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Ken ki (1965)

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Title: Ken ki (1965)

Ken ki (1965) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Raizô Ichikawa ...
Hanpei
Michiko Sugata ...
Osaki
Kei Satô ...
Secretary Kanbe Kikuma
Ryûtarô Gomi ...
Kyomuzo
Gorô Mutsumi ...
Yuzo
Kentarô Kudô ...
Asazo
Asao Uchida ...
Yaichiro
Ryûzô Shimada ...
Hatta
Koichi Mizuhara ...
Gosuke
Rokko Toura ...
Kaino Masanobu
Saburô Date ...
Toda Shingo
Akihisa Toda ...
Tadokoro Gaki
Shôsaku Sugiyama ...
Ikenaga Tanzaemon
Kazue Tamaki ...
Tsuzaki Taichiemon
Yûji Hamada ...
Hirada Mannosuke
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Release Date:

16 October 1965 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Sword Devil  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Standard Daiei stuff
29 October 2008 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Sword Devil is largely typical early-to-mid sixties Daiei Studios stuff, with good marquee value (Misumi-Ichikawa) but nothing we haven't seen better elsewhere. A genre b-movie with standard plotting then, SD plays out with little in the way of surprise but still fairly entertaining within the boundaries it sets up for itself. Hanpei is born to a servant of the mad Lady of the clan and a dog, or so the legend goes, and so dog-son is his nickname. The opening credits sequence is almost a direct copy of the one from Kurosawa's STRAY DOG, the stray dog (nora inu) standing in as a very common symbolic reference for the ronin drifter in the chambara field and one Kurosawa himself used in YOJIMBO. Indeed Hanpei is defined as a typical genre outcast, an alienated character on the fringes of society (as the old man taking care of him says before he dies "you're not even considered a human…"), but unlike other characters of that ilk Hanpei starts out as a doormat type of character, shy and timid and with no swordsman skills whatsoever. Instead of being a laconic badass as one would expect, Hanpei is employed as a florist tending the gardens of the local daimyo. His transformation from timid gardener to sword devil starts with him learning the sword from a ronin practicing in the woods and climaxes in a hack-and-slash battle where he chops down two dozen of his own clan's vassals, them hell-bent on revenge, and rightfully fulfills the title's lurid promise. Kudos goes to Raizo Ichikawa for his portrayal of Hanpei; he shows formidable acting chops and proves he can do likable and goodie just as good as the darker, more nihilistic characters he played around the same era (Nemuri Kiyoshiro, Ryunosuke Tsukue).


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