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 »
Zatoichi tries to unrest the mob rule over a small village all while the gang leader's bodyguard is actually the Yojimbo, secretly taking the gang down from the inside. Will the two heroes realize in time that they are on the same side?
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 »
The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
Koichi (Sato) and Atsumi (Ayase) are childhood friends who have become lovers. Despite this closeness when Atsumi attempts suicide Koichi is at a loss to understand the circumstances that ... See full synopsis »
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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