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Zatôichi chikemuri kaidô (1967)

Not Rated | | Drama, Adventure, Action | April 1970 (USA)
After an artist is threatened by the yakuza into creating valuable but highly illegal pornography, the law aims to execute him. Zatoichi, having been honor bound to protect the man and his family, must now run against the law.

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Zatoichi, while fighting off the usual group of gangsters, meets the apprentice of the swordsman who created his blade, who relays bad news about the sword.

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In a town where debt-ridden peasants are being ruthlessly exploited, Zatoichi is forced to take sides between a cruel yakuza boss and his seemingly altruistic rival.

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Cowritten by star Shintaro Katsu, this adventure pits Zatoichi against one of his most diabolical foes: a blind yakuza boss whose reign of terror and exploitation has made him nearly mythic... See full summary »

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Zatoichi's trek through 88 temples to atone for his violent past is interrupted as he stumbles into a village terrorized by a violent yakuza boss.

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Promising to make a delivery for a dying man, the blind swordsman Zatoichi comes across the usual crime gangs but also meets a blind monk who brings into question his use of violence.

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Zatoichi returns to his home village for the first time in over ten years to find much has changed and that corruption abounds.

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The blind masseur and swordsman, Zatoichi, searches for proof an imprisoned man's innocence.

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After Zatoichi learns of his sensei's murder he uncovers a horrible conspiracy involving the local government and crime family.

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A samurai with a high skill in chess makes friends with Zatoichi, who finds that things become peculiar in his presence.

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Two of Japan and China's greatest heroic swordsman find themselves caught in a plot to protect a young child. But will national distrust and simple misunderstanding keep the two kindred spirits apart?

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Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Yu Wang, Watako Hamaki
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Jûshirô Konoe ...
Tajuro Akazuka
Miwa Takada ...
Omitsu
Yukiji Asaoka ...
Tomoe
Mikiko Tsubouchi ...
Mie Nakao ...
Miyuki
Takao Ito ...
Shokichi
Asao Koike ...
Maebara of Gonzo
Midori Isomura ...
Omine
Tatsuo Matsumura ...
Tahe
Eitarô Ozawa ...
Torikoshi
Jôtarô Senba ...
Chokichi
Kôjirô Kusanagi ...
Kurisu
Kenzô Tabu ...
Kanai of Manzo
Osami Nabe ...
Dice Player Hanzo (as Osamu Nabei)
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Storyline

Ichi is staying at an inn when a woman dies. Her dying wish is that Ichi take her son to his father, an artist living in a nearby town. After arriving in the town, Ichi finds out that the father has been forced by a local boss to create illegal pornography to pay off his gambling debts. Ichi makes it his mission to save tha man and reunite the family, even though it brings him into conflict with a samurai he sort of befriended on his way to the town Written by Scott Hamilton <stomptokyo.com>

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Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

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Release Date:

April 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi Challenged  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Connections

Followed by Zatoichi and the Fugitives (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Zatoichi Challenged (1967)
16 December 2015 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

Director Kenji Misumi returns to the series once more to direct Zatoichi Challenged, the 17th installment of the saga. Coming off from Zatoichi the Outlaw, one of the fresher entries, you might be surprised to find out that this movie is back to the old generic roots without much, if any, innovation. The plot is lifted from Fight! Zatoichi! Fight! (also directed by Misumi), except the boy that Zatoichi takes care of isn't a toddler in this case, and overall the film feels very plain, without anything new thrown onto the table.

There's a peculiar sub-plot with the baddies smuggling some dining plates with pornographic drawings on them (inspiring the excellent Criterion artwork), but it doesn't live up to the potential and in fact sounds more like a plot for a Hanzo the Razor film. The kid's acting is pretty bad, and the movie starts off like a musical, with one song after another. Luckily, it quickly abandons this idea. There's also another mystery ronin, this time a bad guy, unlike the altruistic philosopher from the previous film. Here, the movie ends with a duel between him and Zatoichi, and what makes it interesting is that the ronin's fate is radically different from the other bad guys' from the franchise.

The only thing #17 improves as opposed to #16 is the soundtrack. Sei Ikeno's music in #16 is too intrusive and melodramatic (but I forgive him, for he composed one of the best movie soundtracks ever for 1968's Affair in the Snow), while the soundtrack to #17 almost feels like it belongs in a spaghetti western.

Highlight of the film: Zatoichi slices off some guy's eyebrows.


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