7.1/10
1,406
8 user 15 critic

Samurai Spy (1965)

Ibun Sarutobi Sasuke (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama | 10 July 1965 (Japan)
The legendary samurai Sasuke Sarutobi gets caught in a web of political intrigue, deception and espionage during the early 17th century.

Director:

Masahiro Shinoda

Writers:

Yoshiyuki Fukuda, Koji Nakada (novel)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Owls' Castle (1999)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

As the great military commander Nobunaga Oda was consolidating his power across Japan, one of his actions was to wipe out a clan of assassins, killing every man, woman and child he found in... See full summary »

Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Stars: Kiichi Nakai, Mayu Tsuruta, Riona Hazuki
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ishikawa Goemon (Ichikawa Raizo), a talented young ninja, becomes ensnared in a twisted scheme to assassinate Oda Nobunaga, an evil warlord bent on ruling feudal Japan with an iron fist. ... See full summary »

Director: Satsuo Yamamoto
Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Shiho Fujimura, Yûnosuke Itô
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This is a classic early Japanese Ninja movie. The Iga ninjas are a dying breed as Toyotomis rule allows Japan to experience some peace. Juzo, an Iga ninja who had vowed revenge for the ... See full synopsis »

Director: Eiichi Kudô
Stars: Ryûtarô Ôtomo, Minoru Ôki, Hizuru Takachiho
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Upon the death of the third Shogun, his heir is kidnapped by a ninja group. Consequently, Hattori Hanzo fights the evil forces that threaten to destroy the nation.

Director: Eiichi Kudô
Stars: Teruhiko Saigô, Tsunehiko Watase, Sô Yamamura
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Aka Kage, Aoi Kage and Asuka are trio of ninjas sent to perform dangerous secret missions for their master. Although Aka and Aoi are both in love with Asuka, the friendship built from their... See full summary »

Director: Hiroyuki Nakano
Stars: Masanobu Andô, Megumi Okina, Kumiko Asô
Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In ancient Japan, a good lord is killed and his throne is taken by the trecherous Yuki Daijo and his wizard friend Oroki-maru. The young prince Ikazuki-maru is rescued from the jaws of ... See full summary »

Director: Tetsuya Yamanouchi
Stars: Hiroki Matsukata, Tomoko Ogawa, Ryûtarô Ôtomo
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An orphan named Taro killed who Tein-Hei told her was the killer of his family. Taro found out, years later that Tein-Hei is the true killer and the man he killed was his father. Taro's ... See full summary »

Director: Rintaro
Stars: Hiroyuki Sanada, Mami Koyama, Tarô Ishida
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A former Ninja must outplay his former Mastress and an evil lord to free his family from certain death.

Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura
Stars: Yuria Haga, Tatsuki Ishikawa, Ryohei Kuroyanagi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In a time of war, when occupation turns to genocide, one woman choose resistance over death and takes on the empire of Japan.

Director: Peng Zhang Li
Stars: Hu Ling Meng, Peng Zhang Li, Jeremy Marr Williams
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Rina Takeda plays the role of a female ninja named Kisaragi who attempts to rescue a group of women being held captive to become toys for men. The film is set sometime in the Sengoku period... See full summary »

Director: Seiji Chiba
Stars: Rina Takeda, Mickey Koga, Masanori Mimoto
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

This story is set during the Edo ages in Japan. On a rainy night, Kotono confronts the samurais who have killed her father. The samurai attack her one by one, but she manages to withstand ... See full summary »

Director: Gô Ohara
Stars: Minami Tsukui, Shigeru Kanai, Nao Nagasawa
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Set in a fictional Japanese city in 1949, a master criminal hones in on his latest victim.

Director: Shimako Sato
Stars: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Takako Matsu, Tôru Nakamura
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Hiroshi Aoyama Hiroshi Aoyama
Jun Hamamura Jun Hamamura ... Joshin temple priest
Osamu Hitomi Osamu Hitomi
Minoru Hodaka Minoru Hodaka
Hisanobu Ichikawa Hisanobu Ichikawa
Kentarô Imai Kentarô Imai
Yasunori Irikawa Yasunori Irikawa ... Yashiro Kobayashi
Shintarô Ishihara Shintarô Ishihara ... Saizo Kirigakure
Taku Kido Taku Kido
Takeshi Kusaka Takeshi Kusaka ... Narrator
Seiji Miyaguchi Seiji Miyaguchi ... Jinnai-Kazutaka Horikawa
Shin'ya Mizushima Shin'ya Mizushima
Hideto Nakagawa Hideto Nakagawa
Eiji Okada ... Tatewaki Koriyama
Shuichi Oki Shuichi Oki
Edit

Storyline

The legendary samurai Sasuke Sarutobi tracks the spy Nojiri, while a mysterious figure named Sakon leads a band of men on their own quest for the wily Nojiri. Soon no one knows just who is who and what side anyone is on. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

10 July 1965 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Samurai Spy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #312. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Cool, stylized 60's fare. Shallow action fans should give it a pass, though.
4 June 2006 | by JetJagManSee all my reviews

If you're lucky enough to get a hold of the Criterion DVD, or perhaps another version with some accurate explanatory material, you will have the benefit of the brief explanatory comments in a recent taping made by the director, Masahiro Shinoda.

He felt that the era of the swashbuckling, self-serious samurai films, such as those of Kurosawa, had come to an end. He wanted to go into a new direction for samurai cinema, that of film noir. This is a political spy tale set in the early 17th century.

The fighting is very stylized, and really just serves as a physical representation of the intrigue, rather than drawing attention to itself. Kurosawa got into the game when the swordplay was rather choreographed, and made things much more realistic, with people stumbling around in the mud, tripping and slipping as they took wild swipes with their swords. Again, Shinoda wanted to go against the grain.

There are cool villains, especially Takatani, completely covered in white, including his hooded head, and he has a soft, menacing voice, too.

The hero, Sasuke, is troubled by war, and waxes philosophical on more than one occasion about the whole business of war and spying.

The music is cool with a jazzy capricious flute, very 60's cool. Shinoda talks a bit about that as well in the interview.

I did not understand the apparently new character in the very last shot, so if someone can shed some light on it, please send me a private message on here.


11 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed