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Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (1972)

Kozure Ôkami: Ko wo kashi ude kashi tsukamatsuru (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Adventure | 23 August 1973 (USA)
The story of a Ronin (i.e. a masterless samurai) who wanders the countryside of Japan with his small child, having various adventures.

Director:

Kenji Misumi

Writers:

Kazuo Koike (manga), Goseki Kojima (manga) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tomisaburô Wakayama ... Ogami Itto
Fumio Watanabe Fumio Watanabe ... Bizennokami Yagyû
Gô Katô Gô Katô ... Ikiyu
Tomoko Mayama Tomoko Mayama ... Osen (whore)
Yûko Hama Yûko Hama
Shigeru Tsuyuguchi Shigeru Tsuyuguchi ... Kurando Yagyû
Asao Uchida Asao Uchida ... Kenmotsu Sugito
Taketoshi Naitô Taketoshi Naitô ... Ichige
Yoshi Katô Yoshi Katô ... Danjô Tonami
Keiko Fujita Keiko Fujita ... Azami Ogami
Isao Yamagata Isao Yamagata
Reiko Kasahara Reiko Kasahara ... Crazy Woman
Ichirô Nakae Ichirô Nakae
Michitarô Mizushima Michitarô Mizushima
Akihiro Tomikawa ... Daigoro
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Storyline

In this first film of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, adapted from the manga by Kazuo Koike, we are told the story of the Lone Wolf and Cub's origin. Ogami Itto, the official Shogunate executioner, has been framed for disloyalty to the Shogunate by the Yagyu clan, against whom he now is waging a one-man war, along with his infant son, Daigoro. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

23 August 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Footage from the first two Lone Wolf and Cub films (Sword of Vengeance and Baby Cart on the River Styx) from 1972 (Japan) would years later be re-edited into an American film called Shogun Assassin (1980). This merger of the two films would go on to earn it's place in American pop culture as one of the most notorious exploitation films of the early 80's. See more »

Quotes

Ogami Itto: You would've been happier if you'd chosen to join your mother in her world.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1999 UK video was cut by 6 secs by the BBFC to edit a scene where a woman is stripped topless, and the Artsmagic DVD featured the same print. The 2009 Eureka release (featured in the "Lone Wolf & Cub Collection") is fully uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful, bloody and brilliant.
15 September 2007 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Like many fans, my first exposure to the world of badass warrior Ogami Itto (and son) was through Shogun Assassin, an infamous 'video nasty' that was compiled from the 'best bits' of the first two movies in the Baby Cart series, 'Sword Of Vengeance' & 'Baby Cart At The River Styx. A stylish blood-drenched epic, Shogun Assassin piqued my interest enough to make me seek out the entire Baby Cart series (comprising of six films, made between 1972 and 1974).

Sword of Vengeance introduces us to protagonist Itto (Tomisaburo Wakayama), whose job, as Second for the Shogunate, is to execute the enemies of the Shogun, should they fail to commit seppuku (ritual suicide). After his wife is murdered, Itto is framed for treason by the nasty Yagyu clan (who wish to take his coveted position as Second). Now a Ronin—a samurai without a master— he takes to the road working as an assassin for hire, accompanied by his young son Daigoro, who rides in a booby-trapped wooden cart. Together, they are known as Lone Wolf and Cub.

With superbly choreographed fight scenes, wonderful cinematography, a terrific soundtrack, and a great central performance from Wakayama, this is an unmissable piece of samurai cinema. Itto is the Japanese equivalent of Clint Eastwood's 'man with no name': a cool-headed, tough-as-nails, and honourable character who is sparing with his words, and who only acts with violence when necessary (but always with devastating results).

A lethal force with his sword (and also with the variety of weapons secreted about Daigoro's cart), Itto cuts a swathe through all who are stupid enough to challenge him. A quick flash of his blade, and his enemies are either minus a limb or two, or spouting a geyser of blood from a fatal wound.

Sword of Vengeance is a prime example of cool, gritty and stylish 70s cult cinema. Watch it, and be cool by association.


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