- Actors: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Yûzô Kayama, Yôko Naitô, Tadao Nakamaru
- Directors: Kihachi Okamoto
- Writers: Kaizan Nakazato, Shinobu Hashimoto
- Producers: Konparu Nanri, Masayuki Satô, Sanezumi Fujimoto
- Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
- Language: Japanese
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Criterion
- Release Date: March 22 2005
- Run Time: 119 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- ASIN: B0007989YS
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,549 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
The Sword of Doom (Criterion Collection)
|Price:||CDN$ 32.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 35. Details|
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Customers who bought this item also bought
The Sword of Doom (The Criterion Collection)
Boasting some of the most impressive swordplay in the history of samurai epics, Sword of Doom is a visceral masterpiece of violent style and powerful substance. Illustrating the timeless adage that "an evil soul wields an evil sword," this highly stylized classic is driven by the fierce and fearsome performance of Tatsuya Nakadai as Ryunosuke, a sociopathic samurai whose soul--and sword--are vicious instruments of evil. Having mastered a highly unconventional style of fencing, Ryunosuke welcomes an exhibition match at a fencing school run by master swordsman Shimada (Toshirô Mifune, in a small but pivotal role), where he kills his opponent after promising not to. Flagrantly violating all codes of honor, Ryunosuke eventually finds himself challenged from all sides; even his own henchmen rally against him, and director Kihachi Okamoto stages confrontations that are as beautiful as they are graphically violent. As Ryunosuke descends into pure, bloodthirsty insanity, Sword of Doom ends with a freeze-frame that's unforgettably intense. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
"The Sword of Doom" has extraordinary and unforgettable sword battle scenes.
Structured like a good novel (and based on one by Kaizan Nakazato), DOOM allows the viewer to follow the lives of several separate people -- two samurais, two women, and a thief -- as they are inexorably drawn closer and closer together ... and a seemingly chance meeting brings this boiling masterpiece to a violent, destructive head.
However, the real mastery of this film is the sword choreography, though Nakadai's brooding menace certainly keeps the viewer riveted to the screen. Rarely has a samurai film moved to the level of the bloodbath fighting that quite probably was associated to true samurai matches, and certainly, as the product packaging provides, nods to influences of Peckinpah, Leone, and (much later) John Woo are warranted. The climax -- the inevitable explosion of a man driven mad by the ghosts of his past -- is brilliantly staged and executed.
Along for the ride in a blistering cameo is Toshiro Mifune who, in five minutes of screen time, shows what a tour de force performance is truly meant to be.
If DOOM has any shortcoming, it might be an inability to reach a suitable conclusion with Western sensibilities. American influences almost require a neat and tidy packaged ending to films, and DOOM postulates one much like BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID where the fate of the participants is largely left to the imagination of the viewer. As the mad Nakadai swings and swings his way through his final showdowns with the gang he has long served, the audience is never given the ultimate vision of his survival or demise ... and that's the beauty of the tale. In the arc of his character, the samurai has already found and faced his fate, and it is madness.
Grim, inescapable madness.
Okamoto was one of the best directors of action samurai films; and SWORD OF DOOM is one of his best films. Tatsuya Nakadai stars as an evil samurai who is seemingly invincible, the sole master of a sword fighting style that runs counter-intuitive to all the existing styles of his day. Toshiro Mifune has a small role as the master of a sword-fighting school who tries to counter Nakadai's baneful influence during the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
The unique contribution to this film is the notion that evil destroys itself from within. In the last scene, Nakadai and some of his henchmen are at a geisha house. Overcome with drink, Nakadai sees the ghosts of his victims and runs amok trying to attack them. I won't say what happens, because I would hate to ruin the ending for you.
If you like the classical samurai films of the 1960s, this one is a must for you. The wide-screen letterbox print is nothing short of superb. A must see!
The main charater has a dark foreboding feel of a samurai "Darth Vader". Though, in Star Wars, it turned out Vader had good barried within him. This charater is just bad. To me he will be one of the quintessential evil charaters of all time.
That said, the plot is excelent, the acting is great, and the directing is top knotch. The director is capable of creating the same tension as a Leone shoot out, and the same sinse of carnage of the shootouts in the Wild Bunch, except with swords. That is why to me Samurai films are supperior to Hong Kong Kung Fu movies, they were directed to create mood were the Kung Fu movies are only about action.
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
But I doubt that Kihachi Okamoto intended to include all of the story in Misumi's version.Read more