In the Edo period, a nameless ronin accepts an assignment to go to a mountain pass and wait. Near the pass he stops at an inn where a collection of characters gather, including a gang set ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Yataro
Ruriko Asaoka ...
Shintarô Katsu ...
Gentetsu
Kinnosuke Nakamura ...
Heima Ibuki
Chûsha Ichikawa ...
Unknown Samurai
Ichirô Arishima ...
Tokubei
Mika Kitagawa ...
Oyuki
Yoshio Tsuchiya ...
Itahachi
Jôtarô Togami ...
Gonji
Chieko Nakakita
Ryûnosuke Yamazaki ...
Tatsu
Seishirô Kuno
Yasuo Araki
Hiroshi Tanaka
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Storyline

In the Edo period, a nameless ronin accepts an assignment to go to a mountain pass and wait. Near the pass he stops at an inn where a collection of characters gather, including a gang set on stealing shogunate gold that's soon to come over the pass. When the Ronin's assignment becomes clear, to help the gang, he's ordered to kill the inn's residents, including a woman he's rescued from an abusive husband. He's reluctant to murder innocent people; then he learns that the gold shipment is a trap and he's part of a double cross. How he sorts through these divided loyalties tests of his samurai honor, and perhaps of his love for a woman. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ronin | jidai geki | martial arts | See All (3) »

Genres:

Action | Drama

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Release Date:

18 December 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ambush  »

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
It's just okay.
15 December 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Hmmm...this is a hard film to review and perhaps the other reviewer who says this stands repeated viewings is correct, as with only one viewing I wasn't all that impressed. The biggest reason is that I had a certain expectation that was too great for even a very good film to match. Toshirô Mifune plays the "Yojimbo" (or, the Body Guard)--the same name given to his character in Akira Kurosawa's SANJURO and YOJIMBO--two of the greatest Japanese films I have ever seen. Supposedly he's the same guy in this film, but I just couldn't see that. While it was the same name and actor, it just didn't seem the same. The cleverness and comic style of this film character is gone--no finesse whatsoever. Instead of the smart and manipulative Yojimbo, Mifune instead plays a guy who mostly just stands back and watches thing happen all around him. He's just too passive and uninvolved to seem like the same guy at all.

It's a shame, really, as the film also starred Shintaro Katsu (famous for his Zatoichi character) and the combination of the two exceptional actors could have been great. Instead, the film just seems to be on hold until the last half hour--with very little occurring up until then. And, when the action did occur, the number of twists and turns and odd loyalties made the whole thing a bit confusing...and very detached. I especially had a hard time understanding Mifune's actions and attitude towards the evil Katsu. Interestingly, another film that starred both actors and was not directed by Kurosawa (ZATOICHI MEETS YOJIMBO) was also a disappointment (ZATOICHI MEETS YOJIMBO--while not a bad film, it was actually not as good as the average film in this series--and once again, you expect so much with a film supposedly starring the Yojimbo. I guess the key to both of these films is that neither had anything to do with Kurosawa! Without the famed director, you just can't say it's the same.


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