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Kagemusha (1980)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  6 October 1980 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 19,918 users  
Reviews: 83 user | 66 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shooting for the film lasted nine months. Almost two months of this were spent filming the final battle scenes on the Yuhara Plain in Hokkaido. 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

Masakage Yamagata: [Rainbow appears, causing the advancing Takeda army to halt] My lord, what do you think that light is that is barring your path?
Katsuyori Takeda: [Gives it a quick glance] A rainbow.
Masakage Yamagata: You're wrong! It is your late father's instructions not to proceed. He's telling you to stay in your domain and guard it. Those were your father's last words. If you do that, nothing can harm us.
Katsuyori Takeda: Harm? An ominous word. Since the time of our ancestors, the Takeda have never run from a fight.
Katsuyori Takeda: [Addressing his army] Forward!... Forward!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Performances: Kurosawa (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
My God, Look at Those Colors!
30 May 2000 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Akira Kurosawa is certainly one of the most important directors who ever lived. Most of his most famous films were made in the 50s and 60s. Rashomon, Ikiru, Yojimbo, and The Seven Samurai may be the four most famous films he made, and they were all in black and white. That format was wonderful. His films had a definitive look in that era.

I would like to suggest, though, that he was the single best director of the color image who has existed thus far (whose work I am familiar with). I have only seen two of his color films (I don't even know how many he made), this film and Ran, but his sense of color in these two films is exquisite. I had to pause it several times during Kagemusha just to stare at the beautiful composition.

I personally think that Kurosawa's talents rested mainly in the technical aspects of his films rather than the content (and I'm sure many people would argue against me here). So as for the film itself, I'd give it a 9/10 for two reasons. I was only emotionally involved during small sections of the film (the end was particularly powerful), and the story was somewhat difficult to follow (I was confused during Yojimbo and The Seven Samurai, too). I prefer Ran to this film (and to all the other films of his I've seen, which include Rashomon, The Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo). Still, Kagemusha is very good.


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