This film of the sleepy-eyed ronin series has the red-haired swordsman on his way to the city of Edo when he comes across the scene of a woman in the midst of a knife fight with a man. When...
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This film of the sleepy-eyed ronin series has the hero involved when as an act of vengeance a band of samurai whose master was unceremoniously assassinated by agents of the clan, when he ... See full summary »
This film of the sleepy-eyed ronin series sees the orphan swordsman wander into a town and stumble upon the opportunity to conduct righteous deeds. With the smaller acts of kindness aside ... See full summary »
Nemuri Kyoshiro, a youthful and cynical ronin with unparalleled skill, is approached by both sides in a game of corruption, ambition, and double crosses. The leader of the Kaga clan, who ... See full summary »
This film of the sleepy-eyed ronin series has the hero talked into escorting a precious religious artifact to Kyoto, Japan. A sect of Christian swordsmen are lying in wait to steal the ... See full summary »
Two devious retainers are competing to take control of a fief when the current Lord dies, but involving Kyoshiro in the conflict against his will is the textbook example of a bad idea - ... See full summary »
This film of the sleepy-eyed ronin series finds the anti-hero in an area where the locals are oppressed, suppressed and held against their wills. Part of the coercive forces trace back to ... See full summary »
This film of the sleepy-eyed ronin series has the quite reluctant hero refuse to come to the assistance of a Japanese Christian in an age of both proselytizing and persecution, but later ... See full summary »
Just when you think Kyoshiro's life can't get any stranger, someone starts running around raping and murdering, and leaving notes proudly proclaiming that he did it. Tracking down the real ... See full summary »
This film of the sleepy-eyed ronin series has the red-haired swordsman on his way to the city of Edo when he comes across the scene of a woman in the midst of a knife fight with a man. When he reluctantly and with considered hesitation becomes involved, his intervention has him involved in a thieving plot involving the top official of the local Todo Clan and a plan to cover up a theft from a band of pirates.Written by
A breath of fresh air...beautifully directed, acted, and shot
This is the fifth entry in the popular Sleepy Eyes of Death series starring Raizo Ichikawa as Kyoshiro Nemuri, Master of the Full-Moon Cut...and my first encounter with these films after having read about them for years. I was not disappointed. "Sword of Fire" is a surprisingly restrained effort from director Kenji Misumi, and that's not a complaint: in fact, this just might be my favorite among the many Misumi films I've seen. (Strangely enough, "Sword of Satan"--the next film in the series--has much more of the bloody, garish ambiance usually associated with Misumi, though it was directed by Kimiyoshi Yasuda.) The story is compelling, racing along on greased wheels like the best hard-boiled detective novels, and the sword fights are satisfying if infrequent; the final confrontation, especially, is choreographed to graceful perfection against and within the backdrop of a massive, forbidding pagoda. As Kyoshiro Nemuri, Ichikawa is as dour and tight-lipped as his character's reputation suggests, but Nemuri demonstrates that he's not quite the unprincipled rogue everyone believes him to be. Based on what I've seen so far, this is a high point in the series. If you're a fan of the Zatoichi and Lone Wolf & Cub films, you'll want to own it. (Eight and a half stars.)
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