February 17 to March 3, 1860, inside Edo castle. A group of assassins wait by Sakurada Gate to kill the lord of the House of Ii, a powerful man in the Tokugawa government, which has ruled ... 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 »
During the time of change of the mid-19th Century, Yaichiro is bid farewell by his fellow samurai friends Munezo and Samon as he leaves their clan's fiefdom on the northwest coast of Japan ... See full summary »
My missus, who is Japanese, tells me that Raizo Ichikawa was a very big star around the time this film was made. Well, I can't say he does much for me. In fact, I think his mostly minimal acting style is one of the reasons that this film, first of a trilogy, is fairly uninteresting.
The effeminate yet deep-voiced Raizo plays a swordfighter with superb skills in the slashing department but minimal skills in relationships. A lot more could have happened than actually did, and it took quite a long time about it. The main enjoyment of this picture is some of the great costumes, period interior decorating and architecture and scenery. The other two films are better, but only slightly.
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