Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Tale of Zatoichi (1963)

new tale of zatoichi

Zatoichi :  Shintarô Katsu

Director : Tukuzo Tanaka

IMDb : 7.5

Grade :   A-

Zatoichi journeys to his old village looking for peace, but he runs in to some men who are tied to the now dead Boss Kanbei. Hoping to score some points with his relatives they confront the blind, cane caring masseur who they think is sword-less. When he shows them his skills they quickly run off.

Ichi meets a chilhood friend on the road who is with his wife and child. They have fallen on hard times and are living on the road by singing and entertaining. Ichi tells them he will treat them to a night at the inn. Ichi then tells his friend that he has done some things he shouldn't have done. He joined the yakuza and cut people he shouldn't have. As Ichi is singing a song some bandits break in to the room and take their money.

The next day Ichi goes and confronts the bandits and gets the peoples money back. Zatoichi then heads off to become an honest man. But is is followed by Kanbei's brother, and his men, who are looking for revenge. The fight is interrupted by Banno, Ichi's old teacher.

Banno  has arranged for his younger sister, Yayoi, to marry into a wealthy samurai family. Yayoi doesn't want to, but Banno says that is a respectable samurai family. 

Banno gets himself tied up with the Mito clan who are on the run from the law and now live by stealing. They kidnap a young rich man and hold him for ransom.

Ichi and Yayoi realize they are in love. Yayoi asks Ichi to take her as his wife. Ichi vows to leave the yazuza and become an honest man. Just then Kanbei's brother breaks in and cahllenges ichi again. Ichi turning over a new leaf asks Kanbei's  brother to spare his life. Icho won't fight so they roll dice like yakuza. If Ichi loses he loses his right arm, if he wins Kanbei's brother will let him go free. Icho loses but Kanbei's brother tells him he wins.

Yayoi and Ichi's then tell banno of their wish to be together, but he ridicules the idea. he tells Yayoi that he is a samurai and doesn't want someone like that in his family line. he tells Ichi he never wants to see him again.

The rich man comes to Banno and tells him that his son has been kidnapped. Banno tells him to pay the ransom. 

Ichi then heads off while Yayoi cries. Banno and Ichi later meet at an inn, Banno had just killed  Kanbei's brother. 

Ichi then meets the kidnappers on the road and chops them all down. Banno collects the ransom money and heads over to the kidnappers. Ichi and Banno then fight with Yayoi watching. Banno is killed. Zatoich then heads off down the road by himself.

A very strong entry in the Zatoichi series. It explains aa lot about the character and history of Zatoichi.

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