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Samurai Spy (1965)
"Ibun Sarutobi Sasuke" (original title)

 -  Action | Drama
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 951 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 13 critic

The legendary samurai Sasuke Sarutobi tracks the spy Nojiri, while a mysterious figure named Sakon leads a band of men on their own quest for the wily Nojiri. Soon no one knows just who is ... See full summary »

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Title: Samurai Spy (1965)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Hiroshi Aoyama
Jun Hamamura ...
Joshin temple priest
Osamu Hitomi
Minoru Hodaka
Hisanobu Ichikawa
Kentarô Imai
Yasunori Irikawa ...
Yashiro Kobayashi
Shintarô Ishihara ...
Taku Kido
Takeshi Kusaka ...
Narrator
Seiji Miyaguchi ...
Jinnai-Kazutaka Horikawa
Shin'ya Mizushima
Hideto Nakagawa
...
Tatewaki Koriyama
Shuichi Oki
Edit

Storyline

The legendary samurai Sasuke Sarutobi tracks the spy Nojiri, while a mysterious figure named Sakon leads a band of men on their own quest for the wily Nojiri. Soon no one knows just who is who and what side anyone is on. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Also Known As:

Samurai Spy  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Cool, stylized 60's fare. Shallow action fans should give it a pass, though.
4 June 2006 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

If you're lucky enough to get a hold of the Criterion DVD, or perhaps another version with some accurate explanatory material, you will have the benefit of the brief explanatory comments in a recent taping made by the director, Masahiro Shinoda.

He felt that the era of the swashbuckling, self-serious samurai films, such as those of Kurosawa, had come to an end. He wanted to go into a new direction for samurai cinema, that of film noir. This is a political spy tale set in the early 17th century.

The fighting is very stylized, and really just serves as a physical representation of the intrigue, rather than drawing attention to itself. Kurosawa got into the game when the swordplay was rather choreographed, and made things much more realistic, with people stumbling around in the mud, tripping and slipping as they took wild swipes with their swords. Again, Shinoda wanted to go against the grain.

There are cool villains, especially Takatani, completely covered in white, including his hooded head, and he has a soft, menacing voice, too.

The hero, Sasuke, is troubled by war, and waxes philosophical on more than one occasion about the whole business of war and spying.

The music is cool with a jazzy capricious flute, very 60's cool. Shinoda talks a bit about that as well in the interview.

I did not understand the apparently new character in the very last shot, so if someone can shed some light on it, please send me a private message on here.


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