New magistrate cleans up a corrupt town in his own comic Samurai way.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Yûko Asano ...
Kosei
Tsurutarô Kataoka ...
Hanzô Yasukawa
Ryûdô Uzaki ...
Giyoro Senba
Hideji Ôtaki
Saburô Ishikura
Bunta Sugawara ...
Nadahachi
Renji Ishibashi ...
Saibei
Shigeru Kôyama
Takeshi Katô
Isao Bitô
Tsuyoshi Ujiki
Noboru Mitani
Nekohachi Edoya
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Storyline

Samurai Koheita Mochizuki, who goes by the nickname Dora-Heita, meaning "alley cat" or "playboy," pretends to be an alcoholic magistrate but is in actuality an envoy from the daimyo sent to clean up the corrupt and lawless town. His task is complicated by the unexpected arrival of his mistress Kosei. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Action | Crime

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Release Date:

13 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alley Cat  »

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1.85 : 1
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Connections

Remake of Machibugyô nikki: Tekka botan (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dora-heita
4 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A late film from Kon Ichikawa, approximately the eightieth in his sixty-year directing career. An honest magistrate uses guile as well as samurai skills to clean up a corrupt feudal fiefdom. The tale is framed by two scribes recording the "official" version of events: their ironic comments are funny as they gossip about all the juicy stuff they have to leave out of their chronicle; but behind their worldly-wise cracks, they really don't know what's going on, so the irony doubles back on them. The hero plays a shifty game going after his prey; his dodges are very amusing, and the star Koji Yakusho really seems to be enjoying himself. The corrupt port city, a medieval Big Easy, is a big rotten playground in nacreous colors that bleed into each other. About the only hard edges to be seen - until the blades come out - are the checkerboard squares on the robe of the determined Miss Keiko, who pursues the magistrate all the way from Edo. Ichikawa keeps his touch light and sure - what other great director has aged so well? - his mastery intact, with no sign of faltering or hardening.


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