Director: Kon Ichikawa
Dora-Heita is the new magistrate in a town where three previous magistrates have disappeared mysteriously. He carefully cultivates a notorious image of himself to get rid of three yakuza but realises that they are in cahoots with the courtiers in the castle.
However, his disgraceful behaviour leads a group of noble young samurai to vow to kill him. The yakuza, too, decide to kill him since he appears to be getting too close to their dirty business.
Dora-Heita’s only weakness is his long-term relationship with a geisha from Edo. In the fights that ensue, he defeats several assassins sent to kill him, and does not stop at using blackmail and forgery to get his way.
Akira Kurosawa, Keisuke Kinoshita, Kon Ichikawa, Masaki Kobayashi, based on a novel by Shugoro Yamamoto
Koji Yakusho, Yuko Asano, Ryudo Uzaki, Tsurutaro Kataoka
Dora-Heita Projects, Nikkatsu Corp, Yomiko Advertising Inc., Mainichi Broadcasting System Inc., MBS 50th Anniversary Film
Kon Ichikawa was born in 1915. He joined in Kyoto J.O. Studio (now Toho Co., Ltd.) in 1933, worked as an assistant to several directors before making his first film, The Flower Blooms in 1948. He developed a personal, urbane style with rapid-fire dialogue with Wedding March in 1951. His Harp of Burma won him an Honourable Mention at Venice, while Odd Obsession was awarded the Jury Prize at Cannes in 1959. Ichikawa has directed melodramas, mystery and ‘literary’ films as well. Dora-Heita is his 74th film.