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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Ken'ichi Hagiwara ...
...
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:

10 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

Shintarô Katsu was originally slated to play the lead role but he was dismissed by Akira Kurosawa after Katsu came to a rehearsal with a video camera and said he wanted to document the experience for an acting class he was teaching. Katsu was replaced by Kurosawa acting regular Tatsuya Nakadai. 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

Shingen Takeda: Even with this resemblance, Nobukado, he is so wicked as to be sentenced to crucifixion. How could this scoundrel be my double?
Kagemusha: I only stole a few coins. A petty thief. But you've killed hundreds and robbed whole domains. Who is wicked, you or I?
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Connections

Featured in The 62nd Annual Academy Awards (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Long, But Fantastic, Film.
27 April 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Akira Kurosawa's "Kagemusha" (1980) is one of those tremendously long films that somehow never drags. The plot is about a petty thief who is about to be crucified but is saved by a Japanese warlord called Lord Shingen because of his amazing resemblance to him and is used as a double. When the Lord is killed, and because of a plan laid by Shingen before he died, the so-call "Shadow Warrior" must impersonate the Lord for three years. Aided by this clever plot, Kurosawa shows us Japanese court ritual, with help by a brilliant performance by Tatsuya Nakadai, gives a fascinating picture of fifteenth century Japan. This a fabulous movie, with a particularly moving ending, that shows just how great Akira Kurosawa is.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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