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Zatoichi and the Doomed Man (1965)

Zatôichi sakate giri (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 18 September 1965 (Japan)
The blind masseur and swordsman, Zatoichi, searches for proof an imprisoned man's innocence.

Director:

Kazuo Mori

Writers:

Shôzaburô Asai, Kan Shimozawa (story)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ... Zatoichi
Kanbi Fujiyama ... Monk Hyakutaro
Eiko Taki ... Yone
Masako Akeboshi Masako Akeboshi ... Chiyo (as Masako Myojo)
Kenjirô Ishiyama ... Boss Jubei Araiso
Ryûzô Shimada Ryûzô Shimada ... Yakuza boss
Kôichi Mizuhara ... Shimazo Kitase
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gen Harada
Yukio Horikita Yukio Horikita
Jun Katsumura Jun Katsumura ... Jubei yakuza
Hajime Koshikawa Hajime Koshikawa
Kayo Mikimoto
Manabu Morita ... Ronin enforcer
Kazuo Moriuchi Kazuo Moriuchi
Sachiko Murase ... Shimazo's wife
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More Like This 

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A samurai with a high skill in chess makes friends with Zatoichi, who finds that things become peculiar in his presence.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Mikio Narita, Chizu Hayashi
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Promising to make a delivery for a dying man, the blind swordsman Zatoichi comes across the usual crime gangs but also meets a blind monk who brings into question his use of violence.

Director: Tokuzô Tanaka
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shigeru Amachi, Jun Hamamura
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After Zatoichi learns of his sensei's murder he uncovers a horrible conspiracy involving the local government and crime family.

Director: Akira Inoue
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Norihei Miki, Mikiko Tsubouchi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The blind swordsman tries to locate a girl's missing father.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Miwa Takada, Eiko Taki
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Zatoichi, while fighting off the usual group of gangsters, meets the apprentice of the swordsman who created his blade, who relays bad news about the sword.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shiho Fujimura, Yoshihiko Aoyama
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Zatoichi's trek through 88 temples to atone for his violent past is interrupted as he stumbles into a village terrorized by a violent yakuza boss.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Michiyo Yasuda, Kunie Tanaka
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When Zatoichi witnesses the murder of a young mother he promises to deliver the baby to the father. Along the way he gains the help of a reluctant criminal.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Saburô Date, Kôji Fujiyama
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After being wounded in a fight, Zatoichi is nursed to health by a young woman and her father. Now indebted to the family, he works to protect their ferry business from local thugs.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Tatsuo Endô, Takashi Etajima
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Zatoichi is mistaken for a thief. To clear his name he must find and defeat the real villain.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shôgo Shimada, Mikiko Tsubouchi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Satsuo Yamamoto
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Rentarô Mikuni, Kô Nishimura
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Zatoichi runs afoul of some evil fugitives, working for a corrupt law official.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Kayo Mikimoto, Kyôsuke Machida
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Zatoichi promises to deliver a maiden safely home but finds two dangerous gangs have a mysterious interest in the young girl.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shiho Fujimura, Ryûzô Shimada
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Storyline

Blind swordsman Zatoichi, jailed briefly, is implored by another prisoner to aid him in proving his innocence of a crime for which he is sentenced to death. Zatoichi is reluctant to get involved, because he knows how often such involvement has led to trouble in the past. But events conspire to thrust him repeatedly into involvement, and gradually he comes to believe in the man's innocence and determines to free him. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by Zatoichi in Desperation (1972) See more »

User Reviews

 
Silly slapstick elements, many loose ends and a generic plot make for one of the weakest entries in the franchise
9 March 2018 | by klusebaSee all my reviews

After releasing one of the very best entries in the franchise with the sinister Zatoichi's Revenge, Zatoichi and the Doomed Man is one of the weakest films about the blind masseur. It tells how Zatoichi gets arrested for illegal gambling and meets a prisoner who is about to get sentenced to death for crimes he claims he didn't commit. He asks Zatoichi to help him by meeting his boss as well as his sworn brother who could clear his name. Zatoichi is first reluctant to help but once he does, he realizes that the prisoner got set up by his two friends and tries to set things right.

Despite being one of the weakest entries in the franchise, Zatoichi and the Doomed Man still has a few positive elements to point out. The pace of the film is rather quick as the story unfolds coherently and the set of characters is introduced step by step. This film certainly isn't boring. An interesting element is the idea to include an impostor who claims to be Zatoichi to get alcohol, money and women which adds some situation comedy to the film. The landscapes are particularly interesting in this film as Zatoichi travels to the ocean for the first time in his life and as the final duel takes places in an abandoned fishing village in the dunes which looks gorgeous.

There are a couple of elements that weigh that movie down. First of all, the sword fights are particularly wooden, especially since Zatoichi doesn't have to face a respectable opponent this time around. The idea of his opponents to use trenches and fishing nets to trick the lowly yakuza in the final fight sequence is the only remotely interesting element about the fight scenes in this film. The impostor who claims to be Zatoichi seems intriguing at first but quickly becomes very annoying as his only purpose seems to be to bring some comic relief in form of silly slapstick scenes. Aside of Zatoichi, most characters remain either shallow or are unnerving, like the woman who claims to know him and follows him around to give him useless tips. A final element that bothered me was the fact that the fate of numerous characters and side stories isn't even explained at the end of the movie. Maybe the makers of the movie believed some of the characters to be so generic that the viewers wouldn't even care about their fates which is strange but turns out to be accurate in my book.

In the end, Zatoichi and the Doomed Man is an entertaining and fast-paced entry in the franchise but ultimately overtly humorous and just not memorable. Collectors and fans of the franchise might appreciate the film for its atmosphere, locations and the sympathetic lead character but those who aren't too familiar with the blind samurai definitely shouldn't start their journey with this movie.


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

18 September 1965 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi and the Doomed Man See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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