Legendary swordplay filmmaker Hideo Gosha’s Sword of the Beast chronicles the flight of the low-level swordsman Gennosuke, who kills one of his ministers as part of a reform plot. His former comrades then turn on him, and this betrayal so shakes his sense of honor that he decides to live in the wild, like an animal. There he joins up with a motley group who are illegally mining the shogun’s gold, and, with the aid of another swordsman, gets a chance not just at survival but to recover his name and honor. —The Criterion Collection
Hideo Gosha was born on February 26, 1929, in Tokyo. After graduating with a business degree from Meiji University, Gosha worked for several years as a reporter for Nippon Television. By 30, he moved to Fuji TV where he became Chief Producer and Director. One popular show he produced, Sanbiki no Samurai (Three Outlaw Samurai), caught the eye of Shochiku Studios and he was soon offered a contract.
His first film, also called Three Outlaw Samurai (an adaptation of the television series), premiered in 1964. A brilliant debut, the film not only marks the beginning of Gosha’s distinct style, but also features the first of twelve collaborations with the actor, Tetsuro Tamba (who also appears in The Geisha). Its success opened the door for other television shows that eventually made the transition to the big screen, most notably the Zatoichi series. Throughout the decade, Gosha directed several more critical and commercially viable films, including three films, Gohiki no shinshi (Cash… read more
A powerful film. The most amazing thing is that at 85 minutes so many things happen that you'd expect from an over two hours film. Beautifully shot, action packed (Im no fan of action scenes so much, but in this one, it was very well made) and good story narration makes this movie a recommendation among other samurai movies.