IMDb > Sword of the Beast (1965)

Sword of the Beast (1965) More at IMDbPro »Kedamono no ken (original title)

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Overview

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7.7/10   1,417 votes »
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Release Date:
18 September 1965 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
The path of the beast... See more (14 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Directed by
Hideo Gosha 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hideo Gosha 
Eizaburo Shiba 

Produced by
Gin'ichi Kishimoto .... producer
Suguru Matsunaga .... assistant producer
Seichi Mori .... assistant producer
Masayuki Satô .... producer
 
Original Music by
Toshiaki Tsushima 
 
Cinematography by
Toshitada Tsuchiya 
 
Art Direction by
Mamoru Abe 
 
Makeup Department
Katsura Kawaguchi .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Akira Tsumura .... executive in charge of production
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Takumi Kitami .... first assistant director
Fukashi Kojima .... assistant director
Asatoshi Satô .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Kyôji Sasaki .... assistant art director
 
Sound Department
Toshiyuki Ishikawa .... sound
Masaharu Suzuki .... assistant sound
Tetsuo Yasuda .... sound effects editor
 
Special Effects by
Toshio Shinohara .... special effects
 
Stunts
Kentarô Yuasa .... fight choreographer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Takayuki Aida .... lighting technician
Yasushi Gonaikawa .... gaffer
Kazuo Kishiro .... camera operator
 
Other crew
Nana Kobashi .... archivist
 

DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Kedamono no ken" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
85 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Quotes:
Minister:Wait! We're not connected at all. Why kill me?
Yuuki Gennosuke:No, we *are* connected because I'll see you in hell.
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FAQ

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
The path of the beast..., 24 April 2008
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

This early Hideo Gosha jidai-geki that was released by Criterion opens quite abruptly with a ronin named Gennosuke being hunted down for having killed his clan's counsellor. We're at 1857, on the brink of the Meiji reformation that saw Japan opening to the west after years of seclusion and the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The central plot revolves around the struggle between the old and new in a country on the verge of change. Although short in duration (clocking in at 85 minutes), the story never lets up with numerous twists and a fast pace. A series of events will find Gennosuke and a prospector he meets along the way searching for gold in a mountain, until they get caught up in another clan's schemes. Nothing is what it seems though, and therein lies the beauty of Sword of the Beast. As the story progresses both forwards and backwards (with glimpses in Gennosuke's past in the form of flashbacks), the characters' motives are fully fleshed out and this provides the extra dramatic oomph that pushes Sword of the Beast above "merely OK" territory. Behind all the swordfighting (and there's enough of it to be enjoyed here, certainly not Lone Wolf and Cub though), Gosha has a story to communicate.

With beautiful natural exteriors photographed in stark black and white, confident directing from Gosha, very good swordfighting scenes from actors who know their trade and decent performances all around, Sword of the Beast should appeal to all jidai-geki fans. It's neither as monolithic and tragic as Masaki Kobayashi's work from the same time nor as lyrical as Kurosawa's, but it stands somewhere in the middle, stripped to the essentials with a focus on story and theme.

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