). In 2008 6 more films followed. Below are the cover arts.

Hitokiri (Tenchu), Tokyo Bordello, Kirûin Hanako no shôgai
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Yokiro (The Geisha), Oar (Kai), Wives of the Yakuza
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Goyokin: 2 Disc, 1 Disc, 2 Disc re-release
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Unread postby HungFist » 11 Feb 2009, 13:08

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Goyokin (1969)

This masterful samurai film set in the snowy Hokkaido was the first Japanese film shot in Panavision. The film stars Tatsuya Nakadai, Tetsuro Tamba and Isao Natsuyagi. Originally Toshiro Mifune was also casted, but apparently grueling conditions were too much for the legend and he was replaced by Kinnosuke Nakamura.

Wild Side’s dvds (there’s quite a few releases with differing extras and packaging, but I would assume the transfer is the same) feature a rather solid progressive transfer. It’s a bit blue at times, but otherwise good. The french subtitles are optional. The 1 disc release extras are limited to excellent photo galleries, filmographies and introduction for the film by Julien Seveon. The 2 Disc releases (which I don’t own) should feature at least a load of interviews and other bonuses.

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A few extra captures that you can compare to dvdbeaver R1 captures:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v716/ ... kinWS8.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v716/ ... kinWS9.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v716/ ... inWS10.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v716/ ... inWS11.jpg

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReview ... review.htm

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Unread postby HungFist » 11 Feb 2009, 13:21

Hitokiri (Tenchu) (1969)

Considered one of the greatest samurai films ever made – and for a reason – Hitokiri is a brutal and realistic, yet beautiful and compassionate story of a samurai (Shintaro Katsu) who blindly tries to please his master (Tatsuya Nakadai). Shintaro Katsu stars in one of the best roles of his career. Gosha has wisely opted to use a lot of close ups of his face. Cult poet and filmmaker Yukio Mishima co-stars.

Wild Side’s work is clearly superior to HK Video’s transfers. The film shows its age, but who says a 40 year old movie isn’t allowed to look a bit aged? A pleasing, edge enhancement free transfer. Extras consist of a documentary (52 min), interviews (27 min), picture gallery and filmography. The bonus features are all found on disc 2, and feature burnt in French subtitles. The film itself features removable French subtitles.

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Disc and extras
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Unread postby HungFist » 11 Feb 2009, 13:44

Kiryuin Hanako no shogai (1982)

After the samurai spectacles Bandit vs. Samurai Squad (1978) and Hunter in the Dark (1979) Hideo Gosha took a few year break from silver screen. In 1982 he returned with this massive massive gangster family biopic based on a novel by Tomiko Miyao. Kiryuin Hanako no shogai would also start a new period in Gosha’s career. While his old films featured only small female roles, now the women would get more room and become the central characters the films.

Kiryuin Hanako no shogai follows the life of a girl (Masako Natsume from Shinji Somai’s Gyoei no mure) adopted by a yakuza godfather (maniacal Tatsuya Nakadai). Gosha stumbles a bit in the beginning – and also included a rather nasty dog fight scene – but the pic gains incredible depth during its 140 minute running time. Nakadai, whose Al Pacino influenced performance is hit and miss but certainly enjoyable, attempts to steal the show constantly.

Another solid transfer (even if a notch dark) that makes you wish all the Gosha films had gone to Wild Side. Extras include interviews (14 min), more interviews (another 14 min), filmography, trailer and photo gallery.

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Unread postby HungFist » 11 Mar 2009, 16:28

HK Video will be re-releasing Violent Streets and Tange Sazen: The Secret of the Urn next week. These films are from the first Gosha box set. They haven't been available separately before. The (excellent) Samurai Wolf films are still only available in the box set.

http://www.asia-diffusion.com/new/dvd.php?id_dvd=4783
http://www.asia-diffusion.com/new/dvd.php?id_dvd=4784


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