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The Sword of Doom (1966)

Dai-bosatsu tôge (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama | 1 July 1966 (USA)
Through his unconscionable actions against others, a sociopath samurai builds a trail of vendettas that follow him closely.

Director:

Kihachi Okamoto

Writers:

Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay), Kaizan Nakazato (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Ryunosuke Tsukue
Michiyo Aratama ... Ohama
Yûzô Kayama ... Hyoma Utsuki
Yôko Naitô Yôko Naitô ... Omatsu
Tadao Nakamaru Tadao Nakamaru ... Isami Kondo
Kei Satô Kei Satô ... Kamo Serizawa
Kô Nishimura Kô Nishimura ... Shichibei, Omatsu's 'uncle'
Ichirô Nakatani ... Bunnojo Utsuki
Kunie Tanaka ... Senkichi
Toshirô Mifune ... Toranosuke Shimada
Ryôsuke Kagawa Ryôsuke Kagawa ... Dansho Tsukue
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Omatsu's grandfather
Hideyo Amamoto ... Shuzen Kamio
Akio Miyabe Akio Miyabe ... Toshizo Hijikata
Yasuzô Ogawa Yasuzô Ogawa ... Yohachi
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Storyline

Ryunosuke is a sociopathic samurai without compassion or scruples. When he is scheduled for an exhibition match at his fencing school, the wife of his opponent begs Ryunosuke to throw the match, offering her own virtue in trade. Ryunosuke accepts her offer, but kills her husband in the match. Over time, Ryunosuke is pursued by the brother of the man he killed. The brother trains with the master fencer Shimada. In the meantime, however, Ryunosuke earns the enmity of the band of assassins he runs with, and it becomes a question of who shall face him in final conflict. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1 July 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sword of Doom See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #280. See more »

Quotes

Ryunosuke Tsukue: I, Ryunosuke Tsukue, trust only my sword in this world. When I fight, I have no family.
See more »

Connections

Version of Sword in the Moonlight (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not a standard drama!
15 November 2003 | by ChungMoSee all my reviews

I had heard of Sword of Doom for years but never read anything that would have lead me to believe the film was more than above-average.

It is a dense and very Japanese film in it's outlook. It's very jarring when you get to the end as many things are built up in a way that would end in a great duel to the death if this was a Hollywood style film. Fortunately, it isn't. The film takes two wild shifts in the last 10 minutes and the film ends without what you thought was was going to happen happen. I initially wondered why it ended so abruptly but I realized that the filmmakers had a more subtle plan hiding under the shocking final fight. The hints are there, you just can't take what's being said lightly. It has more in common with the usual twists and turns of real life than a contrived drama.

(Update Sept 2005) I just found out that this film was the first installment of a planned trilogy that was never completed. That might explain the abrupt ending but I like my interpretation better since we will never see the intended continuation.

Beside the intensely brutal fight at the end, this film features many corrupt main characters, much like the Italian westerns of the time. This is a tough movie but it's one of the best samurai dramas I've seen.


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