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

 -  Action | Drama  -  1 July 1966 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 5,094 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 42 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 ...
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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

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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

Ryunosuke Tsukue: I, Ryunosuke Tsukue, trust only my sword in this world. When I fight, I have no family.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not a standard drama!
15 November 2003 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

I had heard of Sword of Doom for years but never read anything that would have lead me to believe the film was more than above-average.

It is a dense and very Japanese film in it's outlook. It's very jarring when you get to the end as many things are built up in a way that would end in a great duel to the death if this was a Hollywood style film. Fortunately, it isn't. The film takes two wild shifts in the last 10 minutes and the film ends without what you thought was was going to happen happen. I initially wondered why it ended so abruptly but I realized that the filmmakers had a more subtle plan hiding under the shocking final fight. The hints are there, you just can't take what's being said lightly. It has more in common with the usual twists and turns of real life than a contrived drama.

(Update Sept 2005) I just found out that this film was the first installment of a planned trilogy that was never completed. That might explain the abrupt ending but I like my interpretation better since we will never see the intended continuation.

Beside the intensely brutal fight at the end, this film features many corrupt main characters, much like the Italian westerns of the time. This is a tough movie but it's one of the best samurai dramas I've seen.


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Is there a Samurai as bad-ass as Ryunosuke? cool316
great film, stuff I didn't realise on 1st viewing maddox-richard
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