Very traditional samurai drama. Could have been made years earlier. Nothing unusual for a film of this nature; political intrigue, super swordsmen mow down legions of lesser fighters and beautiful women.
The story concerns the efforts of a few noble swordsman to protect the new inexperienced Shogun from the evil machinations of a corrupt lord. It's a colorful bunch, a drunk samurai, a master thief, a sword instructor and a lord who is disguised as a ronin since it is an executable offense for a lord to wander outside their domain without permission. The plot moves along until the swordsman realize the evil lord's master plan. Then it's time to thwart his ambitions and battle the rouge master swordsman he has employed.
Set bound at times and very stagy. some of the characters look like they are directly out of old prints. The story moves along at a good pace with a few slow spots. The action is good but also stagy. The sword work is excellent but some might find it hard to watch as there are none of the usual sound effects. The swishes, chings and slicing noises are not here, instead the undramatic clack of swords hitting each other. Deadly slices are completely silent. Perhaps more realistic but not as entertaining.
Good but pale in contrast to other samurai films from the same era. Wakayama Tomisaburo of the later Lone Wolf series is here but is underused as the sword instructor.
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