Shinpachi, a poor samurai with no prospects, gets in an argument with Magodayu, a high-ranking officer, resulting in an illegal duel and Magodayu's death. To save face for both familes, ... See full summary »
A young yakuza hitman named Goro does a job and needs to hideout away from Tokyo for a while. He hangs out with loose women and hard men and always manages to stay one step ahead of the law... See full summary »
Gennosuke, a clan retainer, kills one of the clan ministers as part of a plot to achieve reform. He is pursued by his former comrades, each hoping to complete the vendetta put on Gennosuke ... See full summary »
Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up ... See full summary »
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.
A Shogunate Elder connives to rule Japan by making his puppet, the Shogun's brother Tsunashige, the next Shogun. The best strategist in Japan, Yamaga, leads a plot to stop the Elder, but ... See full summary »
An early pairing of director Misumi and actor Wakayama who would later be part of the team behind the legendary "Lone Wolf" series.
The film purports to tell the historical turning point of the Shinsengumi as the clan is transformed from a feared band of ruffians working for the Shoganate to the saviors of the city of Kyoto when they prevent arson by anti-Shoganate mercenaries. The story follows a young ronin has he joins the clan to fulfill his dreams of being a full fledged samurai. Initially suspicious of the clan, the ronin is impressed by the number three samurai, Kondo (played by Wakayama) who, despite starting out as a lowly farmer, shows the most integrity of any samurai he's met. The clan's drunken, brutish leader is soon killed by his own men and Kondo is put in charge. The ronin, already unsure of his decision to leave his beautiful wife- to-be, is tormented by the harsh contradictions in the realities of samurai life.Despite the good intentions of the new leader, the clan's roguish ways gets them in trouble with the Shoganate and they are given one last chance, uncover and avert a plot to burn Kyoto and kill the Shogun.
Well shot with the Misumi touch, the film is a little slow and dense if you are not familiar with the historical account. There is more intrigue then sword work but when the finale comes about the action is brutal and harsh. The ronin's side story is good if sort of a cliché. Wakayama' acting is very good and unexpected if you are only familiar with his dour Ogami Itto.
Well done if typical samurai drama.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?