IMDb > Sword of the Beast (1965)

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


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Release Date:
18 September 1965 (Japan) See more »
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:
Fun early effort from Hideo Gosha See more (14 total) »


  (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
Kentarô Yuasa .... fight choreographer
Camera and Electrical Department
Takayuki Aida .... lighting technician
Yasushi Gonaikawa .... gaffer
Kazuo Kishiro .... camera operator
Other crew
Nana Kobashi .... continuity

DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

Yuuki Gennosuke:This mountain is a dwelling for beasts. I'll turn into a wolf too, before long... and take my share of that almighty gold.See more »


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Fun early effort from Hideo Gosha, 6 October 2014
Author: mevmijaumau from Croatia

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.


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