Following World War II, a retired professor approaching his autumn years finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war-torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
When a powerful warlord in medieval Japan dies, a poor thief recruited to impersonate him finds difficulty living up to his role and clashes with the spirit of the warlord during turbulent times in the kingdom. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
To secure part of the funding required to make the film, Akira Kurosawa teamed up with the Suntory Whiskey company to create advertisements for the drink on the set of "Kagemusha". These advertisements are included as extras on the Criterion edition DVD. See more »
When Kagemusha is being ejected from the Takeda clan compound, he is seen with his left arm in a dark purple-colored cloth sling, which covers most of his hand and forearm. As the camera shot changes to a slightly longer shot, the sling is suddenly much narrower, exposing much more of his hand and forearm. See more »
I know it is difficult. I was for a long time the lord's double. It was torture. It is not easy to suppress yourself to become another. Often I wanted to be myself and free. But now I think this was selfish of me. The shadow of a man can never desert that man. I was my brother's shadow. Now that I have lost him, it is as though I am nothing.
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This film is one of Kurosawa's masterpieces and gives an profound insight in the pre-Tokugawa period of Japan. Especially remarkable is the very elaborated atmosphere of this film to which contribute the pure and simple dialogues and the use of very well-made sceneries. Kurosawa's favorite actor Tatsuya Nakadai is here at his best. Although the atmosphere is very elaborated and almost perfectly historic; tension of the viewer is heightened by the simplicity of the scenes. Kurosawa leaves certain parts to the viewer's imagination rather than showing it. The movie is highly philosophical as well as emotionally touching and presents the soul of the way of samurai and Japan's old samurai system much better and more serious than countless cheap- and bad-made martial arts movies about samurai. This is a warning to all who expect fast martial arts action and blood covered katana. This film is a Kurosawa-style mixture between opulent costume- drama, a philosophic and tragic story and the sensitivity only Kurosawa has displaying Japan's traditional way-of-life.
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