Ichikawa's 74th film was planned 30 years earlier as a collective project for Yonki-no-Kai, the partnership of four veterans led by Kurosawa. But Dodes'kaden bankrupted the company and the script was forgotten until Ichikawa dusted it off as a vehicle for Yakusho. 'Dora-Heita' is the louche nickname of Koheita Mochizuki, a magistrate sent to clean up the small fief which contains the Horisoto enclave, a hotbed of prostitution, gambling and smuggling. He poses as dissolute to disarm the crimelords and their allies in local government, then pounces. But he still has a clinging geisha and a traitorous 'friend' to deal with. Less an exercise in nostalgia than a film with the authentic charm, humour and excitement of the likes of Yojimbo.

By: TR

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Screenwriter: Akira Kurosawa, Keisuke Kinoshita, Kon Ichikawa, Masaki Kobayashi
Cast: Koji Yakusho
Yuko Asano
Bunta Sugawara
Ryudo Uzaki
Tsurutaro Kataoka
Saburo Ishikura
Renji Ishibashi