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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Japanese Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • None

The Sword of Doom


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Kihachi Okamoto
Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Toshiro Mifune, Michiyo Aratama, Yuzo Kayama, Yoko Naito, Kei Sato, Ko Nishimura, Ichiro Nakatani, Tadao Nakamaru
1966 | 121 Minutes | Licensor: Toho Co.

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #280
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: March 15, 2005
Review Date: January 18, 2015

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SYNOPSIS

Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune star in the story of a wandering samurai who exists in a maelstrom of violence. A gifted swordsman-plying his trade during the turbulent final days of Shogunate rule-Ryunosuke (Nakadai) kills without remorse, without mercy. It is a way of life that ultimately leads to madness. The Criterion Collection is proud to present director Kihachi Okamoto's swordplay classic The Sword of Doom, the thrilling tale of a man who chooses to devote his life to evil.

Forum members rate this film 8.2/10

 

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PICTURE

The Criterion Collectionís original DVD for Kihachi Okamotoís The Sword of Doom delivers the film on a dual-layer disc in its original aspect ratio of about 2.35:1. The image has been enhanced for widescreen televisions.

The transfer has a few minor issues but on the whole itís a strong enough standard-definition transfer. The close-ups have a high amount of detail, and some of the finer ones even pop, but some long shots look a bit mushy and blurry. Contrast looks to be boosted a bit, with whites coming off a bit brighter than they should and darker scenes lacking in shadow details. Film grain has been left in place but isnít rendered entirely well, looking a bit noisy, but I didnít find it too distracting.

The print has been nicely cleaned up and damage isnít heavy, with only a few specs of dirt and some pulsating here and there. Otherwise it looks really clean. Altogether, despite some minor problems, itís a decent looking DVD presentation.

7/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The Japanese audio track is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 mono. Thereís very little range and a certain hollowness to the track, but dialogue comes through cleanly, as does music, though in both cases with a slight edge. It sounds to be free of damage and noise, though.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Thereís nothing of note here unfortunately, and somewhat surprisingly. The only on-disc supplement is the filmís theatrical trailer. The insert contains an essay by Geoffrey OíBrien, which manages to cover a lot about the film, Okamoto, and the story the film is based on. Itís a great read but it reminds you how much more could have probably been added to the supplements.

1/10

CLOSING

The film deserves some more analytical features, and Iíve always found it odd it didnít get a bigger special edition (Criterionís recent Blu-ray somewhat remedies that with a new audio commentary) but it has a decent enough standard-definition transfer.


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