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Zatoichi in Desperation (1972)
"Shin Zatôichi monogatari: Oreta tsue" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  21 February 1973 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 501 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 11 critic

Star Shintaro Katsu sits in the director's chair for this psychedelic and unremittingly bleak entry in the Zatoichi series, which is unlike any other in its grind-house grimness. A tale of ... See full summary »

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Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Zatoichi is tricked by a crime gang into killing a man. Realizing his mistake, he sets out to protect the dead man's sister, who is conflicted in accepting his help.

Director: Kenji Misumi
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Zatoichi arrives in a town where a gambling house is kidnapping its poor, debt-ridden patrons. A rival establishment moves to pay those debts and free the peasants, but this house's ... See full summary »

Director: Satsuo Yamamoto
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Rentarô Mikuni, Kô Nishimura
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Zatoichi runs afoul of some evil fugitives, working for a corrupt law official.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Kayo Mikimoto, Kyôsuke Machida
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After an artist is threatened by the yakuza into creating valuable but highly illegal pornography, the law aims to execute him. Zatoichi, having been honor bound to protect the man and his family, must now run against the law.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Jûshirô Konoe, Miwa Takada
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ichi seeks out on a pilgrimage to 81 temples, exploring spirituality to atone for his bloody past. On the way, Ichi stumbles into a village that's being bullied by a violent Yakuza boss and... See full summary »

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Michiyo Ôkusu, Kunie Tanaka
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Promising to make a delivery for a dying man, the blind swordsman Zatoichi comes across the usual crime gangs but also meets a blind monk who brings into question his use of violence.

Director: Tokuzô Tanaka
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shigeru Amachi, Jun Hamamura
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Zatoichi tries to unrest the mob rule over a small village all while the gang leader's bodyguard is actually the Yojimbo, secretly taking the gang down from the inside. Will the two heroes realize in time that they are on the same side?

Director: Kihachi Okamoto
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Shintarô Katsu, Ayako Wakao
Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Zatoichi, while fighting off the usual group of gangsters, meets the apprentice of the swordsman who created his blade, who relays bad news about the sword.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shiho Fujimura, Yoshihiko Aoyama
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A samurai with a high skill in chess makes friends with Zatoichi, who finds that things become peculiar in his presence.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Mikio Narita, Chizu Hayashi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After Zatoichi learns of his sensei's murder he uncovers a horrible conspiracy involving the local government and crime family.

Director: Akira Inoue
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Norihei Miki, Mikiko Tsubouchi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The blind masseur and swordsman, Zatoichi, searches for proof an imprisoned man's innocence.

Director: Kazuo Mori
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Kanbi Fujiyama, Eiko Taki
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The blind swordsman tries to locate a girl's missing father.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Miwa Takada, Eiko Taki
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Cast

Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Kiwako Taichi ...
Nishikigi
Kyoko Yoshizawa ...
Kaede
Yasuhiro Koume ...
Katsuo Nakamura ...
Ushimatsu
Asao Koike ...
Boss Mangoro Kagiya
Jôji Takagi ...
Kamijo
Masumi Harukawa ...
Hama
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yoshihiko Aoyama ...
Takujiro
Yûtarô Ban
Tamotsu Fujiharu
Jun Fujikawa
...
Kagiya yakuza
Takaji Fukui
Rokku Furukawa
Edit

Storyline

Star Shintaro Katsu sits in the director's chair for this psychedelic and unremittingly bleak entry in the Zatoichi series, which is unlike any other in its grind-house grimness. A tale of innocence corrupted by sadistic, sleazy criminality, the film is propelled by Easy Rider-esque editing and a trippy seventies funk score by Kunihiko Murai. Written by Anonymous

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

21 February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi in Desperation  »

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Connections

Follows Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman's Pilgrimage (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hard to watch
18 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've seen 23 of the 26 films in the series (not including the Kitano) and this is by far the hardest to watch. It is less about Zatoichi and more about the cruelty and hardship of living in poverty in a fishing village in Edo era Japan. The film dwells very much upon the secondary characters as ends unto themselves and not just as elements in a story setting up a problem which Zatoichi will eventually resolve. Zatoichi acts as you would expect him to but he is overwhelmed by the misery and circumstances in a way that is unique in the series. Watch it by all means, but not with a light heart. I found myself also overwhelmed by the misery depicted in the film. It is unsettling.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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