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Zatoichi the Outlaw (1967)

Zatôichi rôyaburi (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 12 August 1967 (Japan)
In a town where debt-ridden peasants are being ruthlessly exploited, Zatoichi is forced to take sides between a cruel yakuza boss and his seemingly altruistic rival.


Satsuo Yamamoto


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shintarô Katsu ... Zatoichi
Rentarô Mikuni Rentarô Mikuni ... Asagoro
Kô Nishimura Kô Nishimura ... Kyushiro Suga (as Akira Nishimura)
Yûko Hamada Yûko Hamada ... Oshino (as Yuko Hamada)
Kenjirô Ishiyama ... Tatsugoro
Toshiyuki Hosokawa Toshiyuki Hosokawa ... Nisaburo
Takuya Fujioka Takuya Fujioka ... Zato Sanji
Mizuho Suzuki Mizuho Suzuki ... Shusui Ohara
Tatsuo Endô ... Boss Tomizo
Kayo Mikimoto Kayo Mikimoto ... Oyuki
Tatsuo Matsushita Tatsuo Matsushita ... Yamagen
Ryoichi Tamagawa Ryoichi Tamagawa
Rokku Furukawa Rokku Furukawa ... Zato Kinsaku
Keisuke Ootori Keisuke Ootori ... Zato Jinsuke (as Keisuke Otori)
Utako Kyô Utako Kyô ... Big Mouth Woman


Zatoichi arrives in a town where a gambling house is kidnapping its poor, debt-ridden patrons. A rival establishment moves to pay those debts and free the peasants, but this house's seemingly altruistic boss is actually laying the groundwork for a ruthless money-grabbing scheme. The sixteenth Zatoichi film is the first from its star's own Katsu Productions, and is one of the series' most daring. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The final and most savage installment of the series.


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 August 1967 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi Breaks Jail See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The first Zatôichi film produced by Katsu Productions (Shintarô Katsu's own company). See more »


Zatoichi: I've come back from hell. I have a score to settle with you.
See more »


Followed by Zatoichi in Desperation (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Good but could have been one of the best
25 June 2001 | by galensaysyesSee all my reviews

If this had been done earlier in the Zatoichi series it could have been one of the best. It is good enough, as most of them are, but the plot and the characters seem too complicated for the series at this point. The situation is unusually intriguing: the farmers in the province have two champions, a benevolent boss (for once) and a philosopher-samurai who starts a sort of Grange; both run afoul of the usual local gangsters, who want the crops to fail because it increases their gambling revenues and their chances to snap up some land; their chief or powerful ally is a seeming puritan who is death on drinking and gambling but secretly indulges his own perverse appetites. (He also resembles Dracula, as the villains in the later Zatoichi movies tend increasingly to do.) These characters have enough meaning so that they deserved to be set against Zatoichi as he was drawn originally, but by now he has lost many of his nuances, and the changes in some of the characters, such as the good boss and the angry sister of a man Zatoichi has killed, need more time then the movie has to give, so that the story seems choppy, as if some scenes were missing. Other than that, the movie shows the virtues of most of the others in the series: good acting, sometimes lyrical photography, the creation of a vivid, believable, and uniquely recognizable landscape (the absence of which is obvious in the occasional episode where the director just misses it), and a technical quality that of its nature disguises itself: the imaginatively varied use of limited sets so their limitations seem not to exist. And of course there is the keynote actor, whose presence, as much as his performance, makes it all work. This must be one of the best-sustained series in movie history.

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