Action Movie Anatomy hosts Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai break down The Last Samurai! The Last Samurai is a 2003 American epic war film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with John Logan. The film stars Tom Cruise, who also co-produced, as well as Ken Watanabe, Shin Koyamada, Tony Goldwyn, Hiroyuki Sanada, Timothy Spall, and Billy Connolly. Tom Cruise portrays a formerly retired officer of the United States 7th Cavalry Regiment, whose personal and emotional conflicts bring him into contact withsamurai warriors in the wake of the Meiji Restoration in 19th Century Japan. The film’s plot was inspired by the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion led by Saigō Takamori, and the westernization of Japan by foreign powers, though in the film the United States is portrayed as the primary force behind the push for westernization. To a lesser extent it is also influenced by the stories of Jules Brunet, a French armycaptain who fought alongside Enomoto Takeaki in the earlier Boshin War andFrederick Townsend Ward, an American mercenary who helped Westernize the Chinese army by forming the Ever Victorious Army.