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The Sword of Doom (1966)

Dai-bosatsu tôge (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama | 1 July 1966 (USA)
Through his unconscionable actions against others, a sociopath samurai builds a trail of vendettas that follow him closely.

Director:

Kihachi Okamoto

Writers:

Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay), Kaizan Nakazato (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Ryunosuke Tsukue
Michiyo Aratama ... Ohama
Yûzô Kayama ... Hyoma Utsuki
Yôko Naitô Yôko Naitô ... Omatsu
Tadao Nakamaru Tadao Nakamaru ... Isami Kondo
Kei Satô Kei Satô ... Kamo Serizawa
Kô Nishimura Kô Nishimura ... Shichibei, Omatsu's 'uncle'
Ichirô Nakatani ... Bunnojo Utsuki
Kunie Tanaka ... Senkichi
Toshirô Mifune ... Toranosuke Shimada
Ryôsuke Kagawa ... Dansho Tsukue
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Omatsu's grandfather
Hideyo Amamoto ... Shuzen Kamio
Akio Miyabe Akio Miyabe ... Toshizo Hijikata
Yasuzô Ogawa Yasuzô Ogawa ... Yohachi
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Storyline

Ryunosuke is a sociopathic samurai without compassion or scruples. When he is scheduled for an exhibition match at his fencing school, the wife of his opponent begs Ryunosuke to throw the match, offering her own virtue in trade. Ryunosuke accepts her offer, but kills her husband in the match. Over time, Ryunosuke is pursued by the brother of the man he killed. The brother trains with the master fencer Shimada. In the meantime, however, Ryunosuke earns the enmity of the band of assassins he runs with, and it becomes a question of who shall face him in final conflict. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1 July 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sword of Doom See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #280. See more »

Quotes

Toranosuke Shimada: [to Hyoma, preparing for his duel with Ryunosuke] You can't sleep because you're intent on winning. Don't think about winning or surviving. Be prepared to die. Risk everything, and you might have a chance. Go lie down with a calm mind.
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Connections

Referenced in Heart String Marionette (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A magnificently executed exploration of amorality.
5 May 2000 | by BessemerSee all my reviews

"Sword of Doom" is an unusual film. Firstly, it is one of the most brilliantly photographed films I have ever seen, in composition, mise en scene, and the play of black and white.

Secondly, "Sword of Doom" is that rare film in which the aim of the director and the power of the lead mesh together to form an unforgettable portrayal.

Tatsuya Nakadai plays Ryunosuke, a skilled swordsman, who, from the opening moments of the film, proves also to be homicidally indifferent to human life. Ryunosuke is a strange and difficult character. His fighting style is passive, and he remains mostly uninvolved, both with the political turmoil surrounding him, and with his family - from his dying father, who fears the evil in him, to his lover (the wife of an opponent he kills) and his child. Nakadai's performance is magnetic, comparable to Montgomery Clift in it's singleminded, unyielding intensity.

While some of the subplots without Ryunosuke aren't quite as compelling, the ending is memorable and disturbing, and the direction will remind in some ways of Orson Wells.


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