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



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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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 <>

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Release Date:

13 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alley Cat  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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

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User Reviews

Samurai superman fights filthy magistrate
5 November 2000 | by (Frankfurt, Germany) – See all my reviews

Remember Koji Yakusho from SHALL WE DANCE, UNAGI (THE EEL), CURE or TAMPOPO? The Japanese box-office star is the new magistrate in a corrupt town who spreads rumours about his negligence and dubiosity only to get rid of all the bad guys he has to face and who underestimate him then completely. Dora-heita is an example for a streetwise and easy living guy with the classic abilities of a samurai - although he is making fun of them. The sword fighting seems to be classic but is hidden in camera movements, cuts and other tricks because Yakusho hasn't got the presence and fighting abilities of a Toshiro Mifune. The film was planned long ago by the four famous directors Kurosawa, Kinoshita, Kobayashi and Ichikawa who formed Yonki-no-kai (The Committee of Four Knights) in 1969 and wrote the script together. Only after three of them had died, Ichikawa could finally make his 74th movie out of their script.

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