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The Sword of Doom (The Criterion Collection)
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Top Customer Reviews
At first, the plot seems straight forward. An outcast Samurai, Ryunosuke enters into a match with Bunnojo Utsuki, upstanding member of the fencing school where Ryunosuke was expelled from. Defending himself from an illegal attack, Ryunosuke kills Bunnojo. Bunnojo's brother, Hyoma, vows revenge and begins to train himself to be strong enough to kill the powerful Ryunosuke. Into this revenge-motif there are added elements of the Shinsengumi army of Kyoto, and the Shogun loyalists, as well as a pair of women seeking to find their place in a dangerous world.
However, nothing else of "The Sword of Doom" is straight forward. Ryunosuke is a sociopath, an emotionless killer of almost-supernatural skills with his sword. His motivations are cloudy, and sheer momentum seems to be his driving force. It is easy to label him a villain, yet it cannot be denied that each of his kills are justified, and he himself does not seek death. Hyoma's vendetta against Ryunosuke is almost pathetic, as it is obvious he would only die in the challenge. He struggles to gain an advantage, but the outcome is never in doubt. Fencing school master Toranosuke Shimada (Mifune Toshiro) is a bridge between the two men, being the only one skillful enough to give Ryunosuke pause, he trains Hyoma. In the background are the political motivations of the Shogun-loyalists, whom hire Ryunoske to kill for them.
Tatsuya Nakadai is incredible as Ryunoske, a driven, intense performance.Read more ›
Sword of Doom opens in the spring of 1860 where a young woman and her grandfather climb a mountain pass where the grandfather is ruthlessly murdered without any apparent reason by the film's antihero, Ryunosuke Tsukue (Tatsuya Nakadai). Ryunosuke is the symbolic embodiment of the unification of steel and man, as it often was taught by sword masters that one must become one with the sword in order to reach perfection. When Ryunosuke callously let his sword fall over the girl's grandfather a small bell falls on the rocks, which unsettles him. However, it seems to be the last time that Ryunosuke will show emotion.
Later in the story the audience gets to meet the sword master and teacher Toranosuke Shimada (Toshirô Mifune) who suggests, "The sword is the soul. Study the soul to know the sword. Evil mind, evil sword." Fundamentally, Toranosuke points out the old way of the samurai where the samurai is one with the sword, as the sword is only an extension of the samurai. Thus, if the man is evil then the sword does evil.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic. Way back in 1982 I had a great running conversation with a Japanese Zen priest when I was in college, (I was at the know-it-all age of 19 at the time), on the subject of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Greg Afuso
Sword of Doom is well-shot and well-acted, but the lack of resolution and farcical ending make it impossible to rank the film among the foremost of the genre.Published 4 months ago by rbrogan3
DAIBOSATSU TOUGE (THE SWORD OF DOOM / DAIBOSATSU [MOUNTAIN] PASS) Slasher Body Count Extravaganza!
Rating = **
Director: Kihachi Okamoto
1966... Read more
Fantastic existential movie.
Nakadai takes on the face of evil but which characters set up the cacade of events (?)
The cinematography is great.
Story is a bit choppy but the mood and action dominate in this great samurai film.Published 7 months ago by Brian
A great movie ment to be as part of a series of movies. The end is anti-climatic and leaves you scratching you head. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Storming Mountain
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