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Kagemusha (1980)

Trailer
1:28 | Trailer
A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Shingen Takeda / Kagemusha
Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Nobukado Takeda
Ken'ichi Hagiwara Ken'ichi Hagiwara ... Katsuyori Takeda
Jinpachi Nezu ... Sohachiro Tsuchiya
Hideji Ôtaki Hideji Ôtaki ... Masakage Yamagata
Daisuke Ryû ... Nobunaga Oda
Masayuki Yui ... Ieyasu Tokugawa
Kaori Momoi ... Otsuyanokata
Mitsuko Baishô Mitsuko Baishô ... Oyunokata
Hideo Murota Hideo Murota ... Nobufusa Baba
Takayuki Shiho Takayuki Shiho ... Masatoyo Naito
Kôji Shimizu Kôji Shimizu ... Katsusuke Atobe
Noboru Shimizu Noboru Shimizu ... Masatane Hara
Sen Yamamoto Sen Yamamoto ... Nobushige Oyamada
Shuhei Sugimori Shuhei Sugimori ... Masanobu Kosaka
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Storyline

When a powerful warlord in medieval Japan dies, a poor thief recruited to impersonate him finds difficulty living up to his role and clashes with the spirit of the warlord during turbulent times in the kingdom. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

10 October 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kagemusha See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,017,462
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (International Cut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | 4-Track Stereo (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Having assisted Akira Kurosawa by raising finance for the film, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola acted as executive producers on the picture and supervised the preparation of the English subtitled prints. Publicity for the picture maintained that the sub-titling on the movie was some of the clearest and easiest-to-read subtitling ever seen on a foreign language film. Moreover, the two also actively promoted the picture in the western world and English speaking territories. See more »

Goofs

In the final battle there are at least 100 riflemen shown firing their matchlock rifles in volleys. The smoke generated by the matchlocks almost immediately dissipates. This indicates a more modern gunpowder was used in the matchlocks as the historically correct black powder load would blanket the battlefield with thick smoke after a handful of volleys. See more »

Quotes

Nobukado Takeda: I know it is difficult. I was for a long time the lord's double. It was torture. It is not easy to suppress yourself to become another. Often I wanted to be myself and free. But now I think this was selfish of me. The shadow of a man can never desert that man. I was my brother's shadow. Now that I have lost him, it is as though I am nothing.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the original Japanese version, there are 20 minutes featuring Kenshin Uesugi. For some reason, these scenes were cut out of the USA version. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Akira Kurosawa Strikes Back!
9 September 2003 | by bigsleepjSee all my reviews

After spending a decade (or so) in solitary confinement from the Japanese Film Industry Akira Kurosawa returns to make his semi-masterpiece "Kagemusha", which he called a dress-rehearsal for "Ran", made in 1985.

Kagemusha is, probably, the best example of cinematic overkill where nobody actually cares. Cinematic overkill is when someone constructs a complex multi-layered movie, stage epic-battles, introduce likeable and complex characters without having a very complicated message. The message of "Kagemusha" is simply this: If you pretend long enough to be something else you'll become it. Too simple, maybe, for what's delivered.

Not that "Kagemusha" is a bad movie. It's haunting, it's spectacular and it's just great. I keep thinking about it over and over. I can't get it out of my head. Simply put "Kagemusha" is a masterpiece, albeit one up for debate. Not all Kurosawa fans would like it, but that's they're business. Personally, this is one of the movies currently that I'd really like to see again.

PS: Thank goodness for George Lucas and Francis Ford Copolla who funded this movie.


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