Assassination (1964)

  |  Action, Drama


Assassination (1964) Poster

In 1863, when Americans warships approach Japan, a enigmatic ronin becomes a important figure in a complex game of power between the Shogunate and the empire.

TIP
Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.

7.3/10
715

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Awards

1 win.

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


31 August 2007 | ChungMo
6
| Rambling story, excellent photography and score
Set in the times immediately after Commander Perry's breaking of Japan's isolation, this film covers some of the chaos and uncertainty of the Japanese political and social classes resulting from contact with a more powerful foreign force.

The film revolves around the character of Hachiro Kiyokawa, a farmer turned master swordsman and scholar. We first meet him after his arrest for the killing of a detective working for the Shoganate. As a supporter of the Emperor and a conspirator plotting to destroy the Shogunate and kill all foreigners, he is most wanted by the Shoganate forces who are interested in gaining power thru foreign technology. Surprisingly, he is pardoned if he agrees to organize wandering ronin to defeat the supporters of the Emperor. Amazingly he accepts the job but he isn't trusted so the Shogunate devise a plan to kill him if he turns on them. His co-conspirators on the Emperor's side are shocked at his apparent defection and quarrel over what to do.

The bulk of the film consists of flashbacks as the many characters recount an important incident involving Kiyokawa. We learn a lot about his eccentric personality, the setbacks he's endured only due to being a farmer's son, and his slightly cracked ambitions. Unfortunately this format makes the film hard to follow as it's often hard to know when we are in a flashback or not. The excellent black and white photography is remarkable but there's no stylistic difference between flashbacks and present events. Perhaps this was intentional but, at least for me, it made the film hard to follow. In addition this film contains no characters that are likable in the end. Every single one does something selfish or cowardly except for Kiyokawa's girlfriend who is horribly tortured but never gives him up. She doesn't make it halfway thru the film. Even the "hero" Kiyokawa ends up disturbing us.

Hard to recommend if it wasn't for the excellent performances, photography, music and action. The direction is very good but the film doesn't hold together for me by the time it's over. If you are a fan of Japanese period political dramas, it's worth a look. You might like it

Critic Reviews


More Like This

  • Double Suicide

    Double Suicide

  • Samurai Spy

    Samurai Spy

  • Ballad of Orin

    Ballad of Orin

  • Pale Flower

    Pale Flower

  • Sword of the Beast

    Sword of the Beast

  • Silence

    Silence

  • Under the Blossoming Cherry Trees

    Under the Blossoming Cherry Trees

  • Kill!

    Kill!

  • The Insect Woman

    The Insect Woman

  • Hitokiri

    Hitokiri

  • An Actor's Revenge

    An Actor's Revenge

  • Jûsan-nin no shikaku

    Jûsan-nin no shikaku

Did You Know?

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Action | Drama

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Picks His Iron Throne Winner

"Game of Thrones" star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau won't spoil how the show really ends, but does share his favorite Jaime scene and pick who would win in a battle for the throne.

Watch now

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to superheroes, horror movies, and more.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com