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Kagemusha (1980)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  6 October 1980 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 20,240 users  
Reviews: 84 user | 65 critic

A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.

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Title: Kagemusha (1980)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Ken'ichi Hagiwara ...
Jinpachi Nezu ...
Sohachiro Tsuchiya
Hideji Ôtaki ...
Daisuke Ryû ...
Masayuki Yui ...
...
Otsuyanokata
Mitsuko Baishô ...
Oyunokata
Hideo Murota ...
Nobufusa Baba
Takayuki Shiho ...
Masatoyo Naito
Kôji Shimizu ...
Katsusuke Atobe
Noboru Shimizu ...
Masatane Hara
Sen Yamamoto ...
Nobushige Oyamada
Shuhei Sugimori ...
Masanobu Kosaka
Edit

Storyline

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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Lucas assisted Akira Kurosawa with this film in a number of capacities. Lucas' big-budget box-office success Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) had been inspired by a number of Kurosawa's early films. These were Sanjuro (Sanjuro (1962)), Yojimbo (Yojimbo (1961)) and The Hidden Fortress (The Hidden Fortress (1958)). See more »

Goofs

In the final battle there are at least 100 riflemen shown firing their matchlock rifles in volleys. The smoke generated by the matchlocks almost immediately dissipates. This indicates a more modern gunpowder was used in the matchlocks as the historically correct black powder load would blanket the battlefield with thick smoke after a handful of volleys. See more »

Quotes

[the double's aides are worried that others will find out he is an impostor]
Masakage Yamagata: Little Takemaru was a problem, but the horse is worse. It can tell. Only the late lord could ride it.
Nobufusa Baba: If the double falls off, everyone will suspect.
Nobukado Takeda: Lord Shingen has been ill. He must refrain from riding.
Masakage Yamagata: Good idea.
Masatane Hara: There are many other problems. We must be careful to keep the late lord's intentions.
Katsusuke Atobe: Tonight he will have to meet the late lord's mistresses. How will he be with them?
Masakage Yamagata: Our master has been ill. He must ...
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Akira Kurosawa Strikes Back!
9 September 2003 | by (Captain Nemo's Submarine) – See all my reviews

After spending a decade (or so) in solitary confinement from the Japanese Film Industry Akira Kurosawa returns to make his semi-masterpiece "Kagemusha", which he called a dress-rehearsal for "Ran", made in 1985.

Kagemusha is, probably, the best example of cinematic overkill where nobody actually cares. Cinematic overkill is when someone constructs a complex multi-layered movie, stage epic-battles, introduce likeable and complex characters without having a very complicated message. The message of "Kagemusha" is simply this: If you pretend long enough to be something else you'll become it. Too simple, maybe, for what's delivered.

Not that "Kagemusha" is a bad movie. It's haunting, it's spectacular and it's just great. I keep thinking about it over and over. I can't get it out of my head. Simply put "Kagemusha" is a masterpiece, albeit one up for debate. Not all Kurosawa fans would like it, but that's they're business. Personally, this is one of the movies currently that I'd really like to see again.

PS: Thank goodness for George Lucas and Francis Ford Copolla who funded this movie.


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