Kagemusha

  • 1980
  • 2 HR 59 MIN
  • PG
  • Drama, War

After a long period of inactivity, Akira Kurosawa returned to the genre of which he is the unparalleled master, the samurai film. Tatsuya Nakadai plays a 16th-century warlord, Shingen Takeda, who uses doubles for himself on the battlefield, instilling confidence and fear through his constant presence while his clan fights to establish dominance in Japan....read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Rating:

After a long period of inactivity, Akira Kurosawa returned to the genre of which he is the unparalleled master, the samurai film.

Tatsuya Nakadai plays a 16th-century warlord, Shingen Takeda, who uses doubles for himself on the battlefield, instilling confidence and fear through his constant presence while his clan fights to establish dominance in Japan. When Shingen is killed, his current "shadow warrior" or kagemusha--in

actuality a petty thief (again powerfully played by Tatsuya Nakadai)--must take over so that the army's morale will not die. Trained in secret by Shingen's assistants, the double genuinely begins to acquire some of his master's attributes, but the masquerade becomes increasingly difficult to

maintain.

Kurosawa's epic is alive with color, the spectacular visuals overlying a somber exploration of traditionalism, honor loyalty, and identity, played out against a sumptuous tapestry of political intrigue and the 16th-century clan warfare that came to an end with the Tokugawa shogunate. The massive

battle scenes rank with the director's best, using brilliant color, contrasting light, and the enormous cast to great advantage. Kurosawa also alternates compelling scenes of near hypnotic stillness with scenes of rousing action. Sadly the film's score is a noisy irritant.

Made and distributed with the financial aid and clout of George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, KAGEMUSHA prefigured and paved the way for the great RAN, Kurosawa's epic adaptation of King Lear.

Watch This Now!

Your new favorite show is right here. Trust us.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1980
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: After a long period of inactivity, Akira Kurosawa returned to the genre of which he is the unparalleled master, the samurai film. Tatsuya Nakadai plays a 16th-century warlord, Shingen Takeda, who uses doubles for himself on the battlefield, instilling co… (more)

Show More »