Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Duty, self-preservation collide in "Sword of the Beast"

Duty, self-preservation and personal responsibility collide in "KENDAMONO NO KEN (SWORD OF THE BEAST)," the 1965 HIDEO GOSHO classic film I watched on DVD last night.
Mikijiro Hira plays Yuuki Gennosuke, a samurai hunted by members of his own clan after he assassinated the tyrannical clan boss.
Gennosuke seeks refuge on a mountain where a husband and wife illegally pan for gold that will benefit their own, impoverished clan.
When the couple becomes endangered and ultimately betrayed, Gennosuke must choose between risking his life for theirs or continuing his flight from his deadly pursuers.
Gosha (1929-1992) made what are considered to be among the darkest films in the samurai genre. "Sword of the Beast" adheres to this tendency with enough double-crossing (and numerous flashbacks) to fill several film noirs.
I highly recommend this film.


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