Kihachi Okamoto

The Sword of Doom

The Sword of Doom

Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune star in the story of a wandering samurai who exists in a maelstrom of violence. A gifted swordsman plying his craft during the turbulent final days of shogunate rule in Japan, Ryunosuke (Nakadai) kills without remorse or mercy. It is a way of life that ultimately leads to madness. Kihachi Okamoto’s swordplay classic is the thrilling tale of a man who chooses to devote his life to evil.

Film Info

  • Kihachi Okamoto
  • Japan
  • 1966
  • 121 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.35:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #280

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring film historian Stephen Prince on the Blu-ray edition
  • Trailer on the Blu-ray edition
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien

New cover by Aesthetic Apparatus

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring film historian Stephen Prince on the Blu-ray edition
  • Trailer on the Blu-ray edition
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien

New cover by Aesthetic Apparatus

The Sword of Doom
Cast
Tatsuya Nakadai
Ryunosuke Tsukue
Toshiro Mifune
Toranosuke Shimada
Michiyo Aratama
Hama
Yuzo Kayama
Hyoma Utsugi
Yoko Naito
Omatsu
Kei Sato
Kamo Serizawa
Kô Nishimura
Shichibei
Ichiro Nakatani
Bunnojo Utsugi
Tadao Nakamaru
Isami Kondo
Credits
Director
Kihachi Okamoto
Executive producers
Sanezumi Fujimoto
Executive producers
Kaneharu Minamizato
Executive producers
Masayuki Sato
Screenplay
Shinobu Hashimoto
Based on the novel by
Kaizan Nakazato
Cinematography
Hiroshi Murai
Editor
Yoshitami Kuroiwa
Music
Masaru Sato

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The Sword of Doom

If Akira Kurosawa is the John Ford of Japanese samurai dramas, then The Sword of Doom director Kihachi Okamoto is the samurai film’s Sam Fuller. A specialist in action films, with a particulat accent on violence and raw characterizations, Okomoto …

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Explore

Tatsuya Nakadai

Actor

A dynamic, handsome star who got his start in Japanese cinema during its 1950s golden age, the Tokyo-born Tatsuya Nakadai defies easy categorization. He is convincing whether playing a mercenary lone wolf or a heartsick love interest, a hero or a villain, in a sleek suit or samurai robes, and just as comfortable blending in to an ensemble as commanding a spotlight. The stage-trained actor was discovered, while working as a shop clerk, in 1953 by director Masaki Kobayashi, who promptly cast him in a tiny role in the controversial drama The Thick-Walled Room; a year later, he was given a walk-on part in Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. After a major breakthrough as a young yakuza in Kobayashi’s Black River, Nakadai was on his way to becoming one of Japan’s busiest actors; he would work several more times with both Kobayashi and Kurosawa, as well as Hideo Gosha, Kon Ichikawa, Mikio Naruse, Kihachi Okamoto, and Hiroshi Teshigahara—the cream of the nation’s crop of film artists. Nakadai, still acting into his eighties, is perhaps most often recalled for his ravaging performances in Kobayashi’s epic war drama The Human Condition (1959–61) and Kurosawa’s Ran (1985), in which he embodies unforgettably a cinematic King Lear for the ages.