7.7/10
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8 user 10 critic

Hitokiri (1969)

A destitute ronin allies himself with an established clan, but its ruthless leader tries to turn him into a mindless killer.

Director:

Hideo Gosha

Writers:

Ryôtarô Shiba (based on the novel by), Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ... Izo Okada
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Hanpeita Takechi
Yukio Mishima ... Shinbei Tanaka
Yûjirô Ishihara ... Ryoma Sakamoto
Mitsuko Baishô Mitsuko Baishô ... Onimo
Takumi Shinjo Takumi Shinjo ... Minakawa
Noboru Nakaya Noboru Nakaya ... Kintoki Anegakoji
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jin'ichirô Andô Jin'ichirô Andô
Takeshi Date Takeshi Date ... Rônin patrol leader
Tatsuo Fujimori Tatsuo Fujimori
Ren Fukuyama Ren Fukuyama
Kin'ichi Hagimoto Kin'ichi Hagimoto
Ken Hatano Ken Hatano
Jirô Higashioo Jirô Higashioo
Sôtarô Ibuki Sôtarô Ibuki
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Storyline

Izo Okada, a ronin (masterless samurai), desperately seeks a way out of his financial straits. He allies himself with the Tosa clan under the ruthless leader, Takechi, and imagines that he has come up in the world. But Takechi makes Izo a killer and a puppet, filled with self-loathing and a need to stop Takechi. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

February 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tenchu! See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Yukio Mishima's character commits seppuku and one year later, Mishima himself will commit the same way of ritual suicide. See more »

Connections

Version of Izo (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant History Lesson
27 October 2006 | by raoul-guariguataSee all my reviews

This movie is a brilliant lesson on Japanese history set in at the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate shortly before the Shogunate lost a big battle against the loyalist, who wanted the emperor back on the throne to rule Japan. Really, I had to read a lot of history to get the entire background.

Shintaro Katsu (also known as the original Zatoichi) gives a superb performance as Izo Okada, one of the four Hitokiri(=Human Slayer) of the Bakumatsu. He is a simple samurai who looses all of his wealth. In order to have a good life he becomes a retainer of Takechi Hanpei (played by Tatsuya Nakada = Ryonosuke out of Sword of Doom). Hanpei is a ultra-nationalist politician who lets his band of Hitokiri assassinate a lot of high ranking pro-west politicians in order to achieve his political goals. Izo Okada follows his leader without really questioning what they are doing. As long as he has money to go and drink and spend at his whore. Okada's killings get more and more brutal in the course of the movie and he is proud to have a reputation based on fear wherever he goes.

It is a splendid portrait on the life of a simple samurai who gets caught up in political affairs and is really to naive to realize what is happening. First after being betrayed and tortured and always having talks with Sakamoto ( who is a samurai who rejects violence) does he change his ideas and views on life. But too late....

Watch the movie to see the end of Izo Okada...

Shintaro Katsu and the rest of the staff give a brilliant performance. Each actor reaches up to their role. The sword-fights a very unique and fast...probably faster than several movies nowadays...

Check it out if you have the chance!!!


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