During the time of change of the mid-19th Century, Yaichiro is bid farewell by his fellow samurai friends Munezo and Samon as he leaves their clan's fiefdom on the northwest coast of Japan ... See full summary »
The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
Jarring, intermittent use of freeze frames accompanied by voice-over narration and some poorly-synched sound effects might well be tell-tale signs that this film was still incomplete when its director passed away in mid-1970. Similar to my previous encounter with Uchida's cinema the superior A BLOODY SPEAR ON MOUNT FUJI (1955) this film has a very deliberately paced (and, in this case, muddled) first half as it tells of the exploits of legendary warrior Musashi Miyamoto (played 16 years earlier by the great Toshiro Mifune in a celebrated trilogy of films for director Hiroshi Inakagi and the protagonist of several previous Uchida pictures) and settles on his confrontation with a rival the owner of a secret weapon he craves and his equally adept wife (whose brother he had killed years before). This incident takes up virtually all of the film's second half whereupon Musashi emerges triumphant by defeating the man's entire band of followers and setting husband against wife by kidnapping their little son.
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