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The Sword of Doom (1966)
"Dai-bosatsu tôge" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Drama  |  1 July 1966 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 5,895 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 53 critic

Through his unconscionable actions against others, a sociopath samurai builds a trail of vendettas that follow him closely.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Michiyo Aratama ...
Yûzô Kayama ...
Yôko Naitô ...
Tadao Nakamaru ...
Isamu Kondo
Kei Satô ...
Kô Nishimura ...
Shichibei, Omatsu's 'uncle'
Ichirô Nakatani ...
Kunie Tanaka ...
Senkichi
Takamaru Sasaki ...
Ishinsai Nakamura
Ryôsuke Kagawa ...
Dansho Tsukue
Kamatari Fujiwara ...
Omatsu's grandfather
Hideyo Amamoto
Akio Miyabe ...
Toshizo Ogata
Yasuzô Ogawa ...
Edit

Storyline

Ryunosuke is a sociopathic samurai without compassion or scruples. When he is scheduled for an exhibition match at his fencing school, the wife of his opponent begs Ryunosuke to throw the match, offering her own virtue in trade. Ryunosuke accepts her offer, but kills her husband in the match. Over time, Ryunosuke is pursued by the brother of the man he killed. The brother trains with the master fencer Shimada. In the meantime, however, Ryunosuke earns the enmity of the band of assassins he runs with, and it becomes a question of who shall face him in final conflict. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sword of Doom  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The abrupt ending of the film is due to the fact that it was originally intended to be the first part in a trilogy of films based on a lengthy Japanese novel. Nakazato Kaizan's 41 volume historical novel focused on the Edo period in Japanese history when the shogunate collapsed and a new government arose that revolved around the Emperor. It was the longest novel in Japan - encompassing 1533 chapters and over 5 and a half million Japanese characters - until the publication of Sohachi Yamaoka's serialized novel "Tokugawa Ieyasu", which is reportedly the longest novel in any language. See more »

Quotes

Toranosuke Shimada: The sword is the soul. Study the soul to know the sword. Evil mind, evil sword.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Designing 'Blade' (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A magnificently executed exploration of amorality.

"Sword of Doom" is an unusual film. Firstly, it is one of the most brilliantly photographed films I have ever seen, in composition, mise en scene, and the play of black and white.

Secondly, "Sword of Doom" is that rare film in which the aim of the director and the power of the lead mesh together to form an unforgettable portrayal.

Tatsuya Nakadai plays Ryunosuke, a skilled swordsman, who, from the opening moments of the film, proves also to be homicidally indifferent to human life. Ryunosuke is a strange and difficult character. His fighting style is passive, and he remains mostly uninvolved, both with the political turmoil surrounding him, and with his family - from his dying father, who fears the evil in him, to his lover (the wife of an opponent he kills) and his child. Nakadai's performance is magnetic, comparable to Montgomery Clift in it's singleminded, unyielding intensity.

While some of the subplots without Ryunosuke aren't quite as compelling, the ending is memorable and disturbing, and the direction will remind in some ways of Orson Wells.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
great film, stuff I didn't realise on 1st viewing maddox-richard
Is there a Samurai as bad-ass as Ryunosuke? cool316
Whats another dark,brutal flick like this? rsin_bassist
Sword of Doom Wallpaper OldSchoolRPGs
this movie will teach you how to fight... a_hat_trick
dead total, and ending? 65chevynova
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