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Dora-heita (2000)

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



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime


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Release Date:

13 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alley Cat  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Engaging detective story with humor and some decent action
12 June 2007 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Another project from the files of Kurosawa gets completed, this time by master director Kon Ichikawa who co-wrote it with Kurosawa and other directors during an aborted attempt to create an independent film company in the early 1970's.

A samurai is sent to be the new magistrate of a very corrupt fiefdom. Never reporting in to his office, the samurai immediately creates the impression that he's about as immoral a samurai as one can be without killing or abusing anyone. He insults the chamberlain and head officials of the fief and spends most of his time gambling and carousing with prostitutes. All the while he's really investigating how the local yakuza are working in league with the lords of the fiefdom.

While this is a very amusing film and quite enjoyable for most of it's length, it's not a deep movie. However, the humor is good and the action is well handled. It's a good looking production with one minor drawback. The anticipated sword fight showdown happens (it's a very good scene) but the film then goes on for another twenty minutes so all the loose ends can be tied up. I didn't mind but it felt lop-sided.


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