Up 7,250 this week

Assassination (1964)
"Ansatsu" (original title)

 -  Action | Drama  -  30 October 1964 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 498 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 11 critic

Add a Plot



0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 190 titles
created 30 Sep 2012
a list of 1377 titles
created 24 Nov 2012
a list of 41 titles
created 23 Jan 2013
a list of 997 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 138 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Assassination" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Assassination (1964)

Assassination (1964) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Assassination.
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Kill! (1968)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two ronin - an ex-samurai and an ex-farmer - get caught up a local officials complex game of murder and betrayal.

Director: Kihachi Okamoto
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Etsushi Takahashi, Yuriko Hoshi
Chiyari Fuji (1955)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young samurai, Shojuro Sako, travels on the Tokaido to Edo with his two servants, Genta and Gonpachi. Gonpachi has been told by Shojuro's mother to prevent his Master from drinking... See full synopsis »

Director: Tomu Uchida
Stars: Chiezo Kataoka, Ryûnosuke Tsukigata, Chizuru Kitagawa
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Gennosuke, a clan retainer, kills one of the clan ministers as part of a plot to achieve reform. He is pursued by his former comrades, each hoping to complete the vendetta put on Gennosuke ... See full summary »

Director: Hideo Gosha
Stars: Mikijirô Hira, Gô Katô, Shima Iwashita
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The day before Japan announces its defeat in WW2, a very ill Shusaku arrives in Okayama. He meets Shinko, an innkeeper, who inadvertently gives him the will to live as he spies her crying ... See full summary »

Director: Yoshishige Yoshida
Stars: Mariko Okada, Hiroyuki Nagato, Sô Yamamura
Drama | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A psychologist discovers troubling links between Nazism and modern-day big business.

Director: Nicolas Klotz
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Michael Lonsdale, Edith Scob
Rônin-gai (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Directors: Kazuo Kuroki, Masahiro Makino
Stars: Yoshio Harada, Kanako Higuchi, Renji Ishibashi
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up ... See full summary »

Director: Hideo Gosha
Stars: Tetsurô Tanba, Isamu Nagato, Mikijirô Hira
Owls' Castle (1999)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

As the great military commander Nobunaga Oda was consolidating his power across Japan, one of his actions was to wipe out a clan of assassins, killing every man, woman and child he found in... See full summary »

Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Stars: Kiichi Nakai, Mayu Tsuruta, Riona Hazuki
Himiko (1974)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Stars: Shima Iwashita, Masao Kusakari, Rie Yokoyama
Spy Sorge (2003)
Action | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Stars: Iain Glen, Masahiro Motoki, Kippei Shîna
Fantasy | History | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Shima Iwashita, Hiroko Isayama
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Matemon Araki, a renowned swordsman, helps a young man find vengeance.

Director: Kazuo Mori
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yuriko Hamada, Takashi Shimura


Credited cast:
Tetsurô Tanba ...
Hachiro Kiyokawa
Lord Matsudaira
Eitarô Ozawa ...
Premier Itakura
Isao Kimura ...
Tadasaburo Sasaki
Muga Takewaki ...
Shingo Miyagawa
Oren, Kiyokawa's sweetheart
Keiji Sada
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Takeshi Kusaka
Sumio Takatsu


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama


See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 October 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Assassination  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Vantage Point
24 February 2014 | by (NY) – See all my reviews

Alongside such figures as Ôshima Nagisa, Yoshida Yoshishige, Imamura Shôhei, Masumura Yasuzô, Teshigahara Hiroshi, Hani Susumu and Kurahara Koreyoshi, Shinoda Masahiro was one of the key members of the so-called Japanese new wave, whose wide-ranging scope also encompassed the likes of Suzuki Seijun and Kaneto Shindô. More specifically, he was among the triumvirate—also including Ôshima and Yoshida—that formed the new wave at Shochiku. Even though he is primarily known in the west for his 1969 effort, Double Suicide—a cine-theatrical experiment that realized a bunraku puppet play—Shinoda was a prolific filmmaker who made more than thirty films before retiring from the arena in 2003. 1964 was an important year for this one-time Ozu assistant, as two of his finest and most acclaimed films saw the light of day: Pale Flower, a radical and broodingly terse—not to mention visually and aurally stunning, which is true of majority of Shinoda's work—yakuza tale, and Assassination (Ansatsu), Shinoda's first, and rather modernist, foray into period films.

Taking its cues from the oft-depicted turbulent sociopolitical period of Late Tokugawa Shogunate (1853-1867), which initiated with Colonel Perry-commanded four American warships positioning themselves at a key Japanese port and thus terminating the country's centuries-old trade impasse and more and edging it to the brink of civil war, Assassination begins in the third year of Bunkyu, or 1863. In the opening moments, we witness a murderer being pardoned as per the Premier's orders. The man turns out to be Kiyokawa Hachiro (the ubiquitous Tamba Tetsurô), an exceptional ronin who was once known to be the Emperor's supporter. (Shogunate's most staunch opposition at the time was provided by the Imperial allies, demanding expulsion of foreign forces from their Divine Land, forces the Shogunate feared.) Nevertheless, he is granted the task of forming a 'Free Samurai Army' against his former 'Emperor Worshippers' ("poison kills poison," Shogunate Lord Matsudaira once slithers). But also fully expecting Kiyokawa's betrayal, which mutates into an intricate political machination, an assassin is unleashed on his trail, who, along with Kiyokawa's devotees, becomes the catalyst for revealing our protagonist's true character, an ambitious task for sure.

Indeed, Kiyokawa is not one of those run-of-the-mill righteous heroes who patrol the mean streets in so many jidai-geki/chanbara yarns. The fact that he is also based on an actual person perhaps afforded famed author Shiba Ryotaro (Gohatto) and screenwriter Yamada Nobuo an opportunity to capture the morally indeterminate milieu and contextualize its effects on Kiyokawa's emotional and psychological state. He constantly feels the need to prove himself as an equal to those who regulate him, as he has paid his dues at the best Samurai schools and is considered a highly respected opponent for anyone. In one important sequence that unfolds at a brothel, Kiyokawa, disgruntled by the lack of change even after the 'Tempo Reformation', which was supposed to assist ordinary ronins like himself, forcibly takes the innocence of a recently sold young woman under the impression that she refused to serve him due to his class. But after recognizing her situation, he buys her out and makes her his honorable servant, an immense gesture repaid by the woman with her life. (Oren is played by the beautiful Iwashita Shima, Shinoda's wife, who went on to appear in most of his films.)

Due to the fact that Shinoda readily employs elliptical flashbacks and voice-overs that cause multiple shifts in the the point-of-view, Assassination admittedly is complex, and may require at least a second viewing to be comprehended and appreciated properly. That said, unlike Shinoda's subsequent period effort, Samurai Spy, it is not complicated or hard to follow. The latter's highly-stylized action choreography, which at times veered toward the comical, is also largely absent, and is replaced by quick and bloody confrontations—no abstractions here. In both films, however, the protagonists are kept at a certain emotional distance, perhaps part of the reason why author Audie Bock once used the term "icy aestheticism" in relation to the director's approach, but it is also what makes them such fascinating figures. The narrative and stylistic hallmarks of the sixties new waves—hand-held camera work (which truly makes its mark during the film's final moments), freeze-frames, existential themes—are applied with aplomb. Part of the credit certainly goes to Kosugi Masao, Shinoda's favorite early cinematographer—his expressionist use of light and shadow within the magnificent 'scope compositions is noteworthy. And the appropriately austere music is courtesy of the great Takemitsu Tôru, who provided scores for a number of key films of the time-period. Shinoda once stated in an interview that "I would like to take hold of the past and make it stand still so I can examine it from different angles." With Assassination, he has gone a long way toward actualizing his goal.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Assassination (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: