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Zatoichi at Large (1972)

Zatôichi goyô-tabi (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Action, Adventure | September 1973 (USA)
On the road, Zatoichi meets a dying pregnant woman and delivers the child moments before she passes. Honor bound, he sets out to find the next-of-kin who he discovers have their own problems.

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Writer:

(as Naoi Kinga)
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In a town where debt-ridden peasants are being ruthlessly exploited, Zatoichi is forced to take sides between a cruel yakuza boss and his seemingly altruistic rival.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Zatoichi
Rentarô Mikuni ...
Boss Tetsugoro
Hisaya Morishige ...
Constable Tobei
Etsushi Takahashi ...
Denjuro
Naoko Ôtani ...
Yae
Osamu Sakai ...
Seiji
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Katsutoshi Akiyama
Shôki Fukae
Tsutomu Hashimoto
Renji Ishibashi ...
Gunroku
Keizô Kanie
Jun Katsumura ...
Rowdy horse puller
Daigo Kusano ...
Performer with moustache telling chûshingura story
Kazuo Mortuchi
Shintarô Nanjô
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Storyline

Blind masseur and master swordsman Zatoichi finds a robbed and fatally wounded pregnant woman, whose baby he delivers before she dies. He takes the baby in search of its father and finds the child's aunt, who is about to be forced into prostitution for want of a payment the dead mother was bringing. Zatoichi determines to save the woman from her fate. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi at Large  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

A string holding it is visible when Zatoichi flips a coin that lands on the lip of a bottle. See more »

Connections

Follows Zatôichi chikemuri kaidô (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

Zatoichi at Large (1972)
7 May 2017 | by See all my reviews

After the previous installment, which was the least formulaic so far, the franchise sadly takes another turn to the generic with Kazuo Mori's Zatoichi at Large. The truth is, this would be a pretty good movie if it was one of the earliest ones, but as #23 of the series, it comes across as a bland pastiche of all too familiar tropes and elements from the other films.

Apparently, the Zatoichi films would rarely get shown again, so directors would get comfortable with re-using themes. This one begins with the same baby plot as Fight, Zatoichi, Fight (#8) but soon turns into another "town terrorized by gangsters" deal. The final boss here is played by Rentaro Mikuni (his second appearance in the series), but doesn't get to do much that others before him didn't already. An interesting thing about this film is that the first half is utterly goofy while the second is dead serious, but aside from that, this is typical Zatoichi stuff. Of course the mystery ronin appears too, but the battle between them is remarkably lazy, like the filmmakers just said: "yeah, let's get this over with already".

The visuals are a bit above average, with a recurring color scheme of black and blue (there's a very pretty scene where Zatoichi converses with a lady in front of a sparkling creek). The intro song just lists off common Zatoichi situations, as if it's making fun of the repetitiveness of several motives of the series. Speaking of that, some ideas here were downright lifted from previous outings, like Zatoichi breastfeeding a baby (from #8), Zatoichi being mistaken for a murderer (from #22), getting trapped in a ring of fire (from #21) and fighting while on fire (from #8 again). I guess the only unique thing here is that he gets tortured by villains.

Highlight of the film: a comic relief scene where an entertainer does a show with his monkey.


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