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Sword of the Beast (1965)
"Kedamono no ken" (original title)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,461 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 14 critic

A fugitive samurai encounters a married couple who steal mountain gold for their clan. Upon hearing that the clan is going to betray and kill them, the samurai decides to fight for them.

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Title: Sword of the Beast (1965)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mikijirô Hira ...
Gô Katô ...
...
Toshie Kimura ...
Kantarô Suga ...
Yôko Mihara ...
Kunie Tanaka ...
Eijirô Tôno ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shigeru Amachi
Hajime Araki
Tsuyoshi Date
Ryûji Fujisawa
Torahiko Hamada
Tôru Hatozaki
Sentarô Hayashi
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Storyline

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 by the clan. With the help of a master swordsman, Yamane, Gennosuke has a chance at survival. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 September 1965 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Sword of the Beast  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Yuuki Gennosuke: I'm a cornered and wounded beast. I can't afford to live by my conscience. My opponent is a strong warrior, it is true. But it's up to me whether I defeat him and take his gold, or am defeated by him... and left to die a dog's death in the hills.
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User Reviews

 
Fun early effort from Hideo Gosha
6 October 2014 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

Sword of the Beast is another one of those "anti-samurai" chanbara films like Harakiri or Samurai Rebellion. Unlike Kurosawa, whose samurai films delved into universal and humanistic themes, filmmakers like Kobayashi or Uchida concentrated specifically on the issues of feudal Japanese society. This early film by accomplished filmmaker Hideo Gosha is also socially conscious in that way.

It opens with a huge grass field reminiscent of that from Onibaba, but later shifts the setting to a Rashomon-like forest (near a mountain) where people are often obscured by the grass, bushes and trees in the similar attempt to portray the wickedness of the place's inhabitants who therefore "lost themselves" there. The main character, condemned by society, proves to be the most sane person around while the other characters are often compared to beasts.

The swordfighting scenes are swift and badass to the core. Gosha certainly knows how to film an exciting fight scene without it looking too cheesy, rushed or unrealistic. All in all, the action portions of the film are very exciting.

What I hate the most are the flashbacks, which, like in most Japanese films of that era, are scattered around without distinguishing them from present-time shots, which can be a little confusing sometimes. However, the story opens with a short narration giving us all of the necessary exposition so I guess the flashbacks aren't as bad in this movie as they can be in others.

8,5/10


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