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Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, Vol. 19 - Samaritan Zatoichi (2004)

Shintarô Katsu , Yoshiko Mita , Kenji Misumi  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Shintarô Katsu, Yoshiko Mita, Makoto Satô, Kô Nishimura, Takuya Fujioka
  • Directors: Kenji Misumi
  • Writers: Hisashi Sugiura, Kan Shimozawa, Kiyokata Saruwaka, Tetsurô Yoshida
  • Producers: Akihiko Murai, Hisakazu Tsuji, Masaichi Nagata
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Homevision
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002DB55O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,054 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, Vol. 19 - Samaritan Zatoichi" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In one of the most unusual films of the series, Zatoichi is hired to kill a man who owes a huge gambling debt to a yakuza boss. But the boss’ true motives are exposed when the victim’s sister, Osode, arrives with the money to pay back the debt, which she has acquired through prostitution. Realizing he has been tricked, Zatoichi vows to protect the young woman, and steps in to fight the gang boss for her honor. The result is a stunning display of violent swordplay that will appeal to any action fan.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Assassin and Samaritan August 20, 2006
In a series as long as Zatoichi, there are bound to be a few that fall short of excellence. Unfortunately, "Samaritan Zatoichi" (original title "Zatôichi kenka-daiko" or "Zatoichi and the Fighting Drums") is a pretty mediocre entry, one that never really delivers or summons up that entertaining mix of charm, humor and action that is the hallmark of the Zatoichi series.

The story starts off with an interesting premise. Zatoichi, lured by obligation to the Yakuza brotherhood, assassinates a wild gambler who hasn't paid his debts. The whole thing turns out to be a sham, calculated to get the gambler's sister working in the local brothel to pay off her brother's debts. The girl, Sode, flees, and Zatoichi sets himself up as the girl's bodyguard, feeling obligated for her current dilemma. Of course, a mysteriously powerful samurai dogs the tracks of Zatoichi and Sode, sometimes lending assistance but promising a future showdown.

While the plot is pretty by-the-numbers, that has never hindered a good Zatoichi flick. What is really lacking is the chemistry between Zatoichi and Sode, who never seem to click. Sode is also almost too stupid, refusing Zatoichi's help over and over again even though he rescues her from constant danger. The big blow-out at the end takes place in a darkened brothel, which seems like a nice twist but comes off awkward as the director tries to keep up with the action in the dark.

Director Kenji Misumi has a great pedigree, having directed the first two Zatoichi films as well as the memorable "Zatoichi and the Fire Festival." However, this time he just doesn't pull it off. By no means a bad flick, but on the lower level of the series.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is not THAT good as the reviewer down me said!!! November 11, 2004
Here is my opinion:


1- Beautiful colors!!

2- AWESOME moves by Zatoichi!!!

3- Good final fight.


1- NOT much action-packed!!

2- The cover and the trailer on the DVD fool you by showing a snow-fight battle that didn't appear in the movie!!!!

3- The production was great but the camera shots were not THAT good as the Zatoichi films in the 70's.


P.S: Watch only the Zatoichi films in the 70's because they have the best production, even better than the last movie in 1989!!!
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By Bill
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Shintaro Katsu and if your into samurai movies then check his movies out and see what you think.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful January 3, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I will not bother to write a different review for each Zatoichi movie. I have all twenty six of his movies and have watched all of them multiple times. Although the believability of a blind swordsman is next to nill, Zatoichi makes it believable because you will fall in love with the character. Shintaro Katsu is one of my all time favorite actors.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Zatoichi seems slightly out of character... June 24, 2011
This movie in the series seem a tad off, at least to me. Zatoichi takes a job to kill a guy who has gambling debt to one of the local boss. But it really is the sister of the gambler who the boss wants. In the end the man is killed and the sister has to make a run for it - with Zatoichi's help. A somewhat twisted tale really and feels a tad off. I just never pictured Zatoichi doing that kind of work, no matter what the reason.
Still, a solid action packed movie!
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