The Sword of Doom (1966)
October 17, 2022 10:56 AM - Subscribe

Against a backdrop of political intrigue, a sociopath samurai leaves a trail of bodies and vendettas in his wake.

Starring Tatsuya Nakadai and Michiyo Aratama
Also starring Yūzō Kayama, Yoko Naito, Kō Nishimura, and Toshiro Mifune
Directed by Kihachi Okamoto and based on the serial novel by Kaizan Nakazato

The Sword of Doom
80% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes
JustWatch listing
posted by Stuka (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I watched The Sword of Doom for the first time a few years ago. It's taken me that long to get around to watching it again, last night. And I needed that rewatch to appreciate it. The Sword of Doom isn't my favorite samurai movie. But I do consider it a masterpiece.

The acting is superb. I mean really good. Nakadai is amazing as a soulless samurai who oozes pathos in everything he does. I am super impressed with Kō Nishimura's scenestealing performance. Yūzō Kayama is excellent as a man with revenge on his mind, but also a good head on his shoulders (but for how long?!). Michiyo Aratama is awesome; she can hold her own with Nakadai. And Yoko Naito was enjoyable during her own side plotline. And, of course, Mifune personifies the samurai par excellence.

The story is excellent as well. For a samurai movie about a killer samurai, there is a lot going on. And I liked that. Everyone had interesting things to say and do.

The swordfighting is a sight to behold. Nakadai goes around killing people. I swear, this movie has to have a higher body count than Hot Shots! Part Deux. Of course, Mifune gets his own battle scene, which is actually integral to the plot. And then the end, OMgoodness, the end. Is Nakadai actually fighting an endless stream of assassins or his own demons? It's something that really needs to be seen to be appreciated. And I needed to see it twice to appreciate it!

Also, yes, The Hidden Fortress was the template for A New Hope. But The Sword of Doom just has to have been the inspiration for so much of the Jedi, the Force, and for Darth Vader.
posted by Stuka at 2:02 PM on October 17, 2022

The overhead shots of the sword fights are just stunning.
posted by thecaddy at 5:14 PM on October 17, 2022

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