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Shadow Warrior (1980) - movie overview

Shadow Warrior (1980)

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Original title: Kagemusha

DVD Release Date
• R1: Mar 29, 2005

Budget USD 6,000,000

MPAA Rating

Running Time
2 hours, 59 minutes

Country Japan

Studio 20th Century Fox, Kurosawa Productions, Toho

More info on

Other Titles
• Shadow Warrior (1980)
• Kagemusha
• The Double
• Kagemusha the Shadow Warrior (1980)
• Kagemusha - Der Schatten des Kriegers (1980)
• The Shadow Warrior

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Genre: War, Drama, Epic, Military, Role-switching, Thieves

Plot: In this dazzling epic from Akira Kurosawa, a petty thief named Kagemusha (Tatsuya Nakadai) gets saved from a death sentence because he resembles the warlord Shingen Takeda (also Nakadai). The warlord has been fighting two other leaders for control of 16th-century Japan and impersonators often take his place during battles to put him out of harm's way. Because of Kagemusha's strong physical similarities to the warlord, he's a perfect choice for a "shadow warrior." However, the arrangement suddenly changes when Shingen gets fatally wounded while watching a battle. Adhering to Shingen's final wish, the warlord's men keep the death a secret, and Kagemusha struggles to transform himself from a criminal into a leader.

KAGEMUSHA marked a welcome return for the legendary director, who had not made a movie since 1974. Nakadai, a supporting player in earlier Kurosawa films, expertly portrays the leading role(s), almost always filled in the past by Toshirô Mifune. KAGEMUSHA also features the final screen appearance of longtime Kurosawa actor, Takashi Shimura. In order to help the film get an international release, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas served as executive producers.

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 Directed by
Akira Kurosawa
Seven Samurai, Chaos, In the Woods
 Written by
Akira Kurosawa
Last Man Standing, Ame agaru, The Sea Is Watching
Masato Ide
Chaos, Akahige, Furueru shita
Tatsuya Nakadai
Chaos, Yojimbo the Bodyguard, Sanjuro
Tsutomu Yamazaki
Dandelion, High and Low, Akahige
Kenichi Hagiwara
Desert Moon, Yatsu haka-mura, Masho no natsu - 'Yotsuya kaidan' yori
Jinpachi Nezu
Chaos, Gonin, Kidô keisatsu patorebâ: The Movie 2
Hideji Otaki
Casshern, Dandelion, Marusa no onna
Daisuke Ryu
Chaos, Graveyard of Honor, Gojoe reisenki
Masayuki Yui
Chaos, Yume, To End All Wars
 Music By

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